AN award-winning running club has received further recognition for its contribution to grassroots sports.

England Athletics, the governing body for athletics in England and Wales, has awarded Sedgefield Harriers Club Mark status.

It is part of a nationally recognised quality accreditation scheme and confirms that the County Durham club adheres to the highest possible standards in a range of areas.

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These include the activities it delivers, duty of care and safeguarding procedures, community links and overall management.

John Stacey, a club and coach support officer for England Athletics, said: "Sedgefield Harriers is one if not the best athletics club in the North-East.

"The Club Mark is the culmination of all the right decisions the club has made and the processes it has put in place to create a safe and fun environment for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy athletics."

Ean Parsons, club chairman, added: "We are thrilled to receive the Club Mark. It will form a solid framework for us to develop further."

Founded in 2005, Sedgefield Harriers has more than 100 senior members, 150 juniors and 50 under-sevens.

In 2011, the club was crowned Development Club of the Year and UK Athletics Club of the Year.

Last year, the harriers received outline planning consent for a world-class synthetic running track at Sedgefield Community College.

The club needs to raise more than £450,000 and the Back the Track fundraising campaign is in full swing.

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