Paddock Wood STARTRACK 2021

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Paddock Wood STARTRACK

What is STARTRACK? Basically, it is a week of athletics for children where they can learn about most of the events involved in athletics, or try to become better athletes. Paddock Wood Athletic Club has been holding Startrack weeks for around 30 years and is the longest running scheme in the country.

Startrack is aimed at children aged ideally from 11 to 16, but we do take those aged at least 6 years upwards. 6 years is the lowest age we accept (they MUST be 6 on the day they start) and for whom we have special events using different and softer athletics equipment with the events the younger ones doing being tailored to their needs, ability and competence. Coaching is done by our own England Athletics-trained coaches, assisted by teenagers specially selected from our club members. All our staff are background checked.

During the week we try to get the children to become proficient, or better, at Sprinting up to 400metres (including Hurdles and Relays), Middle Distance (800 to 1500metres), Throwing (Javelin, Discus, Shot Put and Hammer), Jumping (Long Jump, Triple Jump and High Jump) and Race Walking. We aim to coach at least three events each day, culminating with a competition at the end of the week with each child attempting a Run/Race Walk, Jump and Throw of their choice. Each child receives a Startrack T-Shirt at the beginning of their time with us and a Goodie Bag on departure. There are trophies and medals to be won.

We are proud to have played host to over 4000 children over this time from many different backgrounds and nations. We have found some remarkable athletes in that time including one young lad who went on to become a GB Junior International Javelin thrower, many who reached the English Schools Athletics Championships and many others who have become Kent County and Kent Schools Athletics Champions.

Startrack is a very good introduction to athletics for children, even though they may get some experience of it at school. Current schools’ timetables have to contend with many different sports and there is very little time to spare on the timetable for athletics, so it usually takes place just before and just after School Sports Day leaving very little chance to spot the stars of the future. This is where an athletics club comes into its own by offering more individual and specialised coaching outside school hours with the coaches helping to hone the athletes’ skills.

Startrack is very popular and everyone gets a chance to have a go at everything we can offer – down to the giant Obstacle Relay on the final afternoon -sometimes ending up in a water fight, so be prepared! Wellies and wetsuits may be advisable for the Friday afternoon!

Here in Paddock Wood many parents are not allowed to book their Summer Holidays until the Startrack dates are known so we aim to get the Gates announced as soon as we can.

Originally, Startrack was sponsored by CICA, the children’s division of Clarkes Shoes. This continued for a number of years and Norwich Union Insurance took up the reins and they were bought by Commercial and General Insurance who retitled to Commercial and General Union Insurance to become CGU. Next came yet another Insurance company who took up the Sponsorship – Aviva – who also became major sponsors of UK Athletics Each sponsor had own branding and ideas and in 2017 Aviva pulled out. Since then Startrack has had no sponsor but has been supported by UK Athletics who oversee the scheme for admin purposes only. We live in hope that a sponsor may want to support Junior Athletics via Startrack. Who knows what the future will bring?

Let’s see if we can find another World Champion locally.

Mike Duffin

Startrack Organiser

Previous year’s results and photos

Please use the links below to view the results and photos from Paddock Wood Startrack.


Paddock Wood STARTRACK 2021

2021 Startrack2019 Startrack2018 Startrack2017 Startrack2016 Startrack
2015 Startrack2014 Startrack2013 Startrack2012 Startrack2011 Startrack
2010 Startrack2009 Startrack

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