By Scott Mills
Ever since David Weir CBE and Jenny Archer MBE first took the decision to work with each other back in 2002, the pair chose to ply their trade and begin their journey to become two of the country’s sporting greats by training at the Kingsmeadow athletics centre.
Six Paralympic golds, seven-record London marathon titles and a countless number of other major honours and World Record’s later, Weir and Archer not only still train at the facility located in the Borough of Kingston but it is also now where the Weir Archer Academy is based.
Despite many offers to often train elsewhere, these two giants of British sport have always remained loyal to the facility where it all begun and on the 11th October 2017, the Royal Borough of Kingston renamed Kingsmeadow as the Weir Archer fitness and athletics centre as a fitting tribute to recognise what they have done for sport and in the local community.
As the Mayor of Kingston Cllr Julie Pickering and James, the Mayor’s Consort, unveiled a dedicated plaque which is due to be placed at the entrance of the facility, cheers erupted around the centre as Weir and Archer were surrounded by the academy’s athletes, coaches, friends, families and supporters.
Among those were many great people who have helped not only Archer and Weir along their journey but also have supported the academy in a variety of ways with the likes of Jane Emerson and Michelle Weltman in attendance to name a few.
One of the academy’s youngest and hardest working athletes, Graham Spencer was also honoured with the well deserved Brian Freeman award on this special evening to show off a season of hard work.
The renaming of the facility is a truly fitting way to end the season on yet another high, which seems to have been the theme of 2017 for the club with the many highs outweighing the very few lows.
Full of personal bests, country representations, London Marathon victories, World Championship medals and other successes the club seem to be going from strength to strength and if the start of winter training is anything to go by, 2018 is also looking rather positive.