Hammer time at the Dell

Great Britain has only ever won one Olympic medal in the hammer – but the next champ could be from Dudley if council chiefs agree to invest in improving facilities.

The hammer throw cage and circle at the Dell Stadium in Pensnett has been out of action since May this year after being condemned as unfit for use.

But members of Dudley Council’s ruling cabinet will be asked to rubber-stamp proposals at a meeting later this month, which would see up to £33,000, invested in replacing it with a new one.

Dudley and Stourbridge Harriers Athletics Club, which runs from the Dell, are to make a contribution towards the cost. The council is proposing to borrow the rest and pay it back over five years through additional income coming in from hire of the new 3G football pitch at the stadium.

Sophie Hitchon is the only athlete ever to win a medal for Great Britain at the Olympics in the sport, claiming bronze at the last Games in Rio 2016 after a British record throw of 74.54 metres. Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:

"We want to keep our best young athletes in the borough, and to do that we need to invest to give them the facilities they need. The hammer is an event where medals have been desperately few and far between for Britain.

"It would be fantastic if the next one was from Dudley and I welcome this investment. With it being funded ultimately from income coming into the council through hire of our facilities, it won’t cost the taxpayer a penny so it’s win win.

The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the cabinet, which takes place on Wednesday September 12 at the Council House in Priory Road, Dudley. It starts at 6pm and members of the public are welcome to attend.


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