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Young athletes ready to have positive impact on the sport

04/11/2019 00:00, In Blog /

Welsh Athletics announced and have launched a new seven-year vision for the sport, believing that one of the ways that things can progress is through change. One of the ideas already implemented is the set up of a Welsh Junior Athlete Voice  - a vehicle for providing a diversity of ideas from the young athlete perspective. Here's one of the group's reflections on the first meeting:


"The first meeting took place on 19th of October 2019, at The Vale Hotel in Hengoed, which coincided with the Welsh coaches conference. It was pleasantly surprising to have a mixed group of 6 multi-talented, athletes representing different disciplines, from run, jump and throw.


As an ice breaker, we had an insightful and humourous attempt at acting out each other's events, from a hammer thrower trying triple jump to a hurdler attempting javelin. After this, we started brainstorming with the use of mind maps, the topic being given by Welsh Athletics, communication. All our ideas were published on the Welsh Athletics Twitter account and were passed over to the appropriate department.


The suggestions were wide-ranging, and the application of the new ideas could result in a positive and needed change. These ideas included:

  • greater use of the Welsh Athletics social media channels as the younger generation tend to communicate via Snapchat and Instagram, in order to be able to reach a larger community of athletes or potential athletes up and down the country. For example, allowing one of the young athletes to take over the Welsh Athletics social media account, to get an inside view of what athletes might experience on a typical competition or training day.
  • It was also considered that FUN being central to training and competing in athletics, can be forgotten and it can be more of a hindrance rather than a stress reliever. 
  • Another suggestion could be to organise something, that would allow athletes to meet the officials that come out week after week, running and officiating their competitions.


Lastly, through the idea of feedback at a competition, much like Power of 10, but instead considering the enjoyment, efficiency, organisation and the tone of the competition. How this is implemented will be further discussed, be it through a feedback form or a simple press of a button. This is by no means a criticism of the generous volunteers that run the competitions or the officials that very kindly give their time, but more of a way for competitions to run smoothly and be a more enjoyable experience for both athlete and spectator.


We're hoping athletes are on board and will give all their ideas to the junior athlete representatives. If everyone bands together we can have a positive impact on the organisation, being given an opportunity to change how Welsh Athletics run, we need to grasp this opportunity because nothing ventured, nothing gained."