An athletics club in Winchester known as Winchester Harriers closed down at the start of the Second World War and was replaced by Winchester Athletics Club in 1952 (but this too subsequently closed down). The present day athletics club known as WADAC was formed in 1976.
In 1975 our founding member and first Chairman, John Miller, was asked by his 11-year-old daughter, Lynda, to take part in a Junior Rotary Club run at River Park to raise money to start an athletics club in Winchester. They were the only ones that turned up to run with Captain Jim Fox, the National Modern Pentathlon Champion. Jim Fox went on to win the Olympic Individual and Team Gold in 1976.
The chairman of WSC, John Broadway, was instrumental in calling a meeting of all interested parties about setting up the club. WADAC was subsequently born in 1976 and John arranged our headquarters at the North Walls Leisure Centre.
Organised training venues were initially taking place at Montgomery of Alamein School on an undulating grass track and using a jumping pit, 4 hurdles and some throwing implements. Circuits took place at Henry Beaufort School and runners did hills at Farley Mount.
Despite the limited facilities, by 1979 we had seven county champions including Lynda Miller who became the junior discus champion.
By 1982 we had in excess of 300 members, which was double the number we had in 1979.
In 1982 the club suggested and promoted the Winchester Mayor’s Marathon and Half Marathon, the first of its kind in Hampshire, which resulted in two other road running clubs being formed in Winchester. It was to be the start of the boom in road running.
An agreement between Winchester City Council and Winchester University was signed to build the track in Winchester. The track opened and was available for use in 2008, although the official opening was in 2009. This marked a significant shift in the club's fortunes with our ability to attract and retain athletes improved and the performances of our teams going from strength to strength. Thank you to all those involved in persuading the relevant organisations to fund the track including Michaela McCallum, Nick Anderson, and John Miller to name but a few and for those who helped raise over £22,000 to contribute to the cost of the track.
In 2018, the club became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and today has around 950 members, around 50 coaches and assistant coaches and 35 officials or trainee officials. It is now one of the largest athletics clubs in England.