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The club was founded in 1983 by a small group of athletes mainly interested in Road Running and developing opportunities for Senior Athletes at club level. The junior section was formed later to deliver basic skills in Athletics with competition opportunities at club level. The club now proudly boasts many County Champions in most athletic disciplines with some juniors competing at County, Regional and National level.


Over the years we have been based at various locations in Retford but we now have our own permanent base with good quality facilities.


In 2014 our achievements were recognised when we were awarded the Sports Club of the Year award at the Bassetlaw Sports Awards.

We have a permanent base at Oaklands and our training nights are Monday and Thursday from 18.30. For more details, click on the contact us button on the homepage. 


We are an athletics club, affiliated to our representative bodies, UK Athletics, Englanad Athletics and Nottinghamshire AAA.

We have a constitution, policies and procedures which are based on the Club Mark criteria.

We hold and annual general meeting in May each year, we have a committee which meets monthly and we produce monthly and annual accounts.

Club officials are as follows:

President - Dorothy Shirley Emmerson

Vice Presidents - Derek Marsh, Terry Lovett,  Val Tallents

Chair - Steve Woodward 

Vice Chairs (Senior section) - Matt Fuller & Ollie Lord 

Vice Chairs (Junior section) - Rebecca Ball & Cheriene Ward

Treasurer - Tom Preece

Secretary - Mark Fielding

Membership Secretary (Senior section) -Lisa Foster 

Membership Secretary (Junior section) - Lisa Foster

Junior Secretary - Bobbie Taylor

Road Running Secretary - Mark Fielding 

Fell Running Secretary - Bevan Adams

Cross Country Secretary - Bevan Adams

Grand Prix Secretary - Kath Windle 

Kit Secretary - Val Tallents

Minutes Secretary - Lynn Whelan

Fundraising Secretary - Lynn Whelan


Road running
Fell running
What we do

We are a friendly, community based, club providing athletics based opportunities for Retford and the surrounding area. We have in the region of 200 members from the ages of 7 to 80+ and our aim is to enable all our athletes to reach their maximum potential in whatever their chosen athletic events. We are a competitive club and we provide race and competition opportunities for all age groups and all disciplines. We expect all of our athletes to take part in appropriate levels and types of competition and these are described in other parts of this website and on our Facebook pages.

Road running

The club has a strong road running section with our athletes competing in races from 5k to marathon throughout the year and membership of Retford AC usually ensures a discounted race entry fee. As a club we compete in the Nottinghamshire Summer League during the months April to August. All races are between 5 and 6 miles.

FELL running

This section has developed over the last 10-15 years as more senior athletes have made the move away from running on the road, preferring a more forgiving surface. Our fell running section is affectionately called ‘The Dark Side’ partly because of its love of running in the dark with head torches. The secretary is Bevan Adams.


The fell runners are relatively laid back and training runs tend to be a relaxed affair depending upon which races folk have got planned or whether they have run the weekend before. 


We have been involved in cross country racing since the very beginning and as an event it attracts both our road runners and our fell runners. We have teams entering the North Midlands Cross Country League which takes place from September to January, and the Inter Club League which normally takes place in January and February. One notable event in the cross country calendar each year is the Chris Ryan Memorial Canal Relay, which takes place each summer between Retford AC and our friends at Worksop AC. The race is run entirely on the canal towpath between the 2 towns and is possibly the most competitive race of the year.


Our cross country training programme (which ususally combines fell runners and cross country runners would typically include:


Senior Members Monthly Training Schedule – 2021-2022


All sessions start and finish at Oaklands (unless by agreement for any specific session).

All runners warm up together, session differentiated after warm up and divides into sub groups each with a group leader.   We ofer 2 main types of training for senior members, on-road and off-road.   The main on-road day is Monday and the main off-road day is Thursday with a different session offered each week on a monthly cycle


New Starters

Active runners will be allocated to either the on-road or off-road group where differentiation will take place within the group.


Couch to 5k

Starters new to running will join a ‘new runners’ group (Group co-ordinator: Mark Fielding: ) which operates on Monday evenings.  They will remain in this group until confident to join either the on-road or off-road group.


The Junior Section welcomes young people from the age of 7 into our club and we provide the full range of athletic disciplines apart from hammer and pole vault. We offer coaching and competition opportunities for anybody interested in athletics and we expect all our athletes to be interested in athletics and to be motivated and committed to their own athletic development.


All our juniors train under the supervision of a qualified coach and are placed into a coaching group according to their age, ability or specialist discipline. Our coaches will make training enjoyable and safe but all the time we are looking to improve performance and athletic discipline so we expect our athletes to work hard too. We are an athletic club, not a fitness class or a playground and we expect our junior athletes to enter competitions and to represent the club when asked.


In summer, training concentrates on sprints and endurance running, long jump, high jump, shot, discus and javelin. In winter, training concentrates on sportshall events, cross country, sprint training, general conditioning and plyometrics.


Training is outside all year for our older athletes but indoors in winter for our athletes aged 7 and 8, so appropriate clothing is essential, whatever the weather.


Over the years many of our juniors have gained county, regional and national recognition and many have progressed, with our good wishes and support, to bigger clubs, where they continue to thrive, competing at a higher level, but proud to have commenced their athletic career with Retford AC.


Selection Criteria

We expect:

  • all our members to work hard at developing their athletic skills, to behave properly at all times and to enter competitions when the time is right.   

  • all new members to have a basic level of fitness and when you first come to us, we will give you a short assessment based on running, throwing and  jumping.    This helps us to work out which training group is best and to decide if our club is right for you.     

  • all our parents to  lend a helping hand in managing and organising the junior section and its activities.

If you are still interested please go to the Membership Zone of this website for information on how to join.

Cross Country

All our training groups are under the supervision of a UKA qualified coach. For most of the senior sections, coaching is ‘light touch’ but all the juniors are intensively coached to develop basic fitness, core and specific skills and to athletes for competition. As a result our junior coaches are our most highly qualified. In recent years the quality of our coaching has been recognised by the winning of the Bassetlaw Sports Club of the Year, the Bassetlaw Sports Coach of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards.

Our current coaches are as follows:

Junior Coaches

Mark Fielding

Lisa Foster

Simon Foster

Steve Green

Ann Harris

Ben Harris

Chris Hickman

Nick Kendall

Gary Longden

Emily-Rose Maule

Georgiana Templeton

Marjolein Templeton

Philippa Thornton

Senior Coaches\Run Leaders

Bevan Adams

Mark Fielding

Ollie Lord

Terry Lovett

George Page

Tom Preece

Colin Shuttleworth

Philippa Thornton

Lynn Whelan

Dawn Keeligan


We are always looking to expand and improve our coaching cohort. Our existing coaches regularly attend in service training and development courses and we members and parents to train as coaches. The club pays all course fees and provides reduced club membership and coach's clothing. Please get in touch if you are interested



Senior standards

The club standards (mens and womens) were originally created in 1983 when the club was inaugurated. They were updated in 2015 by past Chairman, Derek Marsh.


Junior standards

The junior standards were created in 2016 and are used by coaches and athletes to measure progress.

Covid Risk Assessment 

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