Early Days: Harmeny Athletic Club was founded in 1977 by David Hammond of Harmeny School, Balerno, for the benefit of the school’s pupils who were not allowed to compete in SAAA events. Early on, the School (and Club) won the Thistle Award for primary schools 2 years in a row, beating Rannoch, Heriots et al.
After two years, the club became open and under the leadership of Ken Jack members were recruited from the Currie, Balerno and Juniper Green areas of Edinburgh.
For most of our history the mainstay of the club’s activities were Track & Field competitions in the summer and cross-country in the winter. By the 1990’s we were competing in five T&F leagues, which meant putting out teams covering all age groups from U11 to Veteran most week-ends in the summer, plus some mid-week teams.
The appeal of league competition has diminished in Scotland since 2000, as fewer clubs were able to compete across the age and event ranges (a trend encouraged by Scottish Athletics promoting single division super-club leagues). In spite of being a relatively small club, in 2001 our Men’s 4 x 100m relay team set the record in the Central & South of Scotland League with a time of 44.1s, and in 2002 we were runner-up club in the Scottish Athletics “Club of the Year” Awards following the successes of our juniors in National relay competitions where we had 3 medal winning teams, and at the Edinburgh International Games.
Since 2004 our focus has been on community based activities. Current Track and Field competition is geared towards 9-20 year olds who compete in the Forth Valley League, Scottish Indoor League, East District Cross Country League and various open graded events throughout the year.
Harmeny Pentland Runners (now part of Harmeny AC): Although the club has always had a few adult road-runners it wasn’t until 1997 that Bob & Anne Douglas set up a Sunday morning running group. In 2002 we were one of the first Scottish clubs to join in the jogScotland scheme launched by Scottish Athletics to promote the recreational side of running. We introduced the branding of Harmeny Pentland Runners to encourage non-competitive runners, and Bob & Anne worked with former UK Olympic competitor Christina Boxer to get our first Wednesday evening jogScotland beginner programme under way.
We have run jogScotland beginner programmes every year since, and the Sunday and Wednesday groups have expanded to encompass runners of all abilities.
Harmeny Club Colours: The Club’s official colours are a red vest with a green diagonal stripe over the right shoulder. In inter-club league competitions and Championships club colours must be worn, but it’s not compulsory for most other events.
Recent News: In 2016, the Club joined the Scottish Athletics Club Together Initiative and took on the services of Lorraine Boyd as our Club to School Development Officer which allowed for a increase in the number of athletics sessions the club was able to offer in SW Edinburgh, primarily through a partnership with Edinburgh Council’s Active Schools team. Then in late 2017, this initiative was extended to take on the services of Graeme Stewart as Club Development Officer, whose role is to improve the governance of the club and seek opportunities to further the development of athletics and the club throughout South and West Edinburgh. This project is planned to last until the end of 2021.