About the Club
Bracknell Athletic Club dates back to 1953. Over the past 60 plus years, we have developed athletes across the track and field spectrum; some of whom have competed at Olympic, World, Commonwealth, European and National level and many at Regional and County level.
We provide training and competition opportunities for athletes age 8 and upwards.
Athletics is a late development sport. Many of our national champions joined the club at an early age and competed in a variety of disciplines before discovering the event they excelled at. We aspire to provide all our young athletes with as much variety and opportunity as possible.
The club is self financing and run by volunteers.
We are always in search of help, either to coach, officiate or manage. Most of our help is provided by parents, some of whom have gone on to officiate at higher level events, including the Olympic Games!
The youngest athletes enter the club in the Development Group where they follow the England Athletics 365 programme, developing the skills and competences needed to be able to train at higher levels.
As these skills are learnt and children progress, the training moves towards developing stamina so that they can be guided into more specialist areas.
At the outset, we aim to provide an inclusive environment where the breadth of athletics can be explored.
Older children joining the club will be put in a training group that matches their age, fitness level and skill set. As these change, so they may move to a different training group.
Level of commitment
Children aged 12 and under who join one of our Development Groups will initially train one day a week, either on a Saturday morning or Thursday evening, and compete for the club in local competitions.
When they progress to Development Plus they will train two days a week plus competitions.
This can increase for those aged 12 to 15, to three or four days training a week, plus competitions.
For those aged 16 plus, training can be between four and six days a week, plus competitions.
What do I get?
Athletics offers a wide choice of events and the opportunity to find out what suits you best.
A number of athletes have gained athletics scholarships to places such as Brunel University, Florida State, and St. Mary's Twickenham.
Different competitions are open to different age groups. Athletics age groups are split into the following categories:
Under 9s (those in school years 2 & 3)
Under 11s (those in school years 4 & 5)
Under 13s (those in school years 6 & 7)
Under 15s (those in school year s 9 & 10)
Under 17s (those in school years 11 & 12)
Under 20s (those aged 17, 18, 19 on 31 Aug prior to the commencement of the competition year.)
Under 23s (thoseaged 20, 21, 22 on 31 Aug prior to the commencement of the competition year.)
Seniors (those aged 20 and above)
Summer Track and Field
The Youth Development League is the highest level of league competition for Under 13 and Under 15s. Two athletes per event are selected from the club. In 2014, Bracknell Athletic Club were promoted to the Southern Premier division. There are four fixtures during the spring and summer months and boys and girls compete in the same team. Medals and certificates are awarded for attendance.
The Alder Valley League is a local league for Under 11s to Under 17s, with the opportunity for all to compete in various events. The two best athletes available in each event are selected to score points for the club. There are three fixtures for girls and three for boys during the spring and summer months with a grand final in September. In 2014, Bracknell Athletic Club won the Under 13s Girls Trophy. League medals are awarded for best performances and attendance. The club awards medals and certificates for attendance.
The Southern Athletic League is an area competition for Men and Women in the Under 17 and above age groups. Two athletes compete in each event for points. Bracknell has had mixed fortunes over the past few years winning some fixtures and not doing so well in others when members have not been able to turn out for the team.
County and regional championships
Bracknell athletes regularly compete at county, area and regional championships.
Berkshire Athletics Association hosts two county championship events: one for Under 15s and above in May and an Under 13 event in July. There is also an Under 13 Quadrathon in May where athletes compete in the 100m, long jump, shot put and the 800m. We currently have a number of county champions in sprints, hurdles, throws, jumps and distance running. (Please note: athletes are responsible for entering themselves in these county events.)
The South of England Athletics Association and England Athletics also hold annual championships: one for combined events; one for seniors and Under 20s; and one for Under 15s/Under 17s. Athletes may need to reach a set standard to be eligible to enter.
Schools track and field events
Berkshire schools hold two championships each year: the first, in June, is for selection to the English Schools Championships; the second, in late June, is for Under 13s. Seven of our athletes represented Berkshire at English Schools in 2014. We also have athletes who attend school in Hampshire and Surrey and therefore compete in their championships. (NB Entry to these events is through school PE departments rather than through the club.)
Many clubs host ‘open meetings’ throughout the year. These are opportunities to compete outside the club structure. The Bracknell Open Meeting for young athletes takes place on the last Saturday of March each year. It attracts about 600 entrants every year!
Winter Track and Field
In the winter there are sportshall events every month where Under 11 to Under 15 athletes can compete in various indoor events as a team.
There are a number of indoor open meetings as well as regional and national events that athletes can compete in over the winter period. There is an indoor 60m track in Windsor and a full 200m indoor facility at Lee Valley.
The Border League is an entry level local league for Under 9s to Under 15s. There are four fixtures during the winter months and athletes will receive a certificate for competing in at least 3 races, with a medal for taking part in all four! In 2013/4, Bracknell Athletic Club won team prizes in some age groups. (Please note: athletes who have competed in county events are not eligible to score points for the club at Border League events.)
The Chiltern League is for Under 11s to seniors and covers a wider geographical area. Athletes compete for the club and in 2014, Bracknell Athletic Club won a number of individual and age group team awards! Medals and certificates for participation and performance are awarded to athletes by the club.
The Berkshire County Cross Country championship is held in January each year. This is an individual event (and therefore athletes are responsible for entering themselves in this event, although the club is responsible for team entries). Selected athletes go on to represent Berkshire at the Inter-Counties Meeting where senior athletes are competing for World Championship team places.
We also enter teams for other regional and national cross country events. These are larger events than the local leagues and provide athletes with experience of what may be ahead in their athletic career as well as the opportunity to run where top athletes run! In 2015, Bracknell Athletic club athletes won individual medals, as did our Under 15 boys team.
Schools Cross Country
Berkshire schools hold an annual cross country championship in January from which athletes can be selected for higher level regional schools meetings. We also have athletes who attend school in Hampshire and Surrey and therefore compete in their championships. (NB Entry to these events is through school PE departments rather than through the club.)
Every September, Bracknell Athletic Club enters teams for the regional road relay championships. These are followed by the National Road Relay Championships a few weeks later.
Zak joined Bracknell when he was 11 and has competed all over the world for Great Britain in the Youth Olympics, World and European Junior Championships at the steeplechase. In 2011 he got a scholarship to Florida State University, and received in first Senior GB vest when comteting in the steeplechase at the European Cup in Moscow.
Rachel McClay joined when she was 11, has been ranked as number 1 in various distances, been to the English Schools championships and is now a Welsh international at 800m.
Adam joined as an Under 15 and is now the club record holder over 100m and 200m and has gained international honours for Scotland.
Molly competes in the paralympic T37 Category at Long Jump and 100m, she is the UK all-time record holder forLong jump, set in Bracknell in 2015, she is also the IWAS World Champion for T37 Long Jump and silver Medalist for 100m. She is on the British Athletics Futures Programme and is coached by Roger Graham.