These are multi event groups for school years 6 and 7, although occasionally school year 8 children will be allowed to join.
u13 athletes have the option to choose from two multi-event groups; the u13 Academy and the Development Group. Further details are given below.
The u13 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 at the track from 5.30-7pm every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the year (including during 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 school 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 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 their friends can. To facilitate this payment, there is a training fee of £10 per month for once a week or £20 a month for twice a week. This equates to £2.50 per training session of 90 minutes.
This is a multi event group which runs from 6.30 to 8pm at the track on Wednesdays during term time. As the group is run by busy volunteers we only have limited capacity for no more than 35 athletes.
The athletes will train in all the different disciplines (eg running, hurdling, throwing and jumping) and 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 difference are between the u13 Academy and the Development Group (which is also available to u13 athletes free of charge subject to places). Whilst the training is similar, the u13 Academy does differ to the Development Group in the following ways:
- u13 Academy trains twice a week (Tuesday and Thursdays) whereas the Development Group trains only on Wednesday;
- u13 Academy trains throughout the year, and the Development Group breaks for school holidays;
- The athletes in the u13 Academy benefit from having successful junior athletes acting as role models;
- Smaller groups operate in the u13 Academy than the Development Group due to having more help and support on the coaching side; and
- u13 Academy has far more places for athletes than the Development Group.