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Reach for the Stars
by Dave Pearson

Wimborne AC's Pole Vaulting coach Dave Pearson (one of the only Pole Vaulting Coaches in the County) has successfully set up a pole vault bank and the use of the poles is extended to Dorset vaulters.

One of the conditions of use is that all athletes must attend at least one Pole vault event day recognised by the bank. You must be a member of a club that is also a member of the Pole Bank - and there is no charge to use the bank provided the pole borrowed is used to represent that club. Personal membership is available for a very small fee and this enables the use of the pole for weekly training sessions and open meetings.

Pole vault event days will be held through Dorset's clubs throughout the year. For more information contact Dave on 01258 837057.

Affiliated clubs are:
 Dorchester AC
 Weymouth St Paul's AC
 Wimborne AC

Coaching Sessions
18.30 - 21.00

Dave Pearson says - Run faster, jump higher......

A brief history
Using a pole to jump dates back to the 5th century but the aim was to jump for distance (Dyke jumping) - not height as it is now days. As far back as 1834 a paper in the Lake District reported a youth clearing heights of 9 feet using a pole made of ash or hickory. In those days climbing of the pole was permitted but was banned in 1889 in the USA and 1919 in Britain.

Types of poles used:


1900 - 1948

Dominated by American vaulters.
Cornelius 'Dutch' Warmerdam cleared 15ft in 1940.


1948 - 1960

Steel and alloy poles were introduced and the Americans still dominated the scene.
Bob Richards bettered 15ft 140 times and won 2 Olympic gold medals (the only man ever to achieve this).


1948 -

Although the fibreglass pole was introduced in 1948 it never made an impact until the '60s.
The Americans, John Pennel, Fred Hansen and Bob Seagren, all broke the world record.

Types of poles

Training Poles

These are very strong and durable. They recoil more slowly than competition poles giving the athlete more time to create the right body position on the pole. The disadvantage is that they tend to be heavier than the competition poles.

Competition Poles

These poles come in any length and for any weight athlete. They have a soft side to one edge of the pole and come pre-bent with this soft side to the outside of the bend.

Training Tips
Anyone having trouble with an unreliable run up!
Try running drills over sticks spaced out evenly (slightly under stride length at first) over the same length as your run up. These should be done on the track not on the run up!


Contact our Pole Vault Coach