Age Group changes: regional open forums

As part of the Home Country Athletics Federations’ (HCAF) work to address the level of engagement and drop-off rates among young track and field athletes, England Athletics is pleased to confirm a series of forums at which members and the wider community will be invited to have their say, discuss how the age group changes will be implemented, and to consider the wider issue of retention of athletes in the sport.

Tackling the issues of retention and growth within track and field is a long-term priority for England Athletics, and we know that everyone within the sport shares our determination to meet these challenges.

As part of the opening phase of what will be a comprehensive overview of the current situation, our Regional Councils will be hosting a series of open, online forums throughout April, with the full schedule below (all sessions will be 7pm-8:30pm):

Matthew Dalton, Chair of England Council, explains:

“Our regional networks give us the opportunity to tap into vast levels of experience and knowledge, all of which is vital as we – as a whole sport – look to tackle an issue which we know could threaten the future of athletics."

"These forums will allow us to discuss, share and listen to the opinions and suggestions of those within our sport; and we believe that collaborating in this way gives us the best chance of effectively meeting these challenges.”

The forums represent one of the first stages of what will be a long-term schedule of work, as Project Co-ordinator Dean Hardman explains:

“We know that the issues facing our sport won’t be solved overnight, and that robust, strategic and research-led work to address them is vital. As we go through this process, we are determined to engage with and utilise the knowledge and opinions of our stakeholders at every turn.”

England Athletics’ Head of Talent Development, Sarah Benson, adds:

“In our recent stakeholder consultation, the issues of ‘young athlete retention’ and ‘engagement of the young’ were highlighted as concerns. These are concerns that we share, and that we care passionately about addressing."

“I am looking forward to interacting with as many members of the community as possible, via these forums, as we unite to find the best way forward for track and field athletics in this country.”

If you missed the three stakeholder group specific webinars which took place in March addressing topics on which we have received feedback since the changes were announced, click here to watch the recordings.

Watch the webinars

Age Group Consultation news