Long Term Athlete Development at the Heart of new Junior League Launch

21/05/2022 00:00, In Blog / Track & Field / School News /

Welsh Athletics are delighted to confirm the launch of a new format of Junior League for 2022. The league will continue to be the primary form of club competition for young athletes in Wales and the focus will shift towards the promotion of a multidisciplinary approach for athletes in the U11 and U13 age groups. 

The multidisciplinary focus, which is already advocated as part of the coach development pathway, will allow athletes to have a more rounded experience of athletics and develop key technical and motor skills that will benefit them as they progress throughout the age groups. 

The re-launch of the league has also seen a change in the geographical makeup of each division – three divisions will replace the previous two in South Wales to ensure that competition opportunities for our youngest athletes are hyper-local. We are also working with a number of clubs in North Wales to provide bespoke opportunities in this format of competition. 

“We’re really excited to see the launch of this reformed initiative after almost 12 months of planning and consultation with the Track & Field Committee. Long-term athlete development must be at the heart of opportunities for our youngest members and we want to provide them with a fun environment surrounded by their teammates where they can learn the various disciplines of our sport. All of the research in this area supports late specialisation as a key principle in promoting lifelong enjoyment of our sport for athletes and combatting dropout at key age groups in the pathway. We are confident that this new league format is a huge step for us in retaining our talented junior athletes in the sport.”

Rhiannon Linington-Payne, Head of Competition 

The first fixture of the Junior Development League takes place at various venues on Saturday 28th May. Full details of the fixtures throughout 2022 can be found on the Welsh Athletics website.