Athletics NI Propose Club & Community Based Rising Stars Initiatives

23 July 2018

Athletics NI Propose Club & Community Based Rising Stars Initiatives

Athletics NI will host an information evening for club, school and community athletics coaches and/or coordinators on Friday 17th August at 6pm.

Rising Stars : Physical Preparation and Run, Jump, Throw approach

In line with the multi event approach and philosophy of long term athlete development shared by Athletics NI development staff, weekly Rising Stars initiatives began in 2014 in three regions. Four years later weekly sessions run in eight regions involving 200 young athletes (12-15 years old) and 20 coaches.  Squads run in 3x 10 week terms with each 90 minute session including a dynamic warm up and general physical preparation with 20 minute run, jump throw elements on each occasion. 

The written curriculum overseen by Athletics NI’s Athlete and Coach Development Leads provides a consistent approach for Rising Stars across NI and is available online with supporting resources (  


Rising Stars Graduates Excel at Combined and Individual Events

With Rising Stars now in its fourth year, graduate athletes have gone on to not only perform to a high standard in combined events but have demonstrated their all-round athletic ability in individual events. Rising Stars 2015 Graduate Kate O’Connor has since earned a top 8 placing at the both European U18 & U20 Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games Heptathlon in the Gold Coast.

National Champions Katie Monteith (60/100m) and Jonathan Cochrane (LJ/TJ) who both engaged with the programme for 2+ years have demonstrated that the multi event approach can raise physical potential and prepare athletes for future success in individual events. Both athletes now work effectively with their personal coaches, club and Athletics NI Youth Academy.


A strategic focus on scalable models for delivering youth development curriculums

In line with Athletics NI’s 2017-2021 Strategy we believe we should leverage our resources and continue to share expertise in youth development and physical preparation. As a small home country, Northern Ireland are best placed to focus on identification and development of talent to produce senior athletes for the British or Irish World Class Systems. Our strategy focuses on producing and open sourcing best practice youth development curriculums and supporting scalable models for delivery.

The information session which will be delivered by Coach Development Lead Laura Kerr and Athlete Development Lead Tom Reynolds will summarise how squads can be set up, resourced and delivered in a financially sustainable way. The new curriculum for 2018/19 will be shared and Tom and Laura will discuss equipment requirements and answer questions on recruitment, coaching and squad management.

Our ambition is to see local clubs formalise delivery of youth sessions and coaching to ensure a quality experience and maximise the potential of young athletes.  We welcome attendance from coaches, coordinators or teachers who may consider leading on the delivery of a rising stars initiative within their own club, school or community environment in 2018-2019.

Information Evening: 

Date:               17th August 2018

Time:              6-9pm

Venue:           Athletics House, Mary Peters Track

RSVP to: