Its origins date back more than half a century but Neuff Athletic Equipment is embracing the age of social media to help the latest generation of athletes
For more than half a century, Neuff has been supplying the nation’s athletes with the very best track and field equipment. The company has become part of the fabric of athletics in Britain. Not only does it sell items and implements to runners, jumpers, throwers and officials but it also prides itself on providing expert advice, too.
“Neuff have been the athletics equipment brand for generations in the UK,” says jumps coach, former athlete and AW contributor John Shepherd.
“Even if you don’t think you know them, you will! For example, just take a look as you walk around any athletics meeting and you’ll see their branded starting block bags.”
The origins of Neuff date back to 1966 when Dr Alan Neuff, a former sprinter, chemistry teacher, AAA senior coach and official, began developing and selling fibreglass vaulting poles in the UK. Such was his drive and passion, the AAA once noted in one of its newsletters that Dr Neuff’s “perseverance and determination helped him surmount all many obstacles”.
In his early years it was commonplace for top athletes like Steve Backley and John Regis to visit Dr Neuff’s home in south-east London, but in the mid-1990s he moved to North Yorkshire. During this time he was a well-known character at dozens of different domestic athletics events. He also took out regular adverts in AW to promote his services.
Sadly he died in 2019 shortly before his 80th birthday but by then the Neuff family had already started plans to hand over the business to his daughter, Sara and her husband Matt. “The company was dad’s passion,” says Sara, “now it’s mine and I will continue to run it with the same ethos he did.”
Late last year AW visited the new Neuff warehouse and headquarters in Ivybridge, Devon. Situated a short distance from Plymouth, it is a small, family-run business but ships throwing implements, hurdles, starting blocks, starter pistols and much more to individuals, schools and clubs in the UK and beyond.
The warehouse is an Aladdin’s cave of track and field equipment and I learned more in the space of one hour from Sara about the size, shape and designs of throws implements and vaulting poles than I have done during my previous 20-odd years writing for AW.
Like many businesses, Neuff has endured its share of challenges in recent years due…