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Keith Hutchinson - Running at World Masters - Representing Hartlepool & THE PFC TRUST

Hartlepool athlete would love to help school children when he returns from appearance on world stage

Speedy veteran athlete Keith Hutchinson wants to return from representing Hartlepool on the world stage by passing on his experience to the town’s schools.

The British champion will be competing at the World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Poland on Wednesday, March 29, during a trip funded by local charities the PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport.

The 43-year-old has shot to prominence with his performances at home and abroad over the last few years, having hit the track following a long semi-professional and amateur football career.

And, together with The Extra Yard programme he set up with Paul Hewitson, he wants to pay visits to schools in the area to help the younger generation keep their physical and mental health in check.

The fully qualified speed coach – who was also funded through his training by the PFC Trust - said: “We have helped young athletes progress in a number of sports already since we set up the Extra Yard seven months ago.

“It would be fantastic to be able to go into schools regularly to work with more children on a bigger scale.

“I can make students quicker, by making sure their agility and strength improves. We like to see those we work with have smiles on their faces and what we do obviously helps with obesity and flexibility, while it helps self-discipline and overall fitness. Exercising helps with mental health wellbeing.”

It is known how endorphins released from exercising should improve general focus, with the Extra Yard hoping children feel sharper when they return to the classroom.

Keith and Paul have seen impressive results in performance too, with one example being how a 14 year old Thomas Watton has gone from being a half decent sprinter to winning races at open regional events having used the correct drills to improve his running technique.

Paul said: “The Extra yard has got to where it has, supporting around 80 mainly young people, because Keith has gone through coaching qualifications with England athletics, sponsored by the PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport.

“He has been using facilities at High Tunstall College of Science during his own preparations for Poland and it would be fantastic if he could now use his knowledge positively to help more children across the town.”

Keith – who has worked with various sports teams such as Oaksway netball, the Dodgeball Centre and various football clubs – has gone from a fast local runner to a national winner after embracing the techniques he uses to improve.

Now, as British champion whose personal best time is 1:59, he is looking forward to representing Burn Road Harriers and the PFC Trust as part of the Great Britain squad in the Polish city of Torun in the 800m at the World Championships.

He said: “There are 50 entrants. It is the best in the world for the age category and I know it will be tough. I am hoping to reach the final in a highly competitive field. I have seen the times and it’s a world-class field having already competed at European level in Portugal. I am really looking forward to it.”

*For further information on how the PFC Trust can help you check out or contact the Extra Yard on Facebook if you’d like to work with Keith and Paul.

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