Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Wednesday, 14 July 2010 10:14 UK
Wales' first athletic meet marked
Hafod House. Copyright Hafod Trust
Hafod House was demolished in 1954

The first organised athletics event in Wales was held at the Hafod estate on 27 July 1860.

And to mark the 150th anniversary of this landmark event, the historic estate at Cwmystwyth will host another athletics event on 15 July 2010.

The original event, organised by John Graham Chambers, came to represent the first athletics meeting in the Principality.

Hafod House is now recognised as the cradle of Welsh Athletics.

In this 'meeting' Bob Harrigan, the cricket historian reported in The Welshman that there were foot races on the lawn, and throwing the cricket ball
Clive Williams

The event on Thursday, 15 July 2010 is the brainchild of Dic Evans from Aberystwyth in conjunction with Pontrhydygroes, Ysbyty Ystwyth and Llanafan community forum and Communities First.

Mr Evans said: "I found out that Hafod hosted the first athletics meeting in Wales a few months ago and contacted the forum to try and organise an event to mark the 150th anniversary."

Cricket ball

Amy Pateman of the Pontrhydygroes, Ysbyty Ystwyth and Llanafan community forum, said: "Members of our community had done a sponsored run to raise money for a local who was running the London Marathon.

"We decided that it would be a good idea to set up another event and decided that the Hafod would be the perfect venue once we liaised with Mr Evans."

And while 150 years ago the disciplines included foot races on the lawn and throwing the cricket ball, this time around it will be the turn of fun runs, children's races and an open six mile race, which starts at 1930 BST.

Clive Williams is the editor of The History of Welsh Athletics. In this book, Mr Williams recounts that Llanelli-born John Chambers was the amateur athletics trailblazer in Wales.


Mr Williams said: "He organised a meeting at Aberystwyth on 16 September 1865, which is probably the earliest record of an organised athletics meeting in Wales.

"Chambers however, when just 17-years-old, held some athletics events at Hafod House, his father's home also in Aberystwyth, some five years earlier on 27th July 1860.

"In this 'meeting' Bob Harrigan, the cricket historian reported in The Welshman that there were foot races on the lawn, and throwing the cricket ball.

"Twelve people also competed for prizes over 600 yards after a cricket match between Hafod and Ystrad Meurig."

Hafod House was built in 1786 and rebuilt in 1807 after a fire.

It was demolished in 1954, already in ruins after the last owner left in the 1930s.

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