The UKA Academy is a fresh new approach to grassroots sport, designed to give every child in the country the opportunity to get involved in athletics creating a long-term legacy for the sport, helping the next generation to stay healthy and active and hopefully unearthing even more champions along the way.
The UKA Academy provides something for everyone, from those who want to have fun to those who aspire to be the next British champion. Comprised of six schemes, new indoor and outdoor competition and awards structures, it aims to engage and attract children to athletics, regardless of age, level or ability. Activity ranges from teacher training to schools competition, disability athlete recruitment and after school and holiday programmes.
The UKA Academy is made up by the following six key schemes:
The recent Olympic and Paralympic Games in London have generated a significant degree of interest in sport, athletics in particular.
Within Wales, sustaining the interest that will be generated in this period through to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 will be an important element of the sport. Schools play a vital role in developing this talent and the "Elevating Athletics" resources easily adapt their approaches to make the best of the young talent available.
This acclaimed programme provides a first-class resource pack, along with focused workshops, aimed at assisting both school teachers and coaches in the planning of relevant and engaging sessions for young athletes of all abilities.
The resource pack is written by physical education experts with extensive experience of teaching and coaching athletics at school, club and international level. Elevating Athletics is written to conform to all current curriculum requirements.
The overall focus behind the Elevating Athletics programme follows a defined approach:
- To bring the sport of athletics to life and make it accessible
- To provide teachers with a creative and practical resource that will help them encourage and motivate youngsters to participate and achieve in athletics
- To ensure that athletics is taught in a more inclusive and engaging manner, with modern approaches that are less reliant on formal didactic delivery and focus more on learning
- To ensure all children receive a positive experience of athletics, where the emphasis is on participation, enjoyment, mastery and the acquisition of skills, so that they maintain interest in the sport
- To create a greater understanding that running, jumping and throwing underpin the vast majority of sports, and ensure children acquire and develop these skills throughout their education
- To reach out and appeal to a much wider audience of young people to ensure we have a sustainable number of 16-17 year olds in the sport who are committed to competing at senior level.
UKA Academy Awards is an individual awards programme that can be used by schools and clubs to recognise and reward personal development in athletics.
The process of the awards schemes provides opportunities for children from the age of three and upwards to try athletics through fun physical challenges, rewarding them for their efforts. The Awards promote an incentive to learn and to develop individual athletic skills through numerous levels of activity.
Sportshall Athletics is an adapted form of athletics which operates indoors, in restricted spaces and gives an excellent first experience of athletics competition. This series of events introduces children to the competitive element of athletics and the real variety that it has to offer through a series of events.
Sportshall is an exciting and fun athletics team game:
- A child friendly format that uses brightly coloured equipment specially designed with safety in mind.
- A competition focus for budding athletes who have learned skills when taking part in Startrack and Awards.
- An effective first step into the world of traditional track and field athletics.
There are three UKA Sportshall national programmes:
Fun in Athletics for 9-11 year olds.
- The emphasis is on fun, enjoyment and giving one's best for the good of the team.
Sportshall 'Team Challenge' for under 13’s
- An exciting competition requiring competitors to have a multi-skilled approach to athletics.
Sportshall 'All-Rounder' for under 15’s
A multi-event measurement of fitness and ability requiring skilful team management.
Startrack is UKA's flagship grassroots athletics programme, aiming to give 8 to 15 year olds real athletics experiences.
The programme is not only a fantastic tool for athletics clubs, but also a great resource for schools, local authorities and community groups who are aiming to provide children in their area with a range of sporting options.
Athletics is the foundation for all other sports as athletes run, jump and throw across the range of disciplines. Startrack provides children with the best possible sporting start by using effective, tested templates that deliver the sport in a dynamic way – all adaptable for local needs.
Startrack 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, but the secret of the success of Startrack is simply the creation of a fun athletics experience in a safe and enjoyable environment.
Athletics is committed to finding and supporting talented athletes who will embark upon their athletic careers, following the dream of competing at the Paralympic Games.
Parallel Success is an opportunity to promote athletics and the breadth and depth of opportunities that are available under the auspices of this sport. It is the foundation for encouraging disabled people to get involved in athletics and start on their journey towards potential Paralympic Success.
Within the programme, there is advice and guidance on who is eligible for the Paralympic Pathway and how to begin to spot a potentially talented athlete.
Within Wales, further support, help and guidance can be found through the Federation for Disability Sport Wales (FDSW).
School Championships are vital in providing the most talented young athletes with the chance to earn a National vest for the very first time.
The Welsh Schools Athletics Association (WSAA) provides a comprehensive range of competition opportunities for both teams and individuals across all disciplines of the sport. These competitions are well established and have a long tradition of producing world class athletes; for many international performers, Welsh Schools events provided the excitement and stimulus that was required to achieve success as senior athletes.
Local competition is delivered via the eight school district athletics associations. Championship events across key disciplines of the sport (track and field, cross country and sportshall athletics) provide the opportunity for a year round athletics experience.
More information on the School Championships is available in the Schools section of our website.