The Summer Season – A Quick Guide!
Training is at the Tonbridge School track every Tuesday and Thursday evening between April and September inclusive. It starts at 6.15pm and finishes at about 7.45pm. There are a number of coaches and helpers available, but we could always do with one or two more.
The key date is midnight on the 31st August of the year of competition. If a child is 11 or 12 on this date then they are in the Under 13 group. In other words, if they are in years 6 or 7 at school they are in the Under 13 age group. Similarly, if they are 13 or 14 on this date, then they are Under 15 (school years 8 and 9). If they are 15 or 16 on this date, then they are Under 17 (school years 10 and 11).
Finally, if they are Under 20 at midnight on 31st December, of the year of competition they are in the Junior, Under 20 age group and if older are classified as a Senior. If confused speak with one of the coaches !
For acceptance into the club for training an athlete must be a minimum of 9 years old, although the Tonbridge Tornados club is run on a Sunday morning for 7 to 9 year olds. Club training for 9 and 10 year olds is on a Monday and Wednesday evening at Tonbridge School track.
TAC run open meetings at Easter and on the August Bank Holiday for ages under 11s upwards. The events vary from meeting to meeting, so you should be aware of the precise listing and timetable beforehand. There is an entry fee.
On the first Tuesday evening of every month from May to August there is usually a Tonbridge Club Development Meeting where there are events for TAC members in age groups Under 13 and upwards.
These meetings are the best opportunity for novices to try out competition and for more experienced athletes to improve their performances. In some events the races are graded, so that you get athletes of different ages, but similar abilities, competing against each other. If you have never done an event before just ask one of the TAC coaches, so you can then put an estimated time down and get into the best paced race for you.
See listings on the Fixtures Page.
Tonbridge AC also compete in a number of leagues.
The UK Youth Development League is for girls and boys in the Lower Age group (Under 13/Under 15), and the Upper Age group (Under 17/Under 20).
The teams are selected on merit, but it is also very important that anyone who might like to compete lets the Team Manager know well in advance. Again check the Summer fixture list for details. See www.ukydl.org.uk for information about the league.
Similarly the Kent Young Athletes League is for girls and boys in the Under 13 and Under 15 age groups.
This is a particularly good league for newcomers. See www.kcaa.org.uk for information about the league and Kent athletics.
For the older athletes there is the Southern Athletics League (SAL), which is a combined league for Men and Women (Under 17, Under 20, Senior and Veterans, all together).
See www.southernathletics.org.uk. Non-scorers are allowed to compete in this league, which means that, although there is team selection, there is a chance for everyone.
TAC has also entered the British Athletics League for male athletes in age groups Under 20 and above.
Team Managers detailed here.
It is important that parents realise that the league teams are generally selected on merit and when there are many wanting to compete it can be difficult to fit everyone into their chosen event. However, we will always do our best to give everyone a chance. Other clubs also put on open meetings, where athletes can enter on the day and take part in their chosen event. Please look out for information or just ask a coach.
Some other key events are the Kent Championships, in May for Under 15 upwards and in September for Under 13. Please check the Fixtures Page which is regularly updated.