Who We Are
Christchurch Avon is one of the largest and most successful clubs in Canterbury with over 300 Senior Masters and Children athletes active in our distinctive blue and orange singlets.
Our proud history goes back to 1922 as one of the strong and successful clubs in Christchurch and on the provincial and national stages. We are proud of our history but recognise we cannot rest on that and work hard to support our members to a long and successful future.
At Christchurch Avon we believe that athletics is a great sport and believe that every member should be supported to achieve as far as they want to in the sport. This may be selection as a national representative, improving your time for a fun run, or just having mates to train and compete with.
We consider that all the disciplines have value and complement each other so that children should learn a wide range of Athletics disciplines – running long, sprinting, jumping, hurdling and throwing. Accordingly, we take a holistic approach exposing all our Summer children athletes to the full range of athletics disciplines to develop skills, strength and coordination. (Tom Walsh was a successful high jumper as a child). Sports Science shows that children should not specialise before 14 and later if possible and that they do benefit from a broad range of strength, coordination and skill programs. Even our winter only athletes are encouraged to develop strength and coordination as well as aerobic endurance.
We have well qualified coaches for sprints, throws, middle and distance running as well as a trainer who focusses on helping older runners develop balance, coordination, cadence and pace.
We also see value of athletics disciplines to many other sports. Running, jumping and throwing are foundation skills for sports as diverse as hockey, basketball & netball, triathlon & duathlon, and all codes of football. Many of our members, both seniors and children participate, in other sports; for some running is their secondary interest, for others it’s their primary sport.
Having fun and enjoying the company of fellow athletes while you train and compete is a core value for us. Our values include: supporting and encouraging your team mates, fair play, doing your best for the team, and having fun social activities with your clubmates.
Some Of Our Recent Successes
- Our Summer children’s section has won Canterbury trophies several times and had great success at Colgate Games. This highlights our team approach and structure as winning requires competing as a team across multiple events and disciplines.
- Our Junior men are winners two years in a row and runner up third year; of the National Road Relay, reflecting our team depth and the way we train and compete.
- International representatives: in recent years one member was selected for the World Junior Athletics, and two have represented NZ at World Mountain Running Championships. Several of our young athletes have represented NZ at inter-schools’ competitions with Australia.
- Currently we have 4 Athletes on US university scholarships and one at a NZ university. These scholarships offer a life changing experience, educational opportunity as well as development of your athletic ability.
- We are current Canterbury Winter Club of Year and winner for 7 of past 8 years. This award is based on depth of participation over the whole winter season across all grades from under 8 to over 65s.
- At the 2019 National Track and Field Championships one of our runners won the open 3000 metres Steeplechase.
Short History Of Club
The Christchurch Avon club was formed in 1989 from the amalgamation of Christchurch Athletics and Harrier Club circa 1922, which was one of the first non-church clubs, and Avon Amateur Athletics Club circa 1974, which had a strong input from Burnside Highschool PE teachers. The blue in our singlet is from Christchurch and the orange from the Avon club. We have a proud and diverse history on which to build our strong future.
Club Meeting Places
Our Clubrooms are on the Burnside Highschool grounds, Greers Road Burnside and we share the track with the school. Coaching nights and Club activity are Monday and Wednesday evenings in summer for Children with inter-club on Saturday mornings. For Summer Seniors, there is also training Monday and Wednesday evenings at Jellie Park and Saturday afternoon inter-club competition at Nga Puna Wai.
In winter the children’s section has group training sessions from the Clubrooms on Monday and Wednesday. There are also runs from other venues on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Club runs are often from the clubrooms on Saturday afternoons, but on inter-club event days we will meet at the event location.
Christchurch Avon Athletic Club is a successful club that encourages not only athletic success but a love for the sport. The positive and friendly environment the club has created allows individuals to achieve personal goals through the ongoing support from coaches both during and outside of the training sessions. I think that Christchurch Avon provides an extremely positive atmosphere, where everyone is welcome whether you are a social or competitive runner. The club helps and guides people of all ages and abilities to develop their athletic skill. The optimism, tenacity and humility of the coaches and other club athletes gives both the athletes and families an incredible support network.
There is a huge amount of work put in by all the coaches and people involved in the club, their positive outlook and sense of humour is always obvious. There is always an opportunity for everyone to get involved and be a part of something and to challenge themselves. From club and interclub competitions, to national and international level competitions the club’s support will always be behind you.
I joined Christchurch Avon in the 2015-16 season as an 11-year-old. My brother and I came from cricket, which we did not enjoy. Mum and dad said we had to do something on a Saturday, and I enjoyed athletics a lot at primary school, so we decided to give it a go. Athletics very quickly took over my sporting life.
I have competed at 3 Colgate Games and two Inter provincial Championships over the past 3 years. I have made a lot of new friends at CHAV and have received very good coaching. My coaches have taught me that when I put the effort into training I will be rewarded with better results. I have really enjoyed being involved in the junior club and look forward to moving into seniors next year.
I joined Christchurch Avon when I was 8 years old and have enjoyed it ever since. I enjoy getting to meet new people and see my mates. I joined because some of my friends and I started cross country and we already knew some people at the club. I really like getting to do a variety of different track and field events.
I joined Christchurch Avon a couple of years ago. The reason I choose Christchurch Avon was predominantly due to its location and a similar vibe to a running club I’d been a member of while living in Melbourne, AUS.
I’ve found the club to be extremely welcoming, friendly and supportive. With two young children, I’m unable to train as much as I’d like nor can I attend a lot of the social activities, however it’s great to know that there are a lot of things happening within the club that I could join in on in the future.
I like it’s relaxed, yet organised approach to club run activities and it also has a great presence at all the Canterbury Athletics events throughout the year. Christchurch Avon is a great club for all abilities and ages and I’d highly recommend it to all runners, serious or recreational.
Joining Christchurch Avon 3 years ago was one of the best sporting decisions I have ever made. I have played a lot of sport over the years and at 57 thought that was my lot until invited to join a club run. When older runners told me how fast they were running I thought they were exaggerating; they were not. I like to compete in sport so this was the Club for me. They say the All Blacks are successful because of the culture. Christchurch Avon has a similar environment and a very good management structure that involves all ages.
The Club has a lot of success with the younger members who are well coached. For an older athlete it is a delight to see the young athletes enjoying themselves so much while competing.
I would recommend Christchurch Avon to anyone with younger children, older athletes that just want to run for fun, compete or just looking for a change of lifestyle. There is strong evidence that running can turn back the biological clock and at Christchurch Avon there are a lot of older runners still competing.