New to athletics? – A beginners guide

New to Athletics?  Read our handy guide below for everything that you need to know!

We are delighted that you are showing an interest in Yate and District Athletic Club. A warm welcome awaits you!

The club is run by a wonderful group of volunteers who fulfil a huge variety of roles such as committee members, coaches, officials, team managers and general helping around the site/club house etc.

We have approx. 200 members of all ages, as well as many younger children who come along ‘just for fun’, and lots of parents who, although are not official members, are very much part of the club.

We have approx. 20 experienced and dedicated coaches and many of our teenage athletes also help out with the younger ones.

We welcome athletes of all ages and abilities – no experience necessary!
Our home track is at Yate Outdoor Sports Complex. When completed it will be the best outdoor Track & Field facility in the South West.
Our website  is full of information and is updated regularly, as are our social media pages, and we endeavour to keep club members up to date with latest news and athletic information. After you have read the following information please take a browse around our website which should contain all that you need to know as you begin your athletics journey. And if not, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

TRAINING

Junior Academy 
The ideal place to begin your athletics training is at our Junior Academy. These training sessions take place on:
• Tuesdays 6-7pm
• Wednesdays 6-7pm and 7-8pm
• Thursdays 6-7pm
• Saturdays 10-11am
Junior Academy sessions are aimed at athletes aged 6 to 16 years and are run on a pay as you go basis at £3 per evening, with no need to pre or block book. Following a joint warm up we split out into age groups for coaching in that evening’s activity, which varies from week to week – so that we can cover a broad range of athletic skills.

Club Training Sessions
Once you’ve got the hang of it at our Academy Training you may wish to progress to specialist training on a Club Night. These sessions are for athletes aged 13 years (younger athletes by arrangement) through to Masters, and take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7pm – 8:30pm, as well as Saturdays from 11am – 12.30pm. At these session athletes train in event specific groups with a specialist coach. The cost is £2 per session.
See the coaching timetable here: https://yateac.co.uk/coaching-timetable/

Masters Training Sessions
For athletes over 35 years we run friendly Masters Training Sessions for every level of ability, where the emphasis is on fun! Training in a group, we rotate through most of the athletic disciplines. Beginners welcome. See more here: https://yateac.co.uk/masters/

MEMBERSHIP

If you would like to take part in athletics competitions, then you will need to become a member of an athletic club. By joining a club you will automatically be registered with England Athletics and receive a Unique Reference Number (URN).

All athletes in school years 6 or over must have an URN in order to compete.

Membership costs £30 for the year (£10 for school years 4 and 5). Renewals are £20.

You will receive a Yate AC membership booklet that explains all the info contained here in more detail, and a Yate vest. For all the info about our membership go to https://yateac.co.uk/membership/

POWER OF 10

The Power of 10 is UK Athletics’ national record of athletic performances. If you want to take part in competitions, then you will want to set up a profile on this website.

The results of all competitions that you take part in will be logged onto your profile, and you can also see how you rank nationally and regionally in your age group.

Yate team managers will look at the Power of 10 as they select athletes for our team competitions (see info below).

Take a look here: https://www.thepowerof10.info/.

COMPETITION

We are a competitive club and take part in several athletics leagues, as well as support individual athletes in their own competitive journey.
Athletes compete in the following age groups:
 U11 (School years 4 and 5)
 U13 (School years 6 and 7)
 U15 (School years 8 and 9)
 U17 (School years 10 and 11)
 U20 (School years 12 and 13, plus athletes still 19 on 31/12/19)
 U23
 Senior
 Masters (over 35 years)

Athletics rules state that athletes in U17 age group and below can only take part in three events, plus a relay, at a competition (unless it is a combined events competition, e.g. pentathlon). You will be given a number to pin onto the front and back of your top, so a supply of safety pins is a must!

We have a comprehensive fixture list of all types of competition on our website here: https://yateac.co.uk/fixtures-2/

Open Competitions
The best place to start in competitive athletics is to go along to an ‘open’ competition. In these competitions you enter yourself into the events that you choose, and you can compete wearing your Yate vest. There will be an entry fee and usually you have to enter in advance. There are lots of local open competitions and you will most likely come across another Yate athlete out and about!

Yate Team Competitions
As a club we compete as a team in several leagues, both local and national, and we are at an excellent standard of competition… we aim to win!

This is a fun and supportive way to take part in competition, with great team spirit! Athletes are selected for the team by our Yate team managers, who provide all information, and offer support and encouragement on the day.

There are opportunities to be part of a Yate team for all ages and all abilities.

  • Avon Track & Field League (includes QuadKids) – all age groups
  • Lower Age Group Youth Development League (YDL) – U15 & U15
  • Upper Age Group Youth Development League (YDL) – U17 & U20
  • Midland League – Senior competition, although U17 upwards are eligible.

Team managers will look at Power of 10 to see what experience you have had in competitions, what your preferred events are and what standard you are at. If you want to be part of a Yate team please do make yourself know to the relevant team managers. All the details here: https://yateac.co.uk/competition/

County, Regional and National Championships
There are County, Regional and National Championships held across the season. The championships that you enter will depend on your residential or birth eligibility. Most of our athletes are either in the athletics counties of Avon or Gloucestershire. For the regional competitions we are in the Midlands region. For some of the higher championships there are entry standards that you must have obtained to take part. More info here: https://yateac.co.uk/championships/
Also look at the following websites:
 Avon Athletics Association: www.avon-aa.org.uk
 Gloucestershire Athletics Association https://www.athletics4u.co.uk/
 Midland Counties Athletics Association http://midlandathletics.org.uk/

Schools Competitions
The schools athletics competitions are run a bit differently, with opportunities mainly available for young people in school years 8 to 13. (There are a few opportunities for year 7 as well). School competitions start with your school PE teacher taking you to the district trials. There are then county trials – in this instance your county depends on which school you go to. For most of our athletes this is Avon (see the Avon Schools Athletics Association website here: https://www.avonschoolsathletics.org.uk/), but we also have athletes in the Gloucester and Wiltshire counties. Schools competitions progress to regional and national championships and teams for these events are selected by the relevant county schools athletics association. For more info go to https://yateac.co.uk/schools/

CONTACT

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help and support your athletics experience in any way that we can.
You can chat with your coach during training or email using the contact form on the website here: https://yateac.co.uk/contact-us/. Alternatively contact us through Facebook messenger. Contact details for specific coaches and committee members are also on the website.