Attending your first proper competition can be daunting, but it needn’t be. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the experience!
- Remember to pack your vest and spikes (if needed) – almost all events require you to wear your club vest.
- Arrive in plenty of time – if the race is due to start at 11.30, try not to arrive at 11.25! For league matches, your coaches need to sort out teams on the day, so the earlier you arrive the easier it is for all involved
- Look for the Birtley colours – coaches will usually have a Birtley sweatshirt or blue/high viz jacket on. At cross-country competitions and some summer fixtures, we will often have our tent up with the Birtley pennant flying outside.
- For a lot of the events, Birtley AC will have already registered you, but you will still need to get your number from one of the coaches, and let them know you’ve arrived. Remember, your Harrier league number is valid for the entire season (that’s 6 harrier matches + the Sherman Cup/Davison Shield match) – please keep it safe. Replacements can be obtained on the day but you will have to pay for them.
- Certain events (e.g. North Eastern Athletics League) require registration on the day or evening – sign up and pay for the events you wish to compete in, then you will be given a number.
- Bring a good supply of safety pins to attach numbers to your vest (usually two numbers – one for the front and one for the back = 8 safety pins).
- Most YDL matches begin at 11.30 on a Sunday and last for most of the day – bring lunch! Most venues have space on grass for chairs, rugs, etc. if it’s a nice day.
- If transport (or time) is a problem, please remember that our members are very friendly and will help out with car-sharing etc. if possible.
- Cross-country can sometimes be cold and wet – remember to bring a change of clothing and a big bag for the muddy stuff! Two carrier bags placed over your shoes will help you slide your feet into clean trousers/waterproofs etc. even when you have trainers on.
- Remember to warm up well and then do a cool down and stretches after the event(s).
- Remember, you may not win, but participation is important, and this is especially so in league matches, where the club can gain valuable points for every member who competes. We also gain points for hosting certain events – please help out if you’re asked to do so by a team manager, or even better – volunteer your services at the start of the match!
- Parents and other volunteers are essential for any league matches – if you can hold a tape measure or rake some sand, your services will be gratefully received by the team managers on the day. Each team MUST provide a certain number of volunteer helpers for league matches, so if you’re spending the day there anyway with your child, please consider helping out, even if it’s only for one event.
- Results are often displayed on the day (usually near the reporting box), but if not, they can usually be found online – Google search for the particular event and you will usually find a link to results, or The Power of 10 is a good general site, with athlete profiles plus links to most main events. Where possible, the results will also be published here on the website, and on our Facebook page Team Birtley AC
- Try to perform to the best of your abilities at all times, but more importantly, ENJOY IT!