We don’t normally like posting negative material to the public, but unfortunately events at our training session last night can’t go without mention.

Washington Running Club has had an association with Biddick Academy since 2015 with our Juniors section using the sports hall during the winter months and the main club using the car park as a meeting point for our sessions.

Recently Biddick signalled that the formal arrangement would need to stop with the car park being locked at weekends and so would be unavailable for our use. However it was stated that the car park would remain open during the week providing that other activities (such as football training) were taking place. As a club we’ve been actively following up on some of the suitable leads for new premises that have been suggested and in the meantime checking with Biddick on the status for car parking on Thursday nights until we have our new base.

Yesterday morning (2nd December) we were told that the car park would be open for us to use last night and should there be any changes to this we’d be told about them during the day. We held our session at 7pm as normal and on returning to the car park at 7.50pm found the car park locked with our members’ cars inside.

This was annoying to put it mildly, particularly given we’ve members from Sunderland, Durham, Boldon, Chester le Street as well as Washington, and impacts not only on them being able to get home via their own means, but also being able to retrieve house keys, get to work for night shift or early morning starts.For a former sports academy the recent behaviour of Biddick Academy is extremely disappointing.

They’ve turned down funding from our club for use of the car park and have told us that our Junior club can no longer train there (big thanks to Oxclose Community Academy for stepping forward and letting them train in their sports hall).The actions of last night mean the end of Washington Running Club and Biddick Academy.

We now look forward to new beginnings with Columbia Grange School, who’ve kindly stepped forward with a proactive arrangement for us to hire their place, starting from next week.WRC Committee