City of Portsmouth AC provide competition opportunities and incentives to retain young athletes

The City of Portsmouth AC has been working very hard over the last 12 months to extend the availability of competitive sport to a wider sector.

Relaxed participation in competition for younger athletes can create controlled and more confident athletes years later when potentials become more relevant.

The objective of the Super Series is to provide a competitive outlet for athletes that are new to the sport, returning from injury, or simply trying alternative events - although the primary benefit of the event, is to cater for athletes who would perhaps not normally have regular competitive opportunity.

COPAC are fortunate to have large numbers of young athletes, but this has the inevitable downside of not always having sufficient league space for all. So within the normal club training night, 4 times during the season, a limited discipline event has been created. All completed within 2 hours, it allows athletes the opportunity to compete, coaches the ability to asses athlete development, all through an officiated time trial or field competition environment.

To this end the first event proved a great success, with more than 150 entries including a number of athletes from adjacent clubs who came along to test their strength prior to the start of the summer season.

The Super Series was also a timely opportunity to acknowledge the new graduates to the successful U17 / U20 squad and Elite squad for 2018.

The U17 / U20 squad, was initiated in 2017 to help enthuse, involve and keep together an age group historically difficult to retain. We are pleased to note that only 1 athlete was lost from the 2017 squad and this was due to moving away from the area.

The 2018 entrants will join those from 2017 and create a strong squad going forward and hopefully through to adult competitive leagues. The athletes were presented with sponsored Goodie Bags from Alexander Sports, and have the benefit of various club incentives, including free EA membership and social activities outside of athletics.

COPAC were grateful to Sarah Gardiner of England Athletics who gave her time to talk to the athletes and present them with their Goodie bags.

COPAC were also pleased to announce the 2018 Elite Squad members. The standard for Elite squad entry is particularly high; National Champions and top 5 UK ranking is no mean feat.

But with this year’s entry City of Portsmouth AC is proud to now boast 11 Elite squad athletes in the U17 / U20 age group. Within that group the Club have a full host of National champions, number 1 rankings and all time record holders!

The club endeavours to support the athletes, with a number of provisions, including free coach travel, free entry to home opens and events as well as various sponsored apparel.

Photo by Paul A Smith Photography

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