There are a wide variety of track and field coaching sessions for young athletes.

Note: there is a charge for using the track. Visit the Tilsley Park website for details.

Development pathway and stages of training

At the younger age groups, athletes have the opportunity to try a range of different activities and events. The key aims of training at this stage are:

  • FUNdamentals: to learn fundamental movement and sport skills, doing so through a variety of games and activities
  • Transition Group: learning to train - building fitness and having the opportunity to try a range of different events to hone specific sport/event skills

As athletes develop and get older, they will then move on to event specific groups where they begin to specialise in one or two areas with the key aims of training then being:

  • training to compete: to refine skills for a specific event or position
  • training to win: to maximise performance in competition.

Movement between groups

Movement of athletes between our groups is done on a developmental basis, not purely on chronological age (although that is one of a number of factors considered). Everyone develops differently and as such we want to make sure each athlete is in the right group for their stage of development. Athletes move between groups at a time that is right for them, based on a number of factors including (but not exclusive to): training experience, skills development, physical development, commitment to training/competition and peer group considerations.

We believe it is important not specialise in just one event too early - research suggests that doing a broad range of events/sports when younger best develops athletes for future success, hence we ensure all younger athletes have the opportunity to try a bit of everything!

Training groups for younger athletes

FUNdamentals - Tim Hampson and Serge Convers-Reignier

Assistant Coaches: Martin Barrett, Fiona Betts and Paul Goddard.

Tuesday and Thursday at Tilsley Park track at 6.45 – 8.00pm

Transition - Jason Bruce

Assisted by Dave Bedlington, Josie Brown, Luke McNeill and Adrian Shepherd.

Tuesday and Thursday at Tilsley Park track at 6.45 – 8.00pm

The FUNdamentals group predominantly trains U9 and U11 athletes, with athletes usually moving up to the Transition group sometime near the end of the U11 age group or the start of the U13 age group. Athletes will then train with the Transition group until they are ready to move up to the event specific groups, based on the factors described in the development pathway section. This can be anywhere between the end of the U13 age group to sometime during U15 age group.

Event-specific groups

Endurance - Bernard Wilkins

With Sarah Davey, Jon Bones, Gina Lodowski, Sarah Lackman and Liz Purbrick.

Tuesday and Thursday at Tilsley Park track at 6.45 – 8.00pm

Find out more about the Endurance group.

Sprints - Colin Mitchell 

With Charlotte Salt

Tuesday and Thursday at Tilsley Park track at 6.30 – 8.00pm

Find out more about Sprints squad.

400/800m - Sarah Davey

Specific training for athletes in the U17 age group and above. Those younger athletes who compete in the 300m or 800m will work on development for those events in the sprints or endurance group respectively, then can transition into this group as they reach U17s.

Winter: Tuesday at Tilsley Park track at 6.30 - 8.00pm, Thursday with endurance/sprint group depending on event focus (talk to Sarah about Thursdays)

Summer: Tuesdays and Thursday at Tilsley Park track at 6.30 - 8.00pm


Hurdles sessions usually run on Fridays, with the rest of training being done with the sprints group on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Exact timings of the sessions are affected by track availability so are arranged via contact from Stef. 


Jumps coaches: Nikki Gregory, Luke Chown (assisted by Marc Juffkins)

Most jumps athletes do their core training in the sprints group and jumps sessions are arranged on a regular basis from there. 

Throws coaches: Steve Pomeroy, Ron Jones (assisted by Marc Juffkins)

Throws training occurs regularly throughout the year but not in a regular pattern of days. 

Pole vault

There is a group that trains on an ad hoc basis, with regular sessions during the summer months. These are arranged via a closed Facebook group - if you would be interested in joining the group contact Pete Stepney.


All coaches are qualified England Athletics coaches and as part of this process all coaches undergo DBS checks. Luke Chown, our coaching coordinator, is always happy to talk to anyone interested in helping out at the club, with maybe the intention of working towards a coaching qualification. 


Athletes of all ages are encouraged to compete - it is fun and beneficial to go out and put into practise what they have learnt at training, as well as developing more general skills such as improving self-confidence and managing nerves.

There are a wide range of different competitions to take part in, from representing the club in track and field leagues, to open meetings where you enter individually to run against people of a similar ability, in addition to championships where medals are on offer. See the young athlete leagues page for more details about competitions.

In the winter there is also the option to do cross country or for U15s and below indoors at Sportshall.

Event specific groups are competition level and there is an expectation that the athletes will take part in minimum number of competitions each season (usually 4) to retain their place in the group. Coaches will help guide athletes about suitable competitions to take part in, especially helping those who are new and perhaps nervous about competing to start at the right level.


The Young Athlete Membership Secretary will help you with any queries you have related to becoming a junior member.