These are multi-event groups for school years 6 to 9.
England Athletics encourage junior athletes to maintain a multi-event approach. There are two multi-event groups; the U13s Academy and the Junior Athletics Group for U13s and U15s. Further details are given below.
The U13s Academy is part of WADAC’s long term track and field strategy to encourage young athletes to stay in the sport, to have fun and be the best athletes that they can be.
It is built on the best practice pathway for athletics development of allowing young athletes to run, jump, hurdle and throw for as long as possible with a view to moving into a specific event later on.
The Academy runs from 5.30-7.00pm every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year (including during most holidays).
The group is led by Andy Fisher, who started a similar academy at another club 8 years ago and this academy produced no fewer than 5 English Schools internationals, 2 GB junior internationals, and dozens of young athletes who won medals at national and regional championships in hurdling, jumping, throwing and combined events. The club was also crowned national YDL champions in 2016.
The coaching team at the Academy will include some of these young athletes who will act as mentors and role models to the U13 athletes. These mentoring athletes will be paid a small amount in recognition that their own training programmes do not allow them to get part-time jobs in the same way that their non-athlete friends can. To facilitate this payment, there is a training fee of £10 per month for once a week or £20 per month for twice a week. This equates to £2.50 per training session of 90 minutes.
Junior Athletics Group (U13s and U15s)
This is a multi-event group which runs from 5.30 to 7.00pm on Wednesdays during term time. As the group is run by busy volunteers we only have limited capacity for no more than 30 athletes.
The athletes will train in all the different disciplines (e.g. running, hurdling, throwing and jumping), but there will be more of a focus on sprinting and hurdles. Athletes are expected to compete for the club at least five times per year to maintain their place in the group. Good attendance is also required as we have waiting lists for athletes wanting to join the group.
Some parents have asked what the differences are between the U13s Academy and the Junior Athletics Group (which is available to U13 athletes free of charge, subject to the limit on places). Whilst the training is similar, the U13s Academy does differ to the Junior Athletics Group in the following ways:
- U13s Academy trains twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) whereas the Junior Athletics Group trains only on Wednesdays;
- U13s Academy trains throughout the year, and the Junior Athletics Group breaks for school holidays;
- The athletes in the U13s Academy benefit from having successful older junior athletes acting as role models;
- Smaller sub-groups operate in the U13s Academy than the Junior Athletics Group, due to having more help and support on the coaching side; and
- U13s Academy has far more places available for athletes than the Junior Athletics Group.