Juniors – A Club Strategy

Lothian Running Club Junior Strategy – September 2020

What

This document is the strategy for club members, parents and all individuals interested and involved in Lothian Running Club’s approach to junior involvement, training, coaching and competition

Why

To refocus and define the role of the club in providing a safe, positive environment that allows young people the opportunity to learn about the sport of athletics and develop fitness and self confidence through participation in groups, training and competition.

When

The club will offer a minimum weekly one hour session exclusively for young athletes. In addition, membership of the club will provide entry into local and national competition as desired. This should be across the range of the sport – including, track, jumps, throws, road racing, cross country etc. Sessions will be all year round and normally held at the track area of Craigswood Sports Centre  – 18:45 assembly for a 19:00 start.

How

Sessions are to be introduced that are junior exclusive and allow focus on full participation and junior development. In practice that means a session held at Craigswood on a different night from seniors and adults. Not sharing with seniors reduces congestion on the track and in the field, increases safety and security for the young people involved, and demonstrates a commitment by the coaches, athletes and parent/guardians to the junior section.

Strength and conditioning training can be combined with the fundamentals of athletics – running/jumping/throwing – to develop athletes more roundly and offer choice and preference in events.

Coaching will be mindful of the needs of young adults at differing crucial physical development and maturity stages and also mindful of stresses and challenges juniors experience growing up – with family units, relationships, schools, exams etc.

Parent/guardians bringing juniors to training will be encouraged – usually by a rota arrangement – to actively help and be involved in sessions under guidance from coaches.

Participants will be encouraged to compete for the club   – in teams or individually – in local and national competitions.

Training and coaching will be athlete centred – dictated by the wishes and capabilities of the individual athlete. Session drills, games, exercises and competitions will be designed to allow all to compete if they choose to without feeling forced to or intimidated by others. Coaches will be Scottish Athletics trained and qualified – all coaches and assistants will have the appropriate certificate clearance to work with young people – as defined in Club policy.

Participants are expected to behave in a  way that does not interfere with or spoil the participation and enjoyment of the rest of the group and a collective club spirit and loyalty will be the aim overall.

Aggressive or bullying behaviour, of any type, will not be tolerated.

 

Where

The club’s track location is at Craigswood Sports Centre, Livingston which allows specific sessions across the range of athletic events in a safe controlled environment with appropriate equipment and facilities. The Club also offers training sessions across different places in the Livingston area generally aimed at road running or cross country. These are principally attended by seniors but offer an opportunity for more mature experience for developing junior athletes – supported and guided by coaches.

Who

Juniors are broadly defined as club members aged between 8 and 17. Potential new members can attend for 2-3 sessions to see if it is something they want to be part of – if so,  they would be expected to join Lothian Running Club – as individuals or as part of a Family Group membership. Individual sessions are charged – currently £2.00 each person – preferably in advance when booking a slot.

Juniors aged 8 –11 and then 12-14 would be coached and supervised ideally as separate  groups sharing a same area and activities. (In practice this is dictated by weekly availability of coaches and adult volunteers).

From around age 13 onwards individuals may begin to want to specialise in a particular discipline or disciplines within athletics and the club will strive to support that by coaching and facilities.

 

Martin Leadbetter

Coaching Co-ordinator

September 2020