HCAF proposals to amend age groups approved by UKA Board
UK Athletics can confirm an amendment to age groups as part of the Rule Change Proposals for the 2024 – 2026 Rule Book has been approved at a recent UKA Board meeting.
James Williams, Welsh Athletics Chief Executive Officer shared:
This is a huge change for the sport, but also a huge opportunity for us. Throughout the consultation process it was clear that athletes and parents wanting to see change, albeit clubs and competition providers were naturally fearful of the process of change.
It is vitally important that we continue to engage the sport and ensure that the process of change is as smooth as possible. The Home Countries are committed to establishing a number of working groups to work through the various aspects of the transition to the new age groups.
I hope that through this process we can create a competition structure that aligns to the needs of young athletes, and its future proofed.
The main driving factor for change was the need to improve retention in the sport and avoid the clash with the examination period. Albeit the change in isolation will not solely achieve this objective, it will go some way to minimising the impact on junior athletes
The Home Country Athletics Federations (HCAF) proposal to revise the current age groups of U13, U15, U17 to new age groups of U12, U14, U16 and U18 was approved.
The HCAF proposal was formed following consultation carried out by each of the HCAFs with key stakeholders in the sport to frame the recommendation to the UKA Board.
In approving the proposal, the UK Athletics Board acknowledged the strategic role of the HCAFs in administering the sport at junior age group level, while also recognising the important role carried out by the Rules Group on behalf of the whole sport.
The full implementation of the age group changes will come into effect from 1 April 2026.
A publication of a summary of changes and guidance notes will be on the 16 February 2024 as per the Rules consultation timeline.
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