Looking for a local running club in South London? Then you've come to the right place! Despite our name, we are very much a London running and athletics club.
Kent AC is an old and established athletics club. We are one of South London's top athletics and running clubs. We are based at Ladywell Track, Lewisham only 15 mins from Central London. We regularly compete on road, cross-country and track.
Track and field Athletics - In 2011 we had another successful year on the track with our A team winning British League Division 1 and securing promotion to the National Premier League. This now ranks us in the top 8 of athletics clubs in Great Britain. Our B team competes in the Southern League Division 1, having won Division 2 in 2011, mainly through the use of our exceptional batch of young athletes.
Road Racing - Kent AC finished in the top 20 in the National 6 stage and the National 12 stage road relays last year and were the 2011 and 2012 Assembly League champions - winning both the A and B team events. We also won the Southern 6 Stage Road Relay in 2012 and came 3rd in the Southern 12 Stage Road Relay in 2012. We won the UKA National Marathon team champs at the 2013 London Marathon and were 2nd team in the 2012 London Marathon.
Cross Country Running - we hold our own across a full range of fixtures last winter and have featured in the top 10 teams in the National XC Champs a number of times in recent years. Our best places were in 2006/07 achieving 5th place in the National in Sunderland with 2 finishers in the top 8 and 6th place in the 2012/13 National when all 6 of our scoring team were in the Top 100. We have a strong Vets section and have consistently finished in the top 2 Kent County M40 XC Championships for the last consecutive 7 years. Our men’s team competes in the Surrey XC League where we won Div 1 at the first attempt in 2012/13 after 3 consecutive promotions since joining the league in Division 4 . We also won the 6 and 12 to score Kent County Champs in 2012. Our Women’s team competes in the Kent County XC League.
We cater for men and women of all abilities from the fun runner wanting to get fit, to the serious international athlete. Please refer to our ’Training Groups’ page for details of when we train at our Ladywell track.
You are very welcome to come along and take a look and, of course, join in.
New members have a choice of 2 methods of joining, Either:-
1.Pay by Paypal AND then print off the Membership Form and post it to the address on the form or
2.Pay by cheque (payable to Kent AC) and post it together with a completed Membership Form to the address on the form
Do I need to join the England Athletics registration scheme?
Kent AC has made this optional and it is left to the individual to decide if they wish to join. The reason for this is that many races do not require affiliation to England Athletics - usually the more low key and local races such as 10k's, cross country and parkruns. To compete at a higher level e.g. National championships, South of England championship races, London marathon then an England Athletics registration number may well be required. You should base your decision on your anticipated level of competition.
Currently the cost is £10.00 per annum for Senior athletes which may rise substantially in future years. This covers you for a period of one year from the 1st April to 31st March. This registration period is different to the Kent AC subscription year which runs from January to December.
Once registered you be issued an EA registration number which is used when entering races where an EA number is compulsory. You will be covered for insurance purposes for the duration of the race. You will also receive some discounts on clothing at the Sweatshop chain.
You can pay the extra £10.00 either by cheque or PayPal when you join the club. Existing members can renew their registration by the same methods. Once the membership secretary receives notification of payment he will register the athlete online and send the necessary payment to England Athletics.
Kent AC is Lewisham’s athletics club being based since its formation over 120 years ago in that part of south London. The club’s name is something of a handicap, although retained for reasons of consistency and nostalgia, though hardly of accuracy. The club has its origins in two older organisations, Lewisham Hare and Hounds, founded in c. 1885 and West Kent Harriers, founded c. 1887 who amalgamated in 1898.
At this time Kent AC was on the periphery of London and enjoyed access to true countryside runs at Bellingham, Beckenham and Kidbrooke. Competition was informal then and consisted of 8 – 10 winter events. The summer saw competitions over shorter distances and the emergence of Ladywell as the summer head quarters, even before the track was built.
The club also had an active social life, including cycling, billiards, garden parties and concerts.
Meeting venues were scattered throughout south-east London and north Kent until the building of Ladywell track in 1936 which has been the club’s headquarters ever since.
A generation ago no one would have registered Kent AC as an active club, let alone a successful one. In 1983 the club was in Division 7 of the Southern League, and whilst it always contested the National Cross Country Championships, it usually finished in the 80s in the team event. It first contested the Southern 12 stage relay in 1990 finishing a lowly 43rd. The club had declining membership and even more rapidly diminishing finances. Now however its Senior Men’s teams are in the top dozen or so clubs in the UK in all disciplines (track, road and cross-country), membership is buoyant and finances stable.
