Sports Update by Chris Lines

After a summer that saw the weather have a significant impact on the grass roots cricket schedule, there hasn’t been much let up during the autumn. Multiple football matches have already been called off due to waterlogged pitches and even cross country running has been affected.

Trees brought down onto the course by a named storm recently caused a fixture in the North East Harrier League to be cancelled. It’s unusual for bad weather to disrupt cross country athletics.

In fact, running in awful conditions is one of the key characteristics of the sport, as demonstrated in 2015 when the North Eastern Counties Cross County Championships were held in a blizzard in East Park. Those who were there on that December day will never forget it, and will soon have an opportunity to take part in or watch an even bigger cross country event in the park early next year. Read more about that below…


Sedgefield will host a major event on the winter athletics calendar early next year. Northern Athletics has announced that the 2024 Start Fitness Northern Cross County Championships will be held in East Park on Saturday 27 January, with over 2,000 runners expected to participate.

East Park was the venue for the North Eastern Counties Cross Country Championships in 2015 and 2021, and the races in January 2024 will follow similar routes. The Northern Cross Country Championships is on a bigger scale and will see clubs from throughout the north of England bring runners of all ages to Sedgefield to compete in one of the UK’s biggest cross country events of the year.

Traditionally, the championships attract some of the nation’s elite athletes, who line up alongside club runners of all abilities, to tackle the mud, undulating routes and wintry weather that characterise cross country races.

Durham County Council has agreed to let organisers hold the championships on the site, and host club Sedgefield Harriers is working closely with Northern Athletics and local stakeholders in the build up to January, and will recruit volunteers to help out on the day.

The team at Hardwick Park has been providing advice on elements of the proposed route, and other aspects of the event. Parking for competitors will be at Sedgefield Racecourse, which has a link to the championships, as it hosted them almost 70 years ago, in 1955.

Other local venues and businesses will also be involved in staging the event, which is expected to bring big fields of junior and senior runners to Sedgefield for the various races during the day, plus coaches and other representatives from athletics clubs around the north of England, and spectators.

Image: The women's race in Sedgefield in 2021
Rugby Union

Sedgefield District Rugby Club has had a challenging start to the season in Durham & Northumberland Counties Division 2. Although the team has managed only a single victory so far, away to Seaham with the last kick of the game, a number of good performances have led to regular try and losing bonus points, and at the time of writing this, the Sedgefield 1st XV sit in 10th place.

The Saxons have also had a couple of run outs so far this season, with some new players being given their first experience of senior rugby. If you are interested in getting involved in rugby, whatever your experience or playing level, get in touch with the club via social media. Training takes place on Thursdays at 7:00pm on the rugby pitch at Sedgefield Cricket Club.


East Park will host a day of cyclo-cross races on Saturday 9 December. The event is being organised by Sedgefield Velo and will be round eight of nine in the North East Cyclo-cross League (NECCL). Cyclo-cross is a form of cycling that usually takes place during the autumn and winter, and involves multiple laps of a short course, typically on surfaces like that in East Park, and sometimes including obstacles. Senior races usually last between 40 and 60 minutes.

The action in Sedgefield will start with races for under 8s, 10s and 12s at 12 noon. The under 14s and under 16s will start at 1:00pm and the senior and veteran men and women will set off at 1:02pm. If you fancy trying cyclo-cross, it’s not too late to enter. You will need to be a member of TLI Cycling (£20 per year – join at and race entry is £4 for juniors and £10 for seniors and vets. Find out more on the Facebook page NECCL - 'North East Cyclo Cross League' .


The 2023 cricket season will be remembered as one of the wettest ever, but after the sun shone during the final weeks, Sedgefield Cricket Club can look proudly back at its achievements.

A fourth place finish in Division 1 plus a cup win marked a solid season for the 1st XI, while the 2nd XI consolidated last year's promotion with a top half finish in Division 3. Also finishing high up were the 3rd XI, and the 4th XI (the Winkers) won both their league and awards for contributions to the hospitality industry.

But the season's highlight had to be the Boys' U17 team (again) who during a heady eight days in late August took their season's silverware tally from one to four. The future remains bright at Sedgefield, who have now won the overall league championship Pallister Cup a remarkable three years running. Individually, William Hampson and Freddie Lower were integral parts of the Durham U16 team which made the national semi-finals, while Jess Weatherspoon also saw her North East Warriors girls’ team reach the same stage.

The club remains open all year round and is available to hire for functions. Members enjoy discounted drinks prices and live televised sport in the clubhouse, which is open to all most evenings.


With the 2023/24 squash season well underway, players of all ages and abilities are enjoying plenty of court time at Sedgefield Squash Club.

The new junior membership and coaching package has had a very positive uptake, and the club is now in a good rhythm with the Saturday morning, and Wednesday and Thursday evening, sessions. There is still capacity if anyone is interested in joining the scheme. The website - - provides details on the strategy, along with contact details.

On the back of the internal building being completely repainted, the two courts are shortly to undergo some essential maintenance and refurbishment work.

This will entail replastering both front walls, relining, sanding floors, and installing a new glass door on Court 2.

This will be carried out during the week commencing 30 October. Once this is completed, the club is going to invest some money in improving the public pathway near to the club building to the same standard as at the top of the pathway from Ceddesfeld Hall.

If you are interested in playing squash, or helping out as a volunteer, please contact