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Young Athletes

Charnwood AC provides an all round introduction to athletics for our young athletes with our coaches taking into account development age, training age and chronological age. It is essential for the longer term development in athletics to have a solid basis in the fundamentals of movement (agility, balance, coordination) and to have an environment where the young athlete can try different events, continue with different sports and not specilaise too early. All abilities are welcome and enjoyment is one of the primary goals.

Training groups

Training at Charnwood starts with our athletics fundamentals group for ages 8 to 11 that trains on a Monday. This group focus on the fundamentals and foundational skills of running, jumping and throwing, and the athlete will not focus on any one in particular at this stage.


This group is often over-subscribed and we run a waiting list. If you want to get on the waiting list or ask further questions then please get in contact with Andy at or through our contact page here.

We like all U11s to spend some time with this fundamentals group. For those children who also just like running, or are doing other sports as well then we offer a middle distance/cross-country group that train on a Monday and Wednesday at the track, or occasionally on grass. Once a fitness base has been established and the athlete is enjoying their training then there are the opportunities to race for the club.

From around school yr 6 (age 11), once the athletes have shown commitment in training and racing then they may progress to an event group training session, more focused on the athletics events available. All athletes have the chance to try different events out and it is still too early to fully specialise in any one discipline. We would encourage athletes to train in more than one event and to continue to try new events as they become available - events such as Discus, Hammer, Pole vault, Steeplechase, 300m/400m, longer hurdles events are only started as the athlete gets older (around U15 / U17 age group).

Charnwood is a fully inclusive club and welcomes a diversity of athletes. We are incredibly proud of the great achievements by our para-athlete members and have a number of World and Olympic champions. In athletics there is an event for everyone so please come and talk to us about what you would like to do.

Kit - what should I wear?

Athletics is a simple sport if you're just running, jumping and throwing; only as the athlete focus on a specific event do they need to consider more specialised equipment.

For training, we ask that all athletes wear clean sports kit with appropriate trainers / footwear and dress for the prevailing conditions - base layers / hoodies / tracksuits / gloves etc are necessary in the winter. The indoor groups will go out onto the track from time to time in the winter so please don't assume it will just be in the warm/dry.


All athletes must wear club colours when competing for Charnwood. This is a T-shirt for U11s competing in Quadkids/Sportshall and the club vest for cross-country / road and track & field competitions. You can also buy Charnwood AC hoodies and training jackets from the clubhouse. Spikes are helpful for competing on the track when it becomes appropriate, and more essential when running cross-country races.

Please ensure that your child brings a drink with them to training and competitions, even in the winter. Water is best.


Competing for the club - Winter


For under 11, under 13 and under 15 athletes and held during the autumn/early winter months, this is an indoor event organised by the Leicestershire Sportshall body. It consists of a series of track & field events adapted for indoor halls. Points are awarded for individual performances and a series of three fixtures produces both an individual Champion and the team Champions.

Based upon their performances, individuals can go on to be selected for their County at track & field and/or Sportshall.


For U11s we have a team that compete in the North Midlands league series of 4 races. In addition those athletes at school in Leicestershire can compete in the excellent series of primary schools races held at Prestwold Hall, ask your school for details as the club does not organise this.

For U13s and U15s we enter road-relay and cross-country teams in county, regional and national events through the season where the athletes will run as a team and individually.

Competing for the club - Summer


A competition for boys and girls over four age groups, from 8 to 11, held during the summer. The Leicestershire & Rutland Quadkids Challenge provides a platform for all young athletes under 12 to compete at a sprint, a throw, a long jump and a middle distance race. Points are awarded for performances and results in an individual Champion and a Champion club.

There are also races as part of the Charnwood AC Open events specifically for the U11s, look out for those on the dates that can be found here.

Youth Development League

A league structure with leagues of six clubs from within the Midlands region at which under 13 and under 15 athletes compete in a full range of track and field events to earn points for their team total which, after four meetings per season, decide the Champions and promotion/relegation.

The U13s age group is for school years 6 & 7 and the U15s for school years 8 & 9.

Athletes are selected by the Team Manager with two athletes required for each event at each of the four groups i.e. under 13 & 15 boys & girls.

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