New mascot brings success for young North Shields Poly athletes

North Shields Poly juniors with their mascot, Polly the bear.
North Shields Poly juniors with their mascot, Polly the bear.

North Shields Poly junior athletes are feeling buoyed up with their recent performances.

In 2014 Emily Davis, Faye Groom and Tom Craig all represented Northumberland at the English Schools finals, and this year the junior squad are building on this success.

In the April North East Youth Development League (NEYDL) fixture they were first team overall where there were strong performances across all the age groups.

In the 300m, Stella Perrett — on her debut in this event — was placed top of the UK Athletics North East rankings.

The juniors did well at the NOTAN meeting on May 10 and a win at the next NEYDL fixture would mean the juniors are well on their way to promotion to division one.

Perhaps part of this success is down to their new mascot, Polly the bear.

North Shields Poly have ambitions to increase the numbers of young people taking part in athletics in the area.

To do this, however, they need more coaches. Chris Mole, young athlete coach organiser, said: “We need prospective coaches in all the age group ranges (seven to 16) so we have a structure that can allow athletes to flow through the groups as they progress.

“We would also like to expand the number of coaching groups, including groups operating at different times to our current Tuesday and Thursday evenings. This will also give us the ability to have more event focused groups.

“We would be looking for people to come along and assist within a group to see if it is something for them.

“From there we can help them progress through the England Athletics coaching qualifications to becoming fully qualified so they are then fully licensed and insured to run their own group.

“Funding for this is available through the Poly and matched funding partners.”

Volunteer coach Steff Curtis said: “I am delighted to have become part of the coaching structure at the Poly.

“Having joined the club I have found coaching the young athletes a real privilege.

“All abilities of young people come to the club and I enjoy providing opportunities for them to develop themselves individually and find a passion for athletics.

“The athletes I see grow in terms of the abilities and the friendships they find within the club.”

Anyone considering becoming a volunteer coach can contact Chris Mole for further information via email at

No experience is necessary as full training in all aspects of coaching young people will be given.

The club is based at Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay, and general information can be viewed on the website