Membership

Joining The Club

Wycombe Phoenix Harriers AC is a thriving local athletics club, based at the Wycombe District Athletics Complex in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

If you are an adult looking to join an athletics club, please send your enquiry via the ‘Contact Us’ page, giving details of your athletics experience to allow us to determine if we have a squad to suit you.

For anyone of school age interested in joining the club, please read the section below to see if athletics training at WPH is something for you.

Our Membership Registration Form can be found on our website. Go to: About>Club Documents> Membership Documents. 

Waiting List

The club operates a waiting list system, one per development group (FUNdamentals Squads, Foundation Squads, Event Group Squads).

At times of particularly high demand, any of the waiting lists may be closed and we will not add anyone new to the lists until spaces become available. The status of each waiting list is maintained below; please check regularly for updates.

Any juniors wishing to join the club but who are not yet 8 years old, will only be added to the FUNdamentals waiting list (when it is not closed) on their 8th birthday, not before.

The club reserves the right to invite athletes to join the club based on vacancies in certain squads or age categories, and not necessarily based on the date of joining the waiting list.

If you wish to join the club and the relevant waiting list is not closed, please enquire via the Contact Us page.

NB: For enquiries relating to junior athletes who are under 18 years old, please also provide Parent /Guardian’s contact details.

Waiting List Status

FUNdamentals Squads (Age 8 to 11) - Waiting List Open

Foundation Squads (Age 11 to 13) - Waiting List Full

Event Group Squads - Places may be available in certain squads - please enquire via the Contact Us page

When the waiting list is full please check the website regularly to see if the status has changed.

Junior Athlete Development Pathway

The club provides a Development Pathway for all junior athletes (see diagram).

The minimum age for joining the club is 8 years old. Children aged 8 to 11 are placed into one of our FUNdamentals groups, where the focus is on developing the fundamental movement skills of running, jumping and throwing. At this age,  our aim is to develop these skills through games and fun activities.

From ages 11 to 13, children train within one of our Foundation groups where the focus moves towards event specific training within the three areas of running, jumping and throwing. There is still an emphasis on developing all round athletic ability and further development of the fundamental movement patterns. At this age, athletes may be given the opportunity to try out specific event group training in an area where they have expressed particular interest. This would however be at the coach’s discretion and is dependent on spaces in the event group.

From the age of 13 to 18, athletes will train in more specialist event group squads, for example: in Sprints, Throws, Jumps or Middle Distance. While athletes at this age are likely to continue with other sports, their athletics training will become more frequent and focused.

Progression from the Fundamentals into Foundation training groups will typically take place in either the autumn or spring terms of school year 6. Progression from Foundation to an Event Group usually occurs from the summer term of school year 8. However, this is at the discretion of the coach and may occur earlier or later as deemed appropriate for the athlete and is also dependant on spaces being available in the Event Group squad.

Transfer between Event Group squads is possible, although movement between squads covering the same events is discouraged. If an athlete wishes to change Event Group, they must first discuss this with their current coach.

Our Training

Training takes place at a number of locations depending on the time of year and the squad. See individual squad pages for details. Training is usually in mixed groups and will be supervised by a UKA qualified coach. Qualified coaching assistants may also be involved in delivering the sessions. On occasion unqualified helpers may be called upon, however, this will always be under the strict supervision of a qualified coach.

The club expects that athletes treat all volunteers at the club (including coaches, officials, etc.) with respect and that they abide by the club’s code of conduct (see links page). Failure to do so may result in an athlete being asked to leave the club.

Competition

WPH is a competitive athletics club and we take part in a number of leagues and other competitions. The majority of these events are team competitions and much in the same way as other sports clubs would, we expect our members to make themselves available for selection for these events.

As a minimum we would expect our junior athletes to make themselves available to compete for the club as follows (if deemed appropriate by your coach and selected by the team manager);

  • 4 Track and Field competitions per year (U13 to U17)
  • 4 Road / Cross Country Competitions (Foundation and Middle Distance Event Groups)
  • 3 Cross Country Competitions (FUNdamentals)

Membership renewal is not automatic and is dependant on meeting the above criteria. If an athlete has not met this requirement their membership will be reviewed at renewal time and their place at the club may be offered to someone else on the waiting list.

Talent Pathway

In special circumstances, entry to the club may be offered to athletes (school year 7 and above) who have performed an event to a certain high standard. See below for criteria (must have achieved at least one of):

  • Finished in the top 3 in a County Schools Athletics competition. Please note this does not include District Schools events. There must be evidence of the result on the Power of 10 website. See link below.
  • Ranked in the top 300 on the Power of 10 website.
  • Have a 68% or higher Parkrun age grading.
  • Competed for their county at the English Schools Cross Country Championships or the English Schools Track and Field championships.

Visit the Power of 10 website here.

Prospective athletes wishing to apply under the Talent Pathway must also demonstrate that they are able to regularly train and compete for the club (see earlier note on minimum competing requirements).

Current Membership Information

Membership fees are due on 15th April annually and covers the membership period of one year from 1st April to 31st March each year. Fees include England Athletics Athlete Affiliation fees.  Fees invoices are payable in full by the specified due date and are non-refundable.

