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 Click to go to top of the pageQ. I love watching athletics on TV. How can I get involved?

A. Ask at school to see if there's an athletics club (these often run in the summer term). Alternatively, you can join an independent athletic club in your area. They have activities and training all year round. To find a club near you, contact one of the regional organisations for help. [See On Your Marks: Joining a Club]

 Click to go to top of the pageQ. I'm not sure whether I prefer running or field events?

A. Many field-event athletes also run to help them keep fit. Some of the jumpers are particularly good sprinters, so perhaps the track events are a good place to start . However you may have a particular skill or build that is suited to a field event. If you join an athletic club, the coach or teacher will be able to advise you. [See Track & Field for information about the different events]

 Click to go to top of the pageQ. Do boys or girls make the best athletes?

A. Men and women, boys and girls - they can all be successful in athletics. It is really a sport that suits all ages and abilities and both sexes. There are and have been outstanding male and female athletes (Jesse Owens, Fanny (Francisca) Blankers-Koen, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis to name just a few). Races and events for men and women are held separately.

 Click to go to top of the pageQ. Are the Olympic Games the only major athletic competition?

A. No. There are several major competitions centred around athletics. Most of them make up the World Athletic Series and are organised over a four-year period. [See About Athletics: Competitive Athletics]

It should be pointed out that although athletics are important in the Olympic programme, there are many other team and individual sports represented at the Olympic Games.

 Click to go to top of the pageQ. What age do you have to be to join a club?

A. Most clubs take members from the age of 11. Some clubs run a programme called 'fun athletics' for juniors up to the age of 15, where you are introduced to the different athletic events in a fun way. Fun athletics are normally held in a sports hall with a qualified coach.

The youngest competitive league is for U13s and many 11-year-olds represent their club at this level.

 Click to go to top of the pageQ. Is it an expensive?

A. Generally, it is an inexpensive sport at the outset. The basic costs for shoes and kit can be kept quite low. Club fees are set by individual clubs so they vary but usually costs for juniors are reasonable. Other expenses include travelling costs and possibly entrance fees for competitions. If you join a club, you may be asked to buy extra kit for competitive events in the club colours.

 Click to go to top of the pageQ. What do you need to get started?

A. Basically, you need shoes, kit and a tracksuit. As you get more involved with the sport, you may want to invest in a pair of spikes. In addition to the basic kit you need someone to help you get started. Ask at school or look for a local club. [See On Your Marks]


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Last modified on: Friday, March 6, 1998.