Who are the Panthers?

2014/15 Cross Country Photo Gallery

Minnis Bay XC start line – before the mud!Minnis Bay XC start line – before the mud!
Ben in action at Canterbury XC Panthers are off at Canterbury XC Swanley Park XC start line
Beth getting ready for the Meopham XC  Jack finishing at Meopham XC  Swanley Park XC start line 

The Panther section of Swanley and District AC has been set up for children from the ages of 8 - 16. The idea was to introduce younger people to the field of athletics. It isn't just about running but the fundamentals of throwing, jumping and speed walking. The coaches wanted the children to experience the many different skills associated within our sport. The sessions are about learning these new skills, getting better and to have fun. It doesn't matter what the ability of the child is anyone can have a go.

We have been awarded a grant from KCC to help us to provide winter training indoors. The grant has gone to the cost of hiring the sports hall at Swanley technology college as well as some equipment.

We do try to encourage the older members of the group to take part in various competitions. These could include X country and sports-hall events. Sports-hall events are held indoors and cover the different skills of athletics. The choice is there if they want to take part. The children are not under any pressure to compete if they really do not want to. We also try to encourage all the juniors to enter local fun runs.

During late spring and into summer we train in Swanley park. Once a month we run a handicap event for all the children. The distance depends upon the age of the child. It gives us some idea of their ability and to see if they are improving. This can be competitive if the child wants it to be but for the less competitive a jog around the course. However we do award a boy and a girl trophy for the best improver by the end of the Summer season.

We meet every Wednesday evening, during the summer months this is in Swanley Park and in the Winter at the White Oaks Leisure Centre, in the sports hall. We do not train in the school holidays. The sessions last 1 hour between 6.30-7.30 (8- 16yrs old) .

We currently have 2 coaches per session that are qualified and insured under UK athletics. Athletics coaches Mel Alffatt, Anna Willard and Coaching Assistants Malcolm Parsons, Annette White, Sarah Mccall and Amanda Eaton.

When the children start to represent the club in any organized events or competitions we will provide them with one of our Swanley Panther t-shirts.

Annual membership fees are only £10.00 per child, however if a parent joins the club as a member any of their children can join for free.

For more information, please contact our club secretary at sdac_secretary@yahoo.co.uk

United House Limited donates £200 to Panthers Training

Kevin Ladley from United House Limited presented a cheque for £200 to the Club Chairman Simon Hassett, to go towards the training of new children's coaches. This very generous donation is much appreciated by the Club.

St Georges FunRun report

At the Weald 2k Fun run yesterday – James Graves came home 1st, Christo Graves 2nd and Olivia Willard 9th – they won the team prize for Swanley.


Athletics Coach


Olympic Torch Runner

Our very own Panther, Olivia Willard ran with the Olympic Torch through Hythe, Kent on the 18th July. Olivia brought the torch down to show our club members and take photos, as the torch symbolises such a momentous occasion from 2012.