Cardiff Metropolitan University has a proud tradition of success in Athletics.
Cardiff College of Education opened in the mid 1950s, where it was created to train male PE teachers. From the very beginning there was an athletics team, which became more established when the college moved from the Heath to its new and present site in Cyncoed in 1961.
In Cyncoed, athletics was then headed up by Roy Bish who, as a pioneering rugby coach, went on to Italy, where he put the country on the road to joining the Six Nations Championship. The College’s athletics team included many British representatives including Olympic bronze sprints medallist and World Record Holder Peter Radford and, of course, Lynn Davies who won his Olympic Gold medal in 1964, the same year he left college.
For a record of athletes attending major championships, a look at the relevant Honours Board on the balcony of NIAC shows a list of 57 of our athletes attending since 1960, and a number of them medalling. So, from Olympic medallists such as Peter Radford and Lynn Davies at the beginning of our history, to the more recent 2011 World Champion Dai Greene and 2012 Paralympic Gold Medallist Aled Davies, the success story of Cardiff Met Athletics Club continues. In 1974 Sean Power arrived as a member of staff and, with the assistance of Clive Webb, the Athletics Club developed even further. From then on there were many inter-college and inter-club outdoor Wednesday and weekend competitions, including the British Colleges Championships on our 440 Yards cinder track (summer terms finished in mid July!). Cardiff College of Education men were always in the top two in these Championships, our nemesis being Borough Road College (now Brunel University).
In the 1980s, various sports degree courses started to be developed and, as a consequence, female students joined the athletics club. Our name changed from Cardiff College of Education, through South Glamorgan Institute of HE, Cardiff Institute of HE, University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) and now, Cardiff Metropolitan University. It was in the late 90s that, as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education and Sport, Sean Power led the team developing a floodlit 8 lane outdoor Mondo track and an Indoor Athletics Centre, the first in the UK.
The Indoor British Athletics Championships have been held in NIAC, as have the BUSA (BUCS) indoor championships. However, in the more rounded sense, NIAC has proven to be an enormous boon for both athletes and coaches within the university, around Wales and even further afield, allowing them to train and compete in a quality environment throughout the year.
Since 2000, students and coaches have continued to build on the proud athletics tradition at Cyncoed. Long may it continue.