Want to get started in Athletics or Running?

Athletics is a multi faceted sport incorporating sprinting, hurdling, jumping, throwing and wheeling, as well as running and walking for endurance. Whether you dream of making the Olympics or simply want to stay fit and meet new people there is something for everyone.

How do I get involved?

Your first stop should be to look at our Pathway section to figure out where you are and what options are available to you. 

Athlete Development Pathway 

Launched in October 2017, our Athlete Development Pathway aligns the British Athletics Athlete Development stages with key athlete and coach support programmes delivered in NI.

Entry to the pathway is from ~8 years old through the following levels of development:

  • Fundamentals – Focussing on movement skills including agility, balance and co-ordination; speed; jumping and landing to support a multi-sport approach
  • Foundation – Focussing on running, jumping and throwing skills to support a multi-event approach, appreciating the athlete may still be involved in multiple sports
  • Event Group – Narrowing the focus to Sprints, Endurance, Jumps, Throws or Combined Events
  • Event Specialist – Narrowing the focus to a specialist event within an event group
  • Performance – Preparing to compete at the highest level

The pathway takes into account the sporting environment athletes and coaches work within, such as schools, universities, clubs, communities and performance centres, highlighting the crucial interactions, and relationships, at each stage of athlete development.

Athletics NI aim to offer appropriate, positive and rewarding experiences to every athlete in every training environment so they may reach their full potential. We aim to get more athletes to major championships and to improve the quality of coaching at every level. Success at international level will attract more participants into the sport and more members for Athletics Northern Ireland. We believe that Talent and Performance drive Participation and Participation drives Talent.

Running for Fitness

Running is a great way to keep fit and make new friends. With over 80 clubs across Northern Ireland, there are groups of runners and joggers nearby, no matter where you live.

Club Athletics

With over 80 clubs across Northern Ireland, you are never far away from like minded people.


Most athletes get their first experience of Athletics at school. CLICK HERE to find out more.