Congratulations on choosing to take part in training for athletics. We hope you will enjoy your time with us and that you will improve as an athlete and gain confidence through working hard in training. Below is some information which we hope will enable you to get the most out of being part of our club and ensure you know what to expect from us and what we expect from you.

What do we expect from you?

1. Arrive on time to start the warm up, remembering to bring your membership card to be eligible for the reduced admission rates.

2. Appropriate dress. (Don’t forget that sometimes you might arrive when it is quite warm, but as the sun goes down it can get quite cold, so don’t forget to bring warm clothes for the end of the evening).

3. Bring a bottle of water to make sure you have something to drink as it’s important to stay hydrated throughout physical exercise.

4. Let the coaches know if you have any injury or illness that might affect you taking part.

5. Make sure your footwear and clothing is appropriate, and that your clothing is not too loose.

6. Know the track safety rules (below) and stick to them.

7. When the coach is explaining something you should listen to them and make sure you know what you have to do.

8. The harder you work the more you will get out of each session.

9. Don’t use your mobile phone during training sessions, unless there is an emergency.

10. Don’t do anything that might cause possible danger to others. You must not trip, push or deliberately put anyone off from what they are doing.

11. Don’t do anything that might prevent anyone else from enjoying the session. If anyone is found bullying or being unkind to others they will be asked to leave the group.

12. Athletics is ultimately about competition. It is an honour to be selected to represent your club and you should be happy to put your name forward to compete for the club.

13. Most importantly you must have fun!

What can you expect from your club?

1. We will do our very best to stick to the programme planned out, but sometimes things happen that mean we have to change our plans.

2. We will treat everybody fairly and try to make sure everyone has a good time.

3. We will explain what we expect you to do and why.

4. We will encourage you to do your very best.

Track safety rules 

It is important for your safety to stick to the following rules when in the stadium:

1. Always be aware of who is around you on the track. We have some very fast sprinters, so anytime you are training listen out for people shouting ‘TRACK’. If you hear this you need to quickly look and see if you are in someone’s way. If you are, you must get off the track as quickly as you can.

2. Never congregate near the finish line, always leave this area of the track clear.

3. Never walk across the throwing area, always walk behind the direction the athletes are throwing.

4. When jumping be aware of other users of long or high jump.

5. Always follow the instructions of your coach.

Codes of Conduct – Coaches

All of our coaches and officials follow codes of conduct laid down by UK Athletics. View in full HERE.

Essentially they set out rules which we follow to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved with the club. The essence of good ethical conduct and practice is summarised below.

All volunteers will:

  • Consider the well-being and safety of participants before the development of performance
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with participants, based on mutual trust and respect
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part
  • Promote the positive aspects of athletics (e.g. fair play)
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour and appearance
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by the UK Athletics and the club
  • Hold appropriate valid qualifications and insurance cover
  • Never exert undue influence over performers to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibited substances
  • Encourage participants to value their performances and not just results
  • Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour.

Codes of conduct – Athletes

As a responsible athlete you will:

  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete, coach, technical official and others involved in athletics and treat everyone equally
  • Uphold the same values of sportsmanship off the field as you do when engaged in athletics
  • Cooperate fully with others involved in the sport such as coaches, technical officials, team managers, doctors, physiotherapists, sport scientists and representatives of the governing body in the best interests of the yourself and other athletes
  • Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport such as fair play and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age-inappropriate substances
  • Anticipate and be responsible for your own needs including being organised, having the appropriate equipment and being on time
  • Inform your coach of any other coaching that you are seeking or receiving
  • Always thank the coaches and officials who enable you to participate in athletics.

As a responsible athlete, when participating in or attending any athletics activities, including training/coaching sessions and competition events you will:

  • Act with dignity and display courtesy and good manners towards others
  • Avoid swearing and abusive language and irresponsible behaviour including behaviour that is dangerous to yourself or others, acts of violence, bullying, harassment and physical and sexual abuse
  • Challenge inappropriate behaviour and language by others
  • Never engage in any inappropriate or illegal behaviour
  • Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them
  • Not carry or consume alcohol to excess and/or illegal substances
  • Avoid carrying any items that could be dangerous to yourself or others excluding athletics equipment used in the course of your athletics activity.

In addition, athletes, especially young athletes and vulnerable adults, should follow these guidelines on safe participation in athletics

  • Notify a responsible adult if you have to go somewhere (why, where and when you will return)
  • Do not respond if someone seeks private information unrelated to athletics such as personal information, home life information
  • Strictly maintain boundaries between friendship and intimacy with a coach or technical official
  • Never accept lifts in cars or invitations into homes on your own without the prior knowledge and consent of your parent/carer
  • Use safe transport or travel arrangements
  • Report any accidental injury, distress, misunderstanding or misinterpretation to your parents/carers and club Welfare officer as soon as possible
  • Report any suspected misconduct by coaches or other people involved in athletics to the club welfare officer as soon as possible

General information for young athletes

Our coaches will work to help you make the most of your potential, whatever your starting point. Each week we will try to cover skills which are relevant to your development. This is to ensure you have a balance of abilities and don’t just become strong in one area. For example, even if you think you are only going to be a sprinter, many of the skills needed in jumping and throwing help your body develop strengths which help your running. The same is true for almost every event.

At your stage of development you would be expected to develop some of the fundamental skills involved in athletic events, so you will be learning the techniques to achieve the best possible performance. This knowledge will help you in the next stage of your development where you might start to think about focussing on one area of competition.

A Letter to Parents of Young Athletes

Complaints guide for members, athletes and parents/guardians

We hope you will not have cause to complain about your experience with us but we understand that sometimes unfavourable situations can occur. If this is the case please note the procedures below.

Stage 1 (Informal stage) You should contact the club first and discuss your concerns with a relevant committee member or club coach. Most problems can be dealt with successfully and promptly at this stage.

Stage 2 To pursue a complaint at this stage you should make arrangements to meet the chairperson Graham Ashdown. If the chairperson is unable to deal with the complaint straightaway, he/she should be able to tell you what action will be taken. The chairperson should also tell you when and how they will report back to you. If the complaint is not resolved by the chairperson within this stage, the complaint is escalated to stage 3. If your complaint is about the club chairperson you can complain directly, in writing, to the secretary of the South East England Regional Athletics Council.

Stage 3 You should complain formally in writing to the club secretary, who should let you know that they have received your complaint within five working days. The club secretary will then arrange for the committee to come together to conduct an investigation in the manner it sees fit. Where appropriate, England Athletics or UK Athletics will investigate a complaint on behalf of the club and report back.

You will be given the outcome of the investigation, in writing, normally within 14 days of the investigation. The club can choose to identify a specific member of the general committee to act as the contact point for complaints. Normally this would be the club secretary unless they are the involved in the complaint. The elected general committee will be the final arbiter of complaints. An appeal may be made to England Athletics but only on the basis that the club has failed to follow its own procedures, not against its actual decision.

Stage 4 You 
may 
believe 
that 
your 
complaint 
was
 not
 handled
 fairly
 according 
to the 
clubs
 own
 complaints
 procedures.
 In
 this 
case 
you 
can
ask 
England Athletics to investigate by contacting the local co-ordinator: Sarah Gardiner, Club Support Manager (Berkshire, Hampshire & IOW, Oxfordshire, Sussex): Email: sgardiner@englandathletics.org  Mob: 07702 849693