Calder junior section started up in June of 2006 (worth getting that fact straight now to avoid any embarrassing mistakes in 20 years time eh Rod). It started with the sole idea of providing young people from in and around the Upper Calder Valley with the opportunity to take part in a fun active healthy experience. It is for all children regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and ability. All the sessions are overseen and co-ordinated by Level 2 UK Athletics Coaches and we intend to get our runners competing against each other and runners from other clubs both locally and nationally through healthy competition which is aimed at encouraging effort as well as success. Whilst we would seek to encourage young people to compete, to learn to win and lose we would always ensure that running with Calder valley Juniors is about having fun.
And so after much talking and planning the first training session took place on 27th June with our first four juniors – Edan Whitelaw, Ryan Mcalpine, Matthew Kinton and Jack Knowle.
We decided to make the training sessions on a Tuesday evening before the seniors met for their club run in order to foster a sense of belonging. This way the juniors are leaving as the seniors arrive. We ran 5 sessions before we broke for the summer by which our numbers had risen to 13. During this five week period the club had also organised and successfully run 3 junior races – Coiners, Reservoir Bogs and Widdop. Whilst the numbers weren’t massive the races were competitive and enjoyed by all. No doubt the club will build on these as all three races are to become yearly events and coincide with senior races organised by CVFR.Read More
The club takes a break from weekly sessions during school holidays however when we returned after the summer things really moved on quickly each week saw more and more new comers heading down to join us on our Tuesday sessions. Within 6 weeks the club had risen again to 30 members.
We train locally on the local fields hills and woods however the first winter in existence will see us train on local school fields and some hill training on local safe roads.
You can join by downloading an application from and bringing it one of our weekly sessions or just come down and join there and then.
For a short period we may have to stop new juniors joining the club if we feel that numbers are too high to make our sessions safe.
Calder Valley Fell Runners Equality Statement
CVFR aims to ensure that all people, irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, ethnic origin, creed, colour or sexual orientation have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate in athletics at all levels and in all roles. That is as a participant, coach, administrator or official.
Children’s physical development takes place in fits and starts. The timing of and rate of development during these phases differs markedly between individuals. If we aware of such changes we can help children understand and cope with the consequences.
Children of the same calendar age can be as much as four years apart developmentally. Consider grouping children according to their physical development using height and weight as a yardstick rather than age.
As a rule of thumb, the most common injuries during growth spurts relate to repetitive loading. Consequently a training schedule that mixes low impact cross training style activities with event specific training is recommended.
Young children must work harder than adolescents or adults to provide the oxygen their muscles need; they do not breathe as slowly or deeply as adults. This means they are more sensitive to hyperventilation and dehydration
The anaerobic system really develops during puberty.
In general young children are better at steady extended exercises.
Children do not tolerate exercise as well as adults and are much less aware of their real limits.
“if you over-emphasise outcome (winning) rather than performance (effort) you are likely to raise the level of competitive stress: the young participants worry about failing and become concerned that those around them will think badly of them. This fear of failure and its consequences has been shown to be the major reason why children drop out of competitive sport ” (Working with Children – NCF)
At CVFR we will emphasise that “failure” is a natural part of the road to success and can be used as a positive learning experience. Thus “failure” is nothing to be ashamed of and must not be shied away from. A study of what differed between sports teams with a consistent record of success over many years and less successful teams found that success was built on a willingness to take risks and use failure as an indicator of how to improve. “Remember that you cannot drive children to do something they do not want to do. It is self – motivation that makes a true performer. You can encourage it but you can’t create it out of nothing” (Working with Children – NCF) “Those who enter the growth spurt early often do very well in age group athletics, and become used to success without too much effort. However, in their later teens when their slower growing peers catch up, they find it difficult not always being to the fore. It is at this stage that they experience psychological pressure to drop out of the sport. Equally, many of the later candidates for the growth spurt may feel unable to compete against their bigger and more powerful rivals and leave the sport early feeling they are not good enough at the sport to continue” (Norman Matthews – England Junior Fell Running Coach).
Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
One of the most important legal issues for coaches working with children concerns child protection. Coaches have a responsibility to protect:
- Their participants from child abuse
- Themselves from wrongful accusations
If a child yells you that s/he is being abused, there are a number of steps you could take:
- Listen and reassure the child it was right to tell you
- Be honest and explain you will need to tell someone else who will be able to help protect her/him
- Don’t take sole responsibility; share concerns with a more senior member of the coaches or report directly to Social Services, Police or the NSPCC
- Accurately record what the child said and what action was taken.
When dealing with young people good practice suggests:
- Avoid situations where there is just one child and one adult
- Keep doors open when working in a closed environment
- Arrange to meet children with parents present
- Encourage parents and other adults to observe coaching sessions and support competitions
(Working with Children – NCF)
Download our child protection policy here
The English AAA web site has a summary of the Associations Athletics Welfare Policy www.englandathletics.org (under administration and policies)
All coaches have a legal responsibility to ensure they:
- Are suitably qualified in sport activity
- Are able to provide safe practice and activities
- Keep family members informed about the nature of the activity
(Working with Children – NCF)
Notes from “Lore of Running”
In his book “Lore of Running” Tim Noakes discusses six points that coaches of young people should consider:
- Most of the worlds outstanding adult endurance athletes of the 1980s did not train heavily and were not outstandingly successful as children
- Children who mature late are more likely to be better adult athletes
- Intensive endurance type training during early childhood does not seem to have any particular benefits that could be achieved by the same training after the age of 18
- Children do not drop out of competitive sport because of fatigue
- Abnormal parental and coaching pressures may well be critical factors determining whether a child enjoys sport and continues to compete after adolescence
- Is it really so bad to be a great athlete only at school
Noakes also outlines some guidelines for parents (which can equally apply to coaches with a bit of fine-tuning) of children in school:
- Make sure that children know that win or lose, you love them and are not disappointed with their performances
- Be realistic about your child’s physical ability
- Help your child set realistic goals
- Emphasis improved performance not winning
- Don’t relive your own athletic past through your child
- Provide a safe environment for training and competition
- Control your own emotions at games and events
- Be a cheerleader for your child and other children on the team
Noakes goes on to say
“Children are not mini adults; they should be treated as children first and as athletes second. It is important to respect their limitation”