THUNDERBIRD PROGRAM OFFERINGS
The Vancouver Thunderbirds has something for everyone. We maintain three age groupings based on our own experience in organized athletics and the guidelines set forth by the provincial and national sporting bodies.
Age 13 and under:
For this age group we are a community based, grass roots track and field club that encourages athletes to try new events, improve ones that they are already good at, and to participate in many activities outside of our sport. Cross Country programs are offered from September to November. Indoor conditioning practices run from December to Spring Break, and outdoor track and field practices run from March to July. The club emphasizes that at this age specialization and personal training is strongly discouraged. Sometimes it is the young athlete who is requesting the additional training, and it is up to the parent to hold the athlete back rather than risk ‘burnout’ by ‘giving them what they want’. Performance is not the focus of this age group, and studies show that successful performance for athletes grade 7 and younger has virtually no correlation to success at older ages. The purpose of the practices for this age group is to develop basic competency in each event so that they may have a more fulfilling experience at track and field meets. For more information, read the Junior Development sections of our Cross Country and Track and Field offerings.
Age 14 - 19:
We are a provincially recognized club that splits its training groups into ENDURANCE (cross country, middle and long distance) and POWER/SPEED (sprints, hurdles, throws and jumps) categories at this intermediate level. Practice times and days vary depending on the event group. At this age group we place an emphasis on fun and participation, coupled with the potential for highly competitive provincial and national competitions. There is opportunity to represent regional teams and for team travel. It is important to consult the coaches about the events you want to do and the practice times that are appropriate for your events. More specific training is available at this age group, and athletes tend to start to focus on one or two event groups (ie jumps and sprints, or middle and long distance). For more information, read the Midget, Youth & Junior sections of our Cross Country and Track and Field offerings.
Age 20 and over:
Highly specialized training regimes, periodization and year-round training have helped to put our athletes on teams that travel throughout North America, Europe, South America and Asia. These athletes aspire to the pinnacle of the sport. Consultation and planning with the Thunderbirds’ coaches is required at this level. While not all our athletes in this age group are elite, it is expected that athletes of all abilities are highly committed to training and competing. For more information, read the Senior sections of our Cross Country and Track and Field offerings.