What we offer
When can you join East Grinstead Athletics Club ?
For children in years 4 and 5, we offer an Academy on Saturday mornings that runs from late March / early April until October. As demand can often be quite high, at times we may need to operate a waiting list. If your child or children are interested, get in contact with us and we will add you to a list and at the beginning of the season, we will contact you again with more details and hope to invite your children down. We encourage children to try as many events as possible and build towards a competition in Brighton each June.
You have to be at least in school year 6 before you can train on Tuesday (summertime) or Thursday (all year) nights. Many of our current senior athletes joined the club when they were 11 or 12 – and they went through a gradual introduction to athletics. We believe this is the proper way to introduce athletics to children.
One of the joys of athletics is that, unlike most sports, there is a wide range of activities – sprinting, jumping, throwing, hurdling and running longer distances – that can be tried and enjoyed. And the excitement that can be generated by a relay – perhaps especially in training – has to be seen to be believed. Young athletes, when they join the club, are kept together and will do most of their early training in their own group. They will gradually be introduced to all of the events by the specialist coaches, but we will also ensure they are taught about the importance of warming up, stretching and cooling down. We must also ensure that young children learn the various track and field disciplines so that they can enjoy their athletics in a safe environment. For example we will teach them what they should look out for in crossing a track – if they don’t look then they might find themselves walking into the path of an adult sprinter at full speed. Similarly we will teach them the necessary discipline for the throwing events – it is obvious that ill-disciplined javelin throwing can become extremely dangerous.It is a very important part of our job to teach young athletes to compete and train safely – for both themselves and for all other users of the various facilities. As athletes grow it is inevitable that they will look to specialise in a more limited range of events. They will then pass under the control of one of the club coaches, who will arrange a training programme suited to the talents and ambitions of the athlete. Such training will depend on the amount of time the growing athlete wishes to spend on athletics. Please click here for the membership rates for 2016.
Athletes do not have to pay a fee for competing in any of the league matches. However we will occasionally have to hire a coach to take some of the teams to their matches – in which case we will have to make a charge for those who use the coach. Parents are always welcome to join the athletes on the coaches.
Athletes train in order to compete – and compete at a level that will stretch them. The club competes AS A TEAM in a number of leagues, which have a full range of all the athletic disciplines. Look at the leagues section for more information on the track and field leagues.
Please click here for the details of the leagues we compete in.
We encourage parents to come and watch their sons and daughters competing in the various league matches.
Athletes can also enter championships of their own accord. Look at the championships section for a full run-down.
All athletes will be encouraged to compete in the Sussex or Surrey County Championships. Athletes need to enter these championships in advance. Club coaches and officials will help athletes and parents with completion of the entry forms.
There are also a number of what are called Open Meetings which anybody can enter by paying an entry fee. These meetings are especially important at the beginning of the season.
In addition many athletes still at school will be looking to represent their school, and their district in the County School Championships (normally held on the second Saturday of June). As a club we have no say in who is selected for these championships and athletes should talk to their teachers if they have any queries about these Championships. And a lucky few will be selected to represent their County Schools team in the All-England Schools Championships in July. We keep detailed records of performances during the season. Any performances in Open Meetings should be reported to Lester Medcalf.
The club colours are a blue vest with a single yellow band and blue shorts.
Club sweatshirts and club fleeces are also available – contact Jane Clark if you’re interested in either of these.
When young athletes first start coming to training, we are often asked what they should wear – in particular should they wear spikes? The simple answer is that spikes are not essential for beginners. Good trainers are perfectly adequate to start with, although spikes will always be useful if you represent the club in any of the competitions. There is always a supply of second-hand spikes for sale on training evenings. Such spikes will be perfectly adequate while you are weighing up whether you are going to take athletics reasonably seriously. As important as good footwear for young athletes is the rest of the clothing. Even on the warmest of summer evenings a tracksuit is essential, especially to put on after training has finished. Football shorts and a t-shirt (or a football shirt) are perfectly alright to do the training in. But the item that is all too often forgotten is a waterproof top. For all competitions (which might last many hours) a waterproof is an essential part of the athletes’ equipment – and it should be essential for training as well on all but the most settled of days.