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Thread: Starting a junior section

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Starting a junior section

    Our established fell running club is looking to start a junior section. We are still at the very early stages but thought it might be useful to call upon the experiences and wisdom of those that have been there and done it.

    We have enough adults committed to make a training night work. We were mostly wondering about:

    Qualifications of coaches. Apparently we need the level 3 award or the new 'Athletics Coach Award'. Would everyone involved need this? Is it a requirement for insurance? Is there an FRA junior coaching badge that would be more appropriate for us? Ive heard about waiting lists - does it take a while to get qualified? It was our hope to be up and at it by Summer.

    Ratios of children:adults for sessions. What would the requirement be?

    Insurance: I assume it would be through UK Athletics - would our affiliation costs rise if we have a junior section?

    CRB checks: Would those of us already CRB checked need new checks?

    Races: If we want to tag junior races onto our established senior races do we have to register the races again or can we just do it?

    Anything we haven't thought of?

    I know the answers to these questions are out there and we are looking into them but I'd love to hear of the experiences of those that have done it already.


  2. #2

    Re: Starting a junior section

    I coach at KCAC. Answers to your questions vary!!
    WE have approx 10 adults involved with at least 6 are there every week. The general way of working for us is to have a little group (approx up to 10yrs old) and then an older group. Our club is lucky in that we are based at a school with sports hall and track (soon to re-open)

    Re qualifications, I think only 1 is level 3 standard, others are level 1 or none (I'm at Leadership in running fitness standard). I would think that the dreaded CRB is needed though.

    Insurance wise and race wise others are better than me, for races, ask Brett (from this forum).

    Numbers wise, we got silly last year where we were getting 90 kids down, it got too many and thankfully we are ususally about 30-40.

    Personally speaking I thoroughly enjoy the coaching and seeing them in races is a good feeling. We run a club championship for juniors covering 14 races and get quite a few get pretty competitive doing 10+ races (look on KCAC website). There are ways in which the club could improve but as coaches we all acknowledge that and talk to each other to try to make it happen.

    Good lcuk

  3. #3
    Senior Member wycoller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Starting a junior section

    It's quite a serious undertaking opening a junior section and will change the nature of the Club. Are you sure that there isn't another club that you could link up with?

    There is no absolute obligation to have qualified coaches but if you don't then the coach isn't insured and I'd guess that a parent may also be able to make a claim against the Club. In the old scheme you have to be level 2 or above to coach in your own right. Level 1s can coach but only under supervision of level 2 or above. Unqualified people could act as safety cover on a road run for instance but shouldn't be providing coaching. Just need to check the new coaching scheme online - it is very clear when you can coach in your own right.

    Ratios depend on your own risk assessment. Obviously you would want more for a road run than a track session, also depends on ages.

    CRB essential but nowadays is tied to coaching licences anyway. Don't forget that coaches should also have the minimum operating standards courses of which safeguarding children is top of the list. You also need child welfare officer etc.

    I could go on but really you should aim for ClubMark which is quite demanding.

    Hope this is useful.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fat Bloke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Leyburn, North Yorkshire

    Re: Starting a junior section

    There's a shed load of info on the UKA site (I think it's the UKA site, anyway...)

    Our club has looked at it a couple of times in the last few years but shied away because of the amount of work involved (we'd had one years previously but it folded due to lack of adult support).

    The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak...

    Tony Vardy

  5. #5
    Master Witton Park's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Re: Starting a junior section

    To be honest - we've done the work as have many other clubs. What Wycoller advises is correct - by the book as you might say - but you get little thanks for it from UKA, EA, the Schools - just a load more BS to contend with.

    There's plenty of clubs out there coaching without the necessary paperwork to back it up - it really depends on what the long term goals are and as Wycoller said, you may be able to partner up with a club that has done the paperwork so can provide an "umbrella" for you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: Starting a junior section

    Thanks for the replies. Our club Ambleside is quite a small and proudly informal fell only club. The idea with starting a junior section would be to provide local kids with something exciting to do. We also have some great races that would be ideal to tag some junior races on to. Maybe in a few years there may be some younger blood in the club to feed into senior ranks but thats not a driving factor right now. Lots of us have kids and we are sure there is demand in the area for something like this.

    Personally speaking, having trained with Helm Hill, I've been so impressed with what they've got going on for juniors in Kendal. They've got scores of kids up there in organised training groups and I think Im right in saying that demand is beginning to outstrip supply! Helm Hill are the only fell running option for juniors in the central Lakes and it feels like the right time to provide something for those more local to us in Ambleside.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LissaJous's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Mid Wales

    Re: Starting a junior section

    Hi, I'm a level 2 coach having completed the FMR2 course (Fell & Mountain Running), and I help with our juniors at Todmorden. It's a good idea to get in touch with Graeme Woodward (FRA coaching coordinator) about coaching courses and general advice. Also, you should find out (ask Graeme!) if there's an Athletics Development Group in your area as they may be able to help financially to cover the costs of coaching courses (which go up every year at the moment!), or provide other support (including outside coaches), and activities linked to other clubs.

    For the next FMR2 course you will need to have completed a level 1 beforehand (Leadership course or whatever they call it now).

    Running a group doesn't require a vast amount of adults, but more if you run out onto the fells rather than staying at a fixed location.

    CRB checks have to go through UKA even if you already have other CRB checks. And this should apply to non-qualified helpers as well. However, they are free for voluntary workers.

    Hope that helps, I'm posting mainly to mention Graeme Woodward and Athletics Development Groups.

  8. #8
    Senior Member FellJunior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: Starting a junior section

    Check out how Broughton Runners got established and operate their junior section.
    Going downhill fast - until I fell over

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    CRB is now DBS - Disclosure and Barring Service. I discovered recently that mine should have been redone almost a year ago - UKA are meant to send out reminder emails and they claim they did but they are very distinctive and their purpose is 100% clear and I am as sure as I can be that I did not receive them. Be aware!

  10. #10
    Master Martyn P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    North Yorkshire
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    CRB is now DBS - Disclosure and Barring Service. I discovered recently that mine should have been redone almost a year ago - UKA are meant to send out reminder emails and they claim they did but they are very distinctive and their purpose is 100% clear and I am as sure as I can be that I did not receive them. Be aware!
    Perhaps you were unlucky. UKA sent me an email, I got it, the purpose was 100% clear and I renewed it. I will be taking a juniors training session next week

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