Watt is Athletics?

Before the revival of the Summer Olympic games in 1896, the first ever recorded Olympics took place in 776BC, athletics was one of the only events alongside boxing and wrestling to not be discontinued and continue as a sport through to the modern Olympics. Running and sprinting are the oldest sports in history with depictions found in caves from around 15,300 years ago.

Athletics has always been a popular sport and still is today and so we welcome you to our club, whether you are already a club runner or just looking to improve your fitness we have something here for you. From sprinting to long distance running and throwing and jumping you’ll find a place at Heriot-Watt Athletics club.

Our club caters for a wide range of competitions including cross country, track and field, road and hill running, and orienteering. Along with our large range of competitions and training we have to offer we also organise a range of different social events throughout the year which gives members the chance to get to know everyone in the club.

With the addition of a Strength and Conditioning session going into the new academic year we want athletes to have the opportunity to further develop their athletic skills, or for new runners to gain a greater interest for this sport!


Our club competes in a large range of different competitions suited for all levels of athletes including SSS, BUCS, and Scottish Athletics races to local races and parkruns. Our club will cover costs for SSS and BUCS races throughout the year and will help with the entry process for any other race.

Throughout the winter months we mainly compete in cross country and indoor track and field but as we get to the end of semester 2 there are many more opportunities to compete in road races, outdoor track and field, and hill races.

We also host Round the Grounds on our campus as one of the events making up the SSS winter series, this is a great opportunity for any keen members to learn what goes into setting up and organising a running event.


Our club trains up to six times a week, and we offer a variety of different sessions including:

  • Strength and Conditioning – Monday (Oriam) – this session will be run by a strength and conditioning coach at the Oriam fitness suite
  • Campus Run – Tuesday (Heriot-Watt Campus) – led by members of the committee, this is a great session to get the chance to explore our campus and surrounding areas and get to socialise with members of the club
  • Track and Field Session – Wednesday (Saughton Sports Complex)
  • Recover/Cross Training Session – Friday (Oriam) – led by members of our committee
  • Hills and Interval Session – Friday (Saughton) – led by our club captains
  • Long Run – Sunday (Variety of locations) – Edinburgh offers many beautiful routes, and this is a great chance to explore some more of the surrounding area


Endurance coach – Mhairi MacLennan

Mhairi has won the Scottish cross-country championships three times and has previously competed for Britain in the European cross-country championships.

Sprints coach – Sarah Duff

Sarah is a Level 1 coach with 6 years of coaching experience and is currently working towards her full coaching qualification. Has previously represented Scotland in the U20s Manchester International and came third at the Scottish U20 championships.

Committee 23/24

Our committee for 2023/24 is made up of ten members:

President – Sarah Duff

Captain – Fraser Holman

Endurance Captain – James Clarke

Sprints Captain – Morven Thomson

Treasurer – Ali Armstrong

Wellbeing Officer – James Badenoch

Social Secretary – Kirsten Leeper

Fundraiser – Sandu Ranasinghe

Alumni and Club Development Officer – Harry Kirk

Tour Secretary – Alex Dent


Keep an eye on our socials to see up to date information on our club:

Instagram: hwuathletes

Tiktok: Hwuathletes

Facebook Group: Heriot-Watt Athletics Club – Members