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.
Masters Track and Field (Power/Speed)
New to 2017/2018, our masters track and field program involves hands on coaching expertise in events ranging from the 100m-400m distances, and hurdles. Athletes 35+ are encouraged to hold open communication of their individual training and competition goals with our coaching staff in order to maximize athletic performance and training values. The aim of this program is to facilitate a "fit for life" motive through the sport of track and field, for both competitive (competing) and non competitive athletes. Opportunities to compete will be offered at the local, provincial, national and even international level. In 2016, the Vancouver Thunderbirds Track and Field Club played host to the America's Master Games at UBC Track; a smashing success for all involved.
All Ages Run Club
The Flock Run Club was created to facilitate athletes looking to improve upon their aerobic and anaerobic fitness on the roads, trails, and track. Join other motivated athletes twice a week to stay accountable to weekly training and and performance goals in a fun and motivating environment. Consultation and online weekly training suggestions will be provided, with physical coaching presence on Monday and Wednesday evenings. All ages and abilities are welcome, however, our training program will aim to facilitate 5km - Marathon race distances. For more information or further program questions, email email@example.com (Lead Coach).
2017 Club highlights
During 2017 Track & XC seasons, 24 Thunderbird athletes were named to either a Provincial or a National team.
Thunderbirds won the overall team title at Harry Jerome Indoor Games (February, 2017) Highlighted by: Stephen Abosi breaking the meet record in the 60m and earning the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Meet; Jonelle Bell-Spence winning the Women’s 60m to win Outstanding Female Athlete of the Meet.
JD Team repeated their 2016 win, to capture the 2017 BC XC Club Team Title.
Thunderbird 2016 Olympian, Lucas Bruchet won the 2017 Senior Men’s Canadian XC Title, while Thunderbird teammate and current UBC Varsity athlete, Kieran Lumb won the Junior Men’s Canadian XC Title. Both men, plus Senior Male Thunderbird, John Gay (13th) and Senior Female, Erica Digby (8th) have been selected to represent Canada at the Pan American XC Championships in El Salvador in February, 2018.
2017 Club Award Winners presented at the 2017 Annual Social Night & Awards Gala included:
JD Athletes of the Year: Matthew Uliana & Maya Baechler.
High School Athletes of the Year: Quin Litherland & Michelle Dadson.
Senior Athletes of the Year: John Gay & Erica Digby.
Three New Program Developments opened in 2017:
Junior Development “East” at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby. Brand new, resurfaced track facility, new equipment, same structure as our UBC/PG program. Head Coaches: Braeden Charlton (XC) and Laurier Primeau (Track & Field).
Master’s (35+) Track and Field. Head Coaches Andrew Cooke (Power/Speed) and Don Allemeersch (Throws).
“The Flock” Run Club. All ages run club designed for endurance based athletes of all skillsets. Head Coach: Kendra Pomfret.