Juniors Training at GSAL 2022

GSAL athletics track map

There is now a 2023 version of this page


I’m pleased to announce that we will resume training at GSAL on Tuesday 5 April 2022 and we have booked 12 dates at approximately 2-weekly intervals. On the other weeks we will be at Leos, except one on 12 July when we will be at the Golden Acre Relays.

Names for Tuesday 6 September 2022

Click here https://www.valleystriders.org.uk/junior-names-for-6-september-2022/

Survey to book for September sessions

please click https://www.valleystriders.org.uk/booking-junior-training-sessions/

Standing Triple Jump

During the school holidays the long jump pit and runway is being refurbished. As an alternative activity we will be doing standing triple jump in the centre of the field. Please take a look at these videos.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u73KUk4M91I&t=253s (watch the section “jumping lakes”, don’t watch the remainder with the run-ups)


The first two dates are confirmed, the rest to be agreed
Tue 05/04/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30)
Tue 12/04/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30)
Tue 03/05/2022 (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00) (term-time)
Tue 17/05/2022 (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00) (term-time)
Tue 31/05/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30) (moved to Leos because of weather)
Tue 07/06/2022 (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00) (term-time) (was due to be at Leos)
Tue 14/06/2022 (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00) (term-time)
Tue 28/06/2022 (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00) (term-time)
Tue 12/07/2022 cancelled at GSAL replaced by Golden Acre Relay
Tue 19/07/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30) confirmed at GSAL then Cancelled
Tue 26/07/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30)
Tue 09/08/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30)
Tue 23/08/2022 (5:30-6:30 and 6:30-7:30)
Tue 06/09/2022 (6:00-7:00 and 7:00-8:00) (term-time)
Tue 13/09/2022 TO BE CONFIRMED

To book for September sessions, please click


and hopefully not cancellation

  • I will publish groups and names (based on survey responses) by Friday noon
  • If you want a place you must confirm (via Facebook) by Monday 6pm (but preferably by Sunday 10pm, PLEASE)
  • If you’ve confirmed your place but then need to cancel you can do so up to Monday 6pm with no penalty
  • I will publish the “final” list of groups and names late Monday evening
  • If you’ve confirmed your place but cancel after Monday 6pm you will have a lower priority for booking for the “following” week i.e. if your session is overbooked you won’t get a place, but if a place then becomes free you will get it (although it may not be your preferred group)
  • If you’ve confirmed your place but cancel less than 30 minutes before the start of your session (or you just don’t turn up), you won’t get a place for the “following” week.
  • Cancellations should be by Facebook post or by text to my mobile if you’re not on Facebook. Do not use email or Messenger to cancel.
  • Definition of “Following” – if this session is a GSAL term-time session, it will apply to the next GSAL term-time session

IF there are circumstances that cause us to have to cancel the session, a message will be posted here by Tuesday 3pm to confirm or otherwise, If we can’t use GSAL, we may go to Leos, with the same groups NB the 6:30 group would need to come to Leos at 6:15.


Although we are now free of CoVid regulations, we still have a duty of care, this is why we are continuing with small(ish) groups and asking for everyone to take care.

When we are at GSAL …

  • There are two timeslots – 6:00pm-7:00pm and 7:00pm-8:00pm in GSAL term time (5 dates) and 5:30pm-6:30pm and 6:30pm-7:30pm in GSAL school holidays (7 dates)
  • There are four groups each ideally with 10 and maximum 12 junior athletes
  • Therefore a maximum capacity of 48 at each timeslot, 96 in total (but see note)
  • There are 4 activities – sprinting, long jumping, laps and shot putting
  • The timetable allows for 10 minutes to meet and warm up, then 10 minutes on each activity
  • There are 8 parents who will be group leaders – they will collect their group together and be responsible for them being in the right place for the rest of the evening
  • There are 8 parents / volunteers who will be activity leaders – they will manage the activities
  • Most of the rest of the parents INCLUDING THOSE WHO SAY THEY AREN’T ABLE TO HELP will be asked assist with the activities, e.g.
    • sprinting – starting, judging 1-2-3, timekeeping
    • long-jumping – marking landing point, raking the sand
    • laps – timing, running (including back-marker)
    • shot – safety

All those assisting will be briefed with what to do. None of it is technical (the most technical job is to recording 6 times on a phone) and no athletics ability is required except for some of those helping on laps

It is possible that someone from the GSAL staff will come and observe the session. It is therefore vital that you tell your children to always follow the instructions of their group leader and always stay within their group.


We envisage the earlier timeslot (6:00 term time / 5:30 school hols) being oversubscribed and the later timeslot (7:00/6:30) being undersubscribed.

If so, priority will be given to

  • those who are members vs. those on waiting list
  • those who compete at track and field vs. those who don’t
  • those who compete in general (including parkrun) vs. those who don’t
  • those parents who help vs. those who don’t
  • those who reply to surveys early vs. those who reply late
  • those on full membership vs. those on “limited training”

However we are also looking at gaining extra capacity at the earlier timeslot (6pm or 5:30pm) by having an extra group i.e. a 5th group

  • for school year 2 and younger
  • would do activities in the centre of the field “Extra Activity Area” e.g. V S relays
  • could do shot put using tennis balls from the discus circle
  • might be able to do some short sprints on the outside lane of the back straight
  • might be able to long jump into the spare pit (if in good condition)


There will be 4 activities

  • Sprinting
  • Long jumping.
  • Endurance running (laps of the track)
  • Shot putting. Youngest children will “put” tennis balls, older children will “put” boules (each weighs about 800gm which is less than half the weight an 8 year old would use in competition) to practice technique.
  • We may do shuttle relays as an alternative to one of the above four

You can see videos of how to do long jumping and shot putting

Each group will spend 10 minutes on each activity.

We will have a group leader to look after each group (as we do at Leos), and they will receive the children at the designated meeting point when they arrive, move them between activities and be responsible for social distancing and safety.

We’ll also have an activity leader to look after each activity for the whole timeslot and some activity assistants to help the leader

  • for the sprints, we’ll have a starter (who will also be the leader), a false start judge, a timekeeper and finish line recorder.
  • for the long jump, we’ll have a runway checker, a take-off judge (who will also be the leader), someone to record where the jumper landed and 2 rakers.
  • for the laps, a starter (who will also be the leader) and a timekeeper, also hopefully a couple of parents to run including one to be back-marker.
  • for the shot, a technique judge (who will also be the leader) and an assistant to look out for safety.


In school holidays (e.g. 10 August) you should arrive 10 minutes before your session timeslot is due to start. You must park in the Staff Car Park.

In term time you must not arrive on site before 5:50pm. In previous years you’ve been allowed to park in the visitors car park but under GSAL CoVid rules, those attending external activities are prohibited from site until 5:50pm.

For all sessions, you must park in the Staff Car Park.

From the roundabout on the A61, go down the main drive and turn left at the barrier. Press the GREEN button. The barrier will go up automatically when you press the button. It won’t go up before 5:50pm in term time (go away and come back later), but will go up at all times in the school holidays. If the barrier doesn’t go up, press the buzzer.

NB don’t try to tail-gate after another car through the barrier. It comes down quickly. I saw someone try it a couple of years ago and it resulted in a damaged car and a damaged barrier,

Having parked, make your way to the track and find your meeting point.

Children must not warm up / play on the track, nor in the long jump area. They may warm up on the grass round the outside of the track but must obey social distancing while doing this (parent’s responsibility)


For parents

  • Only park in the designated staff car park
  • Take care when walking from the car park to the athletics track, there is traffic e.g. buses turning round at the roundabout and maintenance vehicles near the track
  • On arrival at the meeting point, please leave your child with the group leader
  • Group leaders will remain with their group for the duration of the session. If they feel they need to wear masks they should do so
  • Activity leaders and assistants will remain with their activity for the duration of the session. If they feel they need to wear masks they should do so
  • Parents not allocated to a group or activity must stay by the side of the track while activities are taking place in case your child needs attention
  • Parents not allocated to a group or activity must stay at least 5 metres away from all activities unless requested to attend to their child and must practice social distancing and grouping according to current government rules
  • NB Dogs are not allowed anywhere on the GSAL site

For children

  • Obey social distancing at all times
  • Do not touch any equipment
  • Follow your group leader’s instructions to move between activities
  • Follow your activity leaders’ instructions when taking part in activities
  • Do not cross the track except when instructed to do so
  • Do not scuff the track or track markings (we want to keep it in best condition). A warning will be issued if this is done deliberately