Kiwis look to Stockport

Tony Rogers, right, at Woodbank with Peter Powell and Alby Atkinson.

Report: First published Stockport Express -

The New Zealand athletics team is considering using Woodbank Athletic Stadium as their training base for next year's Commonwealth Games.

New Zealand athletics competitions manager Tony Rogers was in Stockport to look at the facilities and meet up with Stockport Council's Commonwealth Games co-ordinator Alby Atkinson and stadium manager Peter Powell.

Powell said after the meeting: "I have high hopes that the New Zealand athletics team will become Stockport Harriers' guests and train with us at the Woodbank stadium in the period leading up to the games.

"It would create a marvellous opportunity for some of our young people to meet these international athletes.

"We may also have the opportunity of a friendly athletic match together as well and some social outings."

Rogers was a finalist in the 1,500m at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, in which Seb Coe and Steve Ovett played a leading part, and is a good friend of Athletics UK chief executive Dave Moorcroft.

Atkinson, who is from New Zealand, added: "Any additional entertainment and facilities will be afforded to the team together with a good Stockport welcome and I look forward to hearing further from them in due course."

Football returns to Woodbank Stadium after a four-year absence on Saturday when Chorlton Town play their first game at their new home.

The Mid-Cheshire League side will play the rest of their fixtures in Stockport and open against Willows in the Manchester Challenge Trophy at the weekend (kick off 1.30pm).

Stadium manager Peter Powell said: "The council has done well to get the pitch up to standard in a very short space of time and are due some plaudits - as is football liaison officer Pat Bailey who has worked hard to achieve this.

"I am anxious that Woodbank Stadium becomes a multi-sport venue for the community which also helps in applying for grant aid to undertake future improvements.

"Enquiries are welcome from any organisations which are suitable to the facility."

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