Get Involved in Athletics

Find out how to get the most out of track and field...

Last Updated: 11/08/12 1:08pm

Are you the next Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis or Greg Rutherford?

After a golden Games for some of Team GB's track and field stars, UK Athletics is hoping that a new generation will be inspired - and they've already seen an increase in hits on their website thanks to the impact of London 2012.

So as the Olympics drew to a close, Get Involved hit the road to find out how YOU can take the first steps to becoming an athlete.

Free programmes such as Startrack - which encourages youngsters to take up athletics - could be the first step for many.

As we discovered by visiting an Aviva Startrack event in Norwich and the Birchfield Harriers club in Birmingham, athletics can give young people a sense of purpose - and it doesn't have to cost a fortune in terms of equipment.

As Birchfield Harriers chair and coach Andy Paul explained, it's not all about running fast either. Children are encouraged to simply enjoy themselves and to try their hand at all of the disciplines.

He said: "You're always going to get some that try it and don't like it. We're very honest with them when they start: 'give it a go, try everything.'

"We don't pigeon-hole the kids when they first start. They need to run and jump and throw and find out if something they've never tried before is actually what they might be best at.

"That's a great thing to uncover that talent they didn't think they had."

According to Sport England's latest Active People survey, carried out in 2011, there was a drop in athletics participation amongst people in education over a period of six months, predominantly in school and higher education.

So with the Olympic success fresh in in our minds, can more be done to promote athletics?

For more information click here to visit the official website of United Kingdom Athletics or find out more about the Startrack programme here.