When athletics emerged in the 1860s and 1870s, paper-chasing became the most popular event after its introduction on Wimbledon Common in 1868 by Thames Hare and Hounds. In a paper chase, two 'hares' lay a trail of paper over the country, and the pack of 'hounds' try to catch up with them. Although this sport soon developed into cross country as we know it today, the earliest such athletic clubs called themselves 'Hare and Hounds' or 'Harriers'.

Kettering Town Harriers was established in 1894 and is one of the longest established clubs in the region. One of the earliest acknowledgements in our club history goes to William“Buff”Coles a KTH member who won an individual bronze medal and team gold, in the three mile event in the 1908 London Olympics.

Whilst a lot has changed in athletics since the 1908 Olympics, many of the athletic events that featured in 1908 will feature in this year’s 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo. There have of course been some slight adaptations: we now take a run up for the jump events for example; metric conversion means we now run 5km rather than 3 miles; and some health and safety developments cages around the throwing circle for example, the Olympics in 2021 will include essentially the same run, jump and throw athletic events as in 1908 with the discus, hammer, shot, javelin, long jump, triple jump and high jump.

We’re proud of our sport and our own club history and achievements. As a club over the years we have supported many athletes who have competed at the highest levels and currently have athletes who are ranked within the top 10 in the country.

We continue to invest in the club and its development to provide the best facilities, equipment and coaching support to all ages.

If you are interested in participating in athletics of any kind – run, jump or throw – at any level from beginner to elite athlete at any age (min 9) or in volunteering in the sport, there is plenty of ways to get involved contact us through the Contact Us area of the website.