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Keith Hutchinson hoping for Euros glory after help from local charity



Keith Hutchinson is preparing for his trip to Poland. Picture: The Extra Yard



Hartlepool’s world veteran medal-winning runner Keith Hutchinson hopes his achievements inspire others – regardless of age.


The 44-year-old will return to Poland next week (March 20) for his third appearance at the European Masters Athletics Championships Indoor 2024.

Hutchinson, whose trip is being funded by local charity The PFC Trust and founder Frances Connolly, is hoping to progress from the heat on Wednesday (March 20) to the 800m final the following day in Torun.


Keith, who competed on the world stage in Torun a year ago, said: “To compete at this level is hugely important to me. I want people to believe in their dreams no matter what they want to do, how silly it may seem, or how old you are. Age is just a number.


“I’m hoping to make the finals on the Thursday at 5.26pm UK time and my races will be broadcast live so people can watch on Facebook/social media.

“I’m hoping it’s third time lucky for me in Poland. Having failed to qualify first time, I made the final and claimed a World Championship bronze medal last year. That was a massive achievement for me.


“This time round, I know what to expect, so I'm still very nervous. My coach Ken Harker has been drumming in to me to trust my training.

“I’ve also had support from Hope Performance’s Shaun Hope and that has helped immensely with my belief and confidence. I am really looking forward to this.”

Keith, whose The Extra Yard programme helps athletes improve their agility and strength in

Hartlepool and the surrounding areas, hopes to follow his latest appearance in Poland up with more top-class outings this year.


He is already pencilled in to compete at the British Championships in Derby in June and hopes to represent Great Britain in Gotheburg, Sweden, in August on the world stage.

Keith is grateful for the funding he has received that has ensured he can continue to challenge for honours against the best veterans athletes around.


He said: “The PFC Trust, through Frances Connolly, have become my sole sponsor and that has covered my travel expenses and the equipment needed to compete at this level.

“That generous sponsorship means I’m able to travel to many locations to train, compete and fulfil my dreams. I really can't thank them enough.


“The PFC Trust is a fantastic charity, helping many local people and organisations achieve what may not have been possible.”

Keith’s The Extra Yard programme has also had help through the PFC Trust and the charity’s sport arm, Hartlepool Sport.


He said: “The Extra yard is still going from strength to strength, helping young and old athletes to improve their speed, technique, agility and power to improve their game of choice.


“It also gets people out of the house, encouraging them to stay active, healthy and help with their mental health.

“We now help over 100 athletes a week having set up a little over 14 months ago. Without The PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport this would have taken a lot longer - or might not even have got off the ground.”


*For further information about how the PFC Trust could help you or your organisation check out www.thepfctrust.org

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