For new members, if you are joining the club part-way through the membership year, pro-rata fees apply dependant on the month you join. Please contact us for details.

Club funding and support for reduced fees may be available to athletes in financial hardship - where fees payable is a barrier to joining our club.  Please apply in confidence to either our Membership Secretary or the club's Finance Officer, who will be very happy to discuss the options and agree specific arrangements with you. All applications are reviewed on a case by case basis and is subject to approval by the committee each membership year. Please apply in confidence using the Contact Us page and selecting the category Membership.

 

Information for Parents of Junior Athletes

Is there training in inclement weather (e.g. raining, snowing)?

Athletics training will usually carry on in all weather providing it is safe to do so at the designated training locations. Junior athletes are advised to always come prepared to train in all weather and to bring waterproofs and warm clothing to all training session along with a bottle of water (no fizzy drinks).

Is there training during school holidays?

This depends on which squad your child trains with. If unsure, contact your child coach for details. The club as a whole generally trains year round and will take breaks at different times throughout the year dependant on coach availability.

Coaches will always keep their own squad informed as to to when sessions are not taking place. Please contact your coach directly if in doubt.

Can I use the track facilities outside of club training nights?

No. WPH members of all ages are only allowed to train at the track on club nights. Membership with the WPH does not cover the use of the Little Marlow Athletics Complex facilities outside of our normal club booking times. If you wish to use the track when the club is not booked in, you will need to make and pay for your own booking by contacting Wycombe District Council directly to arrange.

Please do not attempt to use the track outside of club training sessions as this would be considered trespassing.

Which squad will my child train with?

Squad placement for new joiners is decided by the Membership Secretary and by coaches. For existing members, this is managed by your child's current coach. Always speak to them in the first instance.

What do I need for training?

We would advise athletes to:

  • wear suitable sports clothing for training
  • bring warm layers and waterproofs
  • wear running trainers
  • bring a pair of spikes (if you have a pair)
  • a bottle of water to drink at training (non-fizzy drinks)

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When does the membership year start and end?

Our membership years runs from 1st April to 31st March annually. New members joining the club part-way through the year will have their membership fees reduced accordingly, depending on the month of joining. Please email our membership secretary for exact details.

What you need to know about our membership fees.

Membership years runs from 1st April to 31st March annually.

Membership fees and England Athletics' Athlete Affiliation & registration fees are both annual charges and and is payable in full via invoice. It is due at the start of each membership year (1st April) and must be paid by 10th April. Fees are non-refundable.

For new joiners, fees will be calculated on a pro-rata basis based on the month your join. Fees are payable on joining and we ask that you pay this on receipt of our invoice.

Membership invoices are  emailed to members directly from an England Athletics' no-reply email address. All invoice queries should be referred back to the Club's Membership Secretary.

Membership fees must be paid online through PayZip. To make payment, click the payment link within the email with your invoice. Please do not pay your membership fees by direct bank transfer.

Contact our Membership Secretary using the Contact Us button if you have any membership payment queries. 

How do I pay the club?

Our preferred method of payment for ALL Membership Fees is by online payment via PayZip.

On joining (or at membership renewal time), members will be emailed an invoice from a no reply email at England Athletics. Clicking the payment link will enable you to pay online.

For all other non-membership related payments (e.g. for Kit purchase or competition entry fees), you can pay by cash, by direct bank transfers or by cheques made payable to Wycombe Phoenis Harriers AC. Always ensure you include a note regarding what the payment is for.

Can members use the track facilities outside of club times?

No. The club hire the track facilities for specific times only. WPH members - all ages - are therefore only allowed to train at the track and use the facilities during club times. Membership with the WPH does not cover the use of the Little Marlow Athletics Complex facilities outside of our normal club booking times. If you wish to use the track when the club does not have a valid booking, you will need to make and pay for your own booking by contacting Wycombe District Council directly to arrange.

Please do not attempt to use the track outside of club training sessions as this would be considered trespassing.

What athletic events does the club cover?

Our club provides training in cross country and all track and field disciplines including Pole Vaulting. 

When can I try pole vaulting?

We are particularly interested in hearing from any athletes with experience of pole vaulting or who are keen to give this sport a try. Please contact us for more details. You will need to be aged 12+.

How do I get into pole vault?

Wycombe Phoenix Harriers has highly skilled Pole Vault Coaches with a track record of coaching athletes at National Level. But everyone has to start somewhere, beginners start with low grips jumping into a sandpit about 10 cm off the ground. As the athlete’s skills develop, they start jumping for height onto foam landing areas. Once the athlete starts to master the event, they are then taught to bend the pole and progress to a technique similar to elite athletes.

Look out for our beginner/taster sessions over the summer months if you want to give pole vault a go.

Why does the pole vault squad mainly train at Brunel University?

Pole Vault requires a lot of safety equipment to be set up each session and is very susceptible to bad weather. Brunel University, Uxbridge, has a fantastic indoor athletics facility with a dedicated, permanently established Pole Vault area, incorporating specialist training equipment. Our training sessions are planned to utilise these facilities fully, incorporating technical drills, gymnastics, conditioning and speed development. Utilising this facility enables training to be undertaken throughout the winter without having to worry about rain, low temperatures or strong winds.