If you are already worried about how you are going to entertain your children during the up and coming summer holidays, then you will be pleased to know that kids favourites – Jedward have signed up to add their support to the United Kingdom Athletes (UKA) programme StarTrack. StarTrack aims to provide year-round coaching and training opportunities after school, during holiday periods and at weekends to help children hone their skills on the running track.
StarTrack is UKA’s flagship grass-root athletics programme, which helps to give 8 to 15 year olds real running
experiences, and has been the starting point of many internationally known athletes from the UK. In fact, this is where Jessica Ennis who is the current World Heptathlon Champion started her athletics career as a 10 year old. She now works as an Ambassador for the UKA Academy. The people that run StarTrack are UKA qualified coaches who come from across the UK and it is proving to be a very popular club to belong to, with over 23,000 children taking part in over 600 schemes in 2008 alone. The programme has not only been an amazing resource for athletics clubs, but schools, sports partnerships, colleges, community groups and local authorities can also get involved by attending event staged all over the UK or by holding their own with the support of StarTrack.
Athletics is a great foundation for all other sports as athletes use many disciplines such as running,jumping and throwing. The best thing about StarTrack is that it can be offered all year round, as an after school club, a holiday programme, or the basis of an athletics club’s youth development programme, and now with Jedward’s support, their profile is sure to be raised. StarTrack have many aims within the club but the main ones are listed below:
- Raise the profile of athletics amongst children in the community.
- Introduce children to athletics in a fun and exciting format.
- Introduce athletics to minority groups.
- Introduce, support and develop coaches and officials.
- Help more children to stay involved in athletic athletics, through increasing the level of athletics ‘follow on’ activity – from school to StarTrack and from StarTrack to club.
- Help children to improve their athletic skill and give them the opportunity to progress their performance.