England Athletics to host Age Group webinars

Following UK Athletics’ decision to approve proposals made by the Home Countries Athletics Federations (HCAFs) to amend age groups, England Athletics is pleased to confirm the next step in the process to implement these changes.

We will be hosting a series of three webinars, focusing on the topics on which we have received feedback from athletes, parents and other stakeholders since the decision was announced.

The webinar dates, times and audience groupings are listed below, and each one will provide attendees with an outline of how we see the process evolving between now and the date that the changes come into effect 1 April 2026, with specific regard to them. If you can't make it on those dates, we'll be recording the webinars.

The sessions will be recorded if you are unable to make the dates or times. In addition, we are inviting members of the community to submit their own questions ahead of the webinars later this month.

Submit a question

Chair of the England Athletics Board, Gary Shaughnessy, commented:

"Since the consultation closed and UK Athletics approved the proposals to amend age group categories, the England Athletics team has been working hard to listen to and gather feedback from stakeholders on the implementation hurdles and ways in which we can most smoothly and successfully implement these changes."

"We absolutely recognise the challenges, and this series of webinars has been developed as the first phase in ensuring that athletes, parents, clubs and all in the sport are kept fully informed of progress, including timelines for resolving issues raised and reviewing the final details. This is also critical as a forum to raise concerns and questions."

"This is a key step and we are committed to continuing to listen to and collaborate with those within our sport to ensure that these changes work and help address the concerns that created them when they are implemented in 2026."

Track and Field participation review

In addition to the age group consultation and proposals, the HCAFs are also committed to carrying out a wider review of track and field participation and how we can tackle the challenge of retention of growth in our sport.

To this effect, we are pleased to confirm the appointment of Dean Hardman in a co-ordinating role, working alongside colleagues from both England Athletics and the other HCAFs to oversee the work needed to both transition to the new age groups and to address the challenges around track and field participation.

Dean's most recent role was as Director of Sport at the Association of Colleges, where he oversaw sport development and competition delivery in further education, working closely with stakeholders from across the sport and physical activity and education sectors and developing an intimate knowledge of the specific challenges of engaging young people in sport. Prior to that, Dean was a member of the Senior Leadership team at England Athletics, alongside volunteer roles at both Sale Harriers Manchester and the British Athletics League (now the National Athletics League).

Online open forums

In addition to the above three webinars, we are finalising a schedule of online open forums at a regional level – hosted by our Regional Councils – which will recap the age group progress and provide people with the opportunity to share their views and to discuss solutions to the wider challenge of retaining and growing the number of participants in track and field athletics.

Matthew Dalton, Chair of the England Council, explained:

"Comprehensive and robust debate is key to us finding effective solutions to an issue which we know is a significant problem within our sport. Utilising our regional networks to bring together knowledge and opinion, and to facilitate debate, will enable us to explore all avenues as we look to maintain and grow the numbers of young people in track and field."

“This is an issue which everyone in the sport cares passionately about, and we are pleased to be able to move this discussion forward in a positive, collaborative way using these regional forums.”

Diagram showing the changes

Download FAQ document

Full details of the regional forums will be communicated in due course.

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