Through the 80s and 90s the club ground its way up through the Southern League and in 2001 gained promotion to the British League. The progress up the ranks of national competition continued relentlessly and in 2011 it was champion of Division 1 gaining promoted to the Premiership where in 2012 it competed against the other top seven clubs in GB thus completing a rise of 10 divisions in no less than 19 seasons – a feat that will probably never be bettered.
The B track team has also steadily progressed all the way from Division 7 to 1 in the Southern League where it remains.
The club has a small enthusiastic women's section that competes in local road, cross-country and veteran track and field leagues.
It has a traditional winter season of 9 cross country races including the National XC achieving its best ever showing of 6th team in 2013. In 2007-8 the club joined the fiercely competitive Surrey Cross Country league gaining promotion in successive seasons from Div 4 to Div 1 where it won the title in its first season in Div 1 in 2012-13.
Similar progress has been made with the regional and national road relays. The club first qualified the for the National 6 stage in 1995 and the National 12 stage in 2001 and has been at both ever since, regularly finishing in the top 20. In 2012 the club won team silver medals in the UKA marathon championship and in 2013 they went one better by winning Gold medals. Not to be outdone by the track team our road running section has moved up a level by winning the Southern 6 Stage Road Relay and coming 3rd the Southern 12 Stage road Relay in 2012.
The last decade has also seen members emerge onto the international scene with no less than 9 current Internationals. The first international medal went to Conrad Williams who won silver in the GB 4x400m relay squad at the 2009 World Championships. However Conrad and 400m hurdler Jack Green were in Team GB at London 2012. Both reached their semi finals and both were also in the first choice line up for the 4x400 relay where they ran in a thrilling final, finishing fourth.
This marvellous progress has been made at a time when numbers and standards in athletics have been declining. It has been far from accidental: though small (there are still only 150 members) Kent AC is a friendly and inspiring outfit that very quickly generates loyalty and team spirit. It is still essentially local in its focus with a skill at retaining members, deliberately focusing on developing talented youngsters in the 16-21 age bracket and getting them to continue as active seniors. The second priority is to support senior athletes to a level of excellence that they and Kent AC can be proud of and a large portion of the club’s resources (especially by subsidising travel costs to national level competition) are targeted to this.
The club is far from complacent. Whilst it offers coaching and competition for boys over 13 its ambitions are to be consistently in the top dozen clubs in the country in all disciplines; to build on its position as the most successful club south of the River Thames with a genuinely local identity that uses and retains home-grown talent, and to do this without diluting the local focus and friendly character that has characterised it for over a century.
If you would like to access the extensive version compiled by Len Reilly please contact us directly.
Our training groups are made up of all levels of runners from newcomers to International athletes who come from London and some from further afield.
All Training groups normally operate at the club (Ladywell Arena, Catford, SE6 4QX) on Tuesday evenings throughout the year.
Ladywell Arena is only 4 miles from Central London and is well served by public transport being only 13 min by train from London Bridge and has 8 bus routes serving it.
There are a number of organised groups who train with qualified coaches all of whom are CRB checked.
The groups are organised by :
Ken Pike – Middle and Long distance running (Seniors). This is an elite group for 29 min to 32 min 10km runners and 800/ 1500m runners of similar ability. Starts at 7:15pm.
Stuart Beaney/ Luke Armitage – Long distance (Seniors). This group is for 33min to 40 min 10km runners. Starts at 7:15pm.
Adrian Musson – Long Distance (Seniors). Women’s group and 40 + min 10km men. Starts at 7:00pm.
Pete Boxshall - 400m/ 800m / 400m hurdles group (U20 & Seniors) Starts at 7:15pm.
Joe Appiah - Jumps/Hurdles- all ages, starts at 7:15pm.
Albert Johnson – Throws (Seniors)
Rob Moye – Newcomers (running) for those over 17 years. Starts at 7:15pm.
Ted Aston / Adele Prince - Running: Girls group for school years 7 – 11. Starts at 6:00pm until 6:45pm.
Spenser Lane - Running: Boys group for Years 7 – 11. Starts at 6:30pm.
Tuesdays is a general session to introduce a more formal training routine to their running.
Boys who attend these regularly are also invited to Thursdays for more individual training plans.
Non-members are always welcome to join our training groups.
If you are interested please come along - you don't need to be a member of the club to join in. The best times to come for a look at what goes on at the track would be around 7:00pm on Tuesday evenings or 10:30 to 11:30 on Saturdays (if there isn't an "away" match on).