Track and Field

November - July

Junior Development (9-13 y.o.) 

Coaches: Graeme Fell,  Braeden Charlton, Iuliana Kroeger

Three training locations available, with the same small coach-athlete ratio:

JD WEST(UBC/Point Grey), JD EAST (Swangard Stadium, Burnaby), Surrey Secondary Athletic Park (North Surrey). See Calendar for details.

This age group encourages athletes to try all event areas both in practices and competitions. Early season includes sprint training, introductory plyometrics, circuits and agility activities with a emphasis on fitness but fun. Starting in December, after the completion of the cross-country season, athletes are offered four training sessions a week. Practice time is 1 1/2 hours in duration. Competitions run from March through to July and are offered throughout the Lower Mainland and around BC. While athletes are encourage to compete, this is done while taking into consideration their physical and emotional maturity.

Winter Training

From Mid-November onwards, following the completion of the cross country season, we offer four practice days on the West side, and three practice days on the east. Each practice will include some sprint, aerobic and general fitness components and will gradually focus on more event specific skills. The number of practices offered per week are intended to offer flexibility for busy schedules; the recognition that the greatest improvements will occur by attending as many practices as possible.  

(Note: there will be no workout on a competition day)


Every Tuesday at UBC, we will be offering discus, javelin, shot and pole vault to both our high school and junior development athletes. Junior Development pole vault will be at 5:30pm and throws at 6:30pm. (We will still be offering throws during normal practices; these sessions are for athletes who would like more practice in these throws events.) These practices will be lead by Liz Gleadle for throws and a combination of Bill Fisher and Gordan Poljack for pole vault.

Note on competitions:

The focus for the Junior Development Program is to gradually introduce athletes to competition. We encourage athletes to first participate in relay teams and then graduate participate as an individual. The competition season for clubs overlaps that for schools; the school season ending in late May, the club season ending in late July; the major meets being the BC JD Pentathlon Championships and BC JD Championships. 

The focus for athletes at all meets should be on enjoying the experience, learning how to do their best in a variety of events and challenging themselves to improve their own marks. We will be encouraging athletes to pursue Provincial Crests that can be earned by establishing marks in a variety of events.

Each season a meet schedule indicating opportunities for athletes to compete is posted on this page. Those in bold will be meets that Thunderbird Coaches will attend. On these days no practice will be held. The other, non-bold meets are opportunities that exist but not ones on which the club is focused (coaches will not be at these meets.) 

Emails are sent out inviting athletes to sign-up for meets.

Midget, Youth & Junior (14-19 y.o.) | Senior (20+ y.o.)

POWER AND SPEED EVENTS. Training Locations offered at UBC, Vancouver and Surrey.

Coaches:  Andrew Cooke (High Performance & Club Athletes 14+ UBC), Iuliana Kroeger (Head Coach All Power Speed Events in Surrey),  Larry Blaschuk (Horizontal Jumps), Byron Jack (Vertical Jumps), Gordan Poljak and Bill Fisher (Pole Vault), Tom Willcox (Cirlce Throws)

Athletes at all levels work with the coach to identify goals, and to create individualized annual and long term training plans, designed to promote peak performances at major competitions both within the year and beyond.

After a break in September, the general program provides a periodized, scientifically sound training plan for power speed athletes throughout the fall and winter. General conditioning in all areas, as well as specific technical skills are emphasized.  

Training for everyone becomes more event specific and individualized in late winter/early spring as competition season approaches. After the high school season, many club members compete at the club, provincial, national, and international levels throughout the summer, before abreak in late August/ September.

Power speed training is formally held three times per week in the Fall and Winter, and more frequently, according to event and individual needs in the early spring and summer.  Attendance is not mandatory, and athletes can do the workout on their own. High performance athletes usually participate in a strength program which involves additional training time.

Event Groups:

Intermediate Sprints and Hurdles (High-school + university level athletes)
Coach: Andrew Cooke - Vancouver/UBC

Coach: Iuliana Kroeger - Surrey/North Surrey Secondary

Horizontal and Vertical Jumps
Coaches: Larry Blaschuk (Horizontal Jumps) -, Byron Jack (Vertical Jumps) -

Pole Vault Coaches: Gordan Poljak -, Bill Fisher -

Circle Throws
Coach: Tom Willcox -

Masters track and field (Sprints and Hurdles)

Coach: Andrew Cooke -

Intermediate Middle and Long distance Events

Coaches: Chris Johnson, Cindy Crowther, Sean Dawson.

The Midget, Youth and Junior track and field program begins after the cross country season (September - November) and then continues on in the form of more track-oriented training throughout the rest of the year. Athletes typically take a short break in between cross country and track seasons to recover.

During the fall, group distance runs, fartlek, hills, circuit-training and interval type activities are used to develop the endurance and power required for the track. Over the winter, speedwork and more structured track sessions are used to prepare the athletes for the track season. Athletes are encouraged to run the full range of events from 400m to 3000m and 5000m (depending on their age) as well as steeplechase.

Three workouts are offered per week with athletes adding their own workouts in the form of distance runs as they become more physically able to do so.

High Performance Endurance Training

The Club stresses improvement at all levels and welcomes anyