What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Athletics covers a wide range of different types of running, jumping and throwing.  

  • There is short, middle and long distance running, long, high and other sorts of jumping, and throwing of javelin, discus and other missiles.  

  • Serious athletic activity involves much individual training, mostly outdoors, and many types of athletic competitions at all levels of achievement. 

Find out more


Amateur Athletic Association of England   

0121 452 1500
English Cross Country Association   

01256 328 401
Road Runners Club   0208 311 1570
UK Athletics 



Athletics Weekly
Runner's World
Running Fitness


Getting started

  • Find a local athletics group or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local sports centre.

  • Consult books or magazines on different types of athletics.

  • Check in your local library/paper or sports centre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Athletics is for people of all ages and both sexes.

  • Athletic training can be, and often is, done on one's own, but many people belong to clubs and take part in competitions from time to time.  

  • It is better if the people you train and compete with are of roughly the same standard as yourself.

Equipment or clothing
  • At the basic level, the potential athlete needs good sports or running shoes and some form of shorts and sports top and a track suit.  

  • More serious participants may invest in more sophisticated clothing and footwear.  

  • Missiles for throwing activities are generally provided by the clubs or centres, at least initially. 

A place or facilities
  • There are athletic facilities in many schools, as well as most sports centres. 

Have a go - get started now

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