Juniors

The Club has had a junior section since 1974, and since then has trained thousands of local young athletes in every athletic discipline. The club has an inclusive ethos, welcoming athletes of all abilities. We also welcome their parents and carers, who are encouraged to become involved in athletics as helpers, officials, coaches and athletes themselves. We train children from the age of 8 upwards, and introduce them to competition at an appropriate level when they have begun to master the basic athletic disciplines of movement, speed, strength and endurance.

Junior Training

Training takes place Monday and Wednesday evenings, starting at 5.30 and generally finishing just before 8pm. If you are offered a place at the club you will be allocated to a training group whose exact training times will be set by the coach, but it will be within those hours. Most training takes place at Horspath Track, with some additional training for cross country and endurance happening at other locations in Oxford. Training is designed to be fun, and begins with introducing young athletes to the basics of good movement, while also progressively introducing strength and endurance. All athletes will be given an opportunity to learn the elements of running, jumping and throwing, and as they progress through the junior age groups will be given ever-more structured coaching in the various athletic disciplines. Athletes will also be given opportunities to compete, in indoor Sportshall Competitions and outdoor Quadkids Competitions, where they will compete against children of the same age and general ability. Competitions are generally short, and parents are encouraged to support and assist their children to learn about the sport.

At junior training all under 11 athletes must register so that we know who is training each night. There is a training fee for each training session (known as the Track Pass) which must be paid in advance online before you arrive for training.  Parents are encouraged to arrive in plenty of time to enable their children to book in well before training starts, and MUST collect their children promptly at the end of the session. It is not acceptable for coaches to wait around at the end of a session because parents are late arriving.  Parents of under 11 athletes must come to the track collect their children.

Junior training generally continues throughout the year and in all weathers. Please make sure that your child comes properly dressed in warm clothes when the weather is cold – gloves, track suit and hat, and in cool clothes when the weather is warm – shorts and T-shirt. Children should wear trainers on their feet.

On a few occasions each year we cancel training due to extreme weather conditions or due to a shortage of coaches in peak holiday periods. As we are not always able to give distant advance warning of such cancellation parents are advised to regularly check the club website for announcements about last-minute cancellations.

Junior Cross Country training

Training takes place as part of the regular Monday and Wednesday training sessions. There are also Sunday training sessions for those wishing to develop further.

Waiting List 

If your child is aged between 8 and 17 and wishes to join the club, you should apply and we will let you know as soon as possible whether or not we are able to offer a place, and if not, then how long the wait is expected to be. All applications for membership must be made using the JOIN US button on the club website (see below for link). Please do not contact individual team managers, the Chairman, or other members of the committee about membership matters – all applications should go through the membership secretary via the link on the website.

The length of the waiting list changes all the time, and the wait is longer for some age groups than others. We currently have a waiting list for new junior athletes. Waiting times generally depend on the availability of places in appropriate training groups – meaning that waiting times will depend on both age group and specialism. In practice the waiting list only applies to junior athletes but the waiting list may also apply to older joiners, depending on the availability of training places in their chosen training group.

If you wish your child’s name to be added to the waiting list, contact us and at the same time think about whether you can fit athletics around your other existing commitments. We find that a lot of people contact us before considering whether they can fit into our training schedule, and then find that the sport is not quite what they wanted. To encourage members who want to develop athletics as their main sport we have also adopted membership criteria which emphasise willingness to train and compete. If your child wishes to become a member of the club, please read the Membership criteria carefully, so that you understand what membership entails.

When you are ready, either submit the “JOIN US” form or e-mail your child’s name, date of birth and contact details to the Membership Secretary, Juliet Bennett – juliet_bennett@hotmail.co.uk.

Junior Membership

The club offers two classes of JUNIOR membership:

First Claim Junior Club Membership open to 8-17 year olds, which entitling the member to compete for the club in an OCAC club vest, but not to take part in coaching sessions.

First Claim Junior Club Training Membership, open to 8-17 year olds, entitling the member to compete for the club in an OCAC club vest, and also to take part in coaching sessions led by OCAC coaches.

Membership Criteria

As places in our coaching groups are limited, and subject to a waiting list, we have criteria for determining who is entitled to receive coaching. In order to keep the waiting list to a minimum and to encourage greater commitment from both athletes and parents, the following criteria apply. Please read the following membership criteria for Junior members before applying for membership:

  1. New and on-going membership is a commitment to represent Oxford City Athletic Club in competition, and athletes will make themselves available to compete if selected.
  2. Junior Club Training Members whose participation in competition for which they have been selected falls below 75% in any one season will have their Club Training membership converted to Club Membership, unless valid and acceptable prior notice of such absence from competition had been provided either to their coach or to a team manager (for instance due to prolonged injury or absence from the country).
  3. Junior Club Training Members who miss four consecutive training sessions or whose attendance over any rolling three month period is less than 50% will be liable to have their Club Training Membership converted to a Club Membership – unless valid and acceptable notice of such absences has been provided (eg due to prolonged injury or absence from the country).
  4. Juniors on the waiting list whose parents/guardians are suitably qualified and willing to assist in the running of the club, particularly in an officiating or coaching role, will be given priority.

Potential new training members will be invited to attend training, and we recommend that they train for up to a month before applying for full membership. Please do not just turn up and expect to be incorporated into a training group – you will be invited for a trial as soon as a space becomes available. After attending trial sessions prospective members will be required to pay the annual membership fee.

Training Fees

Single session training fees are currently:

Members – £3.00

Non-Members  – 4.00

We also have a range of monthly and yearly passes available for members, non-members and families.

Membership Applications and Renewals

The Club subscription year is from March 1st to February 28th annually. New members joining after 31st December will pay a reduced amount.

Transition from Junior to Senior Coaching Groups

Juniors over the age of 17 will normally be expected to transition from Junior (Monday/Wednesday) to Senior (Tuesday/Thursday) training nights at the start of Winter training following their second year as an under 17 boy or girl.  This provides a clear transition point for junior athletes.

Coaches

The core junior coaching team comprises Elton Jones, John Charlton, Bryan Walker, Wendy Fowler, Ashley Barton, Richard Hart, Mark Bristow, Jen Cotterill, Mark Pitt, Agnes Ligeti-Pretorious, Emma Kentish, Laura Hutton, Mel Lewis and Gareth Davies.

Junior Information Booklet

For new athletes, parents and guardians we produce a booklet which gives you all the information you can find on this website, and which will guide you through from getting started in athletics to competing. It also covers all the opportunities for parents to volunteer: information pack_v4

Track Rules

Please see the attached PDF: OCAC Track Rules

Competition Guide

Please see the attached PDF for what happens in competitions, and the basic competition rules: competitions march2014

Quadkids

QuadKids Clubs promotes competition in athletics clubs throughout England with inter and intra club competitions and athletic network leagues and events. Targeting under 9 and under 11 age groups this is a perfect stepping stone encompassing all the key aspects of athletics; endurance, speed, agility and strength.

This is the link to the quadkids website for more information: http://www.quadkids.org/

 Athletics 365

Athletics 365 forms the basis for junior training. It is a multi-event, young people development programme, which introduces athletes to the fundamental skills of athletics (vital to every sport). It is aimed predominantly at 8-15 year olds, but the resources can easily be adapted for use with younger athletes.

Click here for more information: http://Athletics 365

Sportshall

Sportshall enables year round athletics for all juniors.

The Oxfordshire Sportshall League allows junior athletes to maintain a focus throughout the winter, whilst also building the fun and competitive spirit vital for a young sportsperson’s development. In Oxfordshire this league forms the basis of selection for the regional rounds UK Championships. There are normally 5 matches each winter at various indoor locations throughout Oxfordshire. Please speak to one of the junior coaches for more information.

Click here for more information on Sportshall athletics: http://www.sportshall.org/

Opportunities to Compete for the Club in League Fixtures

All club members are expected to compete throughout the season if asked by team managers. Team managers are listed on the ‘Contact Us’ part of the website. If you wish your child to compete for the club then please contact the relevant Team Manager and tell them about your child and what events he or she would ideally like to take part in – which matches, and which individual events. Team Managers are encouraged to make contact with all parents and children, but remember Team Managers are also volunteers, and may doing other things besides Team Managing, so please help them by responding promptly to their communications and keep them up-to-date with your child’s availability.

You can also fill in an availability form which you can hand in at the tea bar; this will be passed to the relevant team manager.

See the fixtures page for a complete listing of Fixtures for the forthcoming season; this fixture list is kept continuously up to date.

 5 Star and 10 Step Competition

This is OCAC’s annual competition for all children aged 7 to 15. Entry forms enabling online entry are usually available in February annually.

Open Competitions

If your child is old enough they may be eligible to take part in Open Competitions (our own Open Graded Meetings are open to under 13s but not under 11s or under 9s). Look at our website for information about other clubs’ open competitions. You can also find information about Open Competitions on the Power of 10 website.

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