On the right track – new athletics running track at Julie Rose Stadium opens

Published: 08/08/2022
New athletics track at Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford

The Julie Rose Stadium now has a brand new athletics track following a £300,000 investment on the new running surface by Ashford Borough Council.

Freedom Leisure and Ashford Borough Council worked on plans to re-surface the outdoor athletics track at the iconic stadium that was built in 1997. Works begin in March this year and the finishing touches were completed in July.

The stadium held its first major athletics event this weekend where it hosted the Centurion Run 100 mile run. Ashford Athletics are using the track again on Tuesdays and Thursdays and there is an athletics week Summer Holiday for kids starting on the 9th August.

The next phase of investment will see the indoor running chute replaced along with a refurbishment of the indoor throwing cage later this year.

This follows on from the complete refurbishment and opening of the new gym and exercise studio last year, and is further evidence of the great partnership between the council and the not-for-profit leisure trust to improve the health, wellbeing and sporting facilities for the people of Ashford and the surrounding area.

Cllr Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for environment, property and recreation, said: “Over the last few years the Council has invested heavily in improving the leisure facilities on offer across the borough, not only here at the Julie Rose Stadium, but at the Stour Leisure Centre, Spearpoint, Waterside and Pitchside as well as at Tenterden Leisure Centre.

“The Julie Rose Stadium really is a fabulous sporting facility and now our local sports clubs are able to use some of the very best athletics facilities locally with our investment in the track will making it one of best around.”

Nestling beneath the beautiful North Downs with stunning views along the Stour Valley and across Conningbrook Lakes, Julie Rose Stadium makes a dramatic backdrop for a wide range of events from world class athletics to triathlons.

It now boasts some of the best health and fitness facilities in Ashford alongside the recently refurbished Stour Centre which has seen a dramatic uplift in customers using and benefitting from some of the best leisure facilities in the region.

The stadium is still regarded as one of the finest athletics facilities in the south-east and with the upcoming improvements this will make it one of the best in the country. It is home to Ashford Athletic Club, who use the track for regular training and events and competitions throughout the year.

The Julie Rose Stadium, Stour Leisure Centre and Spearpoint Pavillion are managed on the council’s behalf by Freedom Leisure Trust.

Tom Price Area Manager – Ashford & Kent from Freedom Leisure said: "We have really enjoyed watching the transformation of the old track into the new and are all really excited to see people using the track again and re-establishing ourselves as the heart of Athletics in Ashford and the wider area.

“We already have some key big events booked in and look forward to continuing to work with Ashford Borough Council and Ashford Athletics Club to make Julie Rose the place to hold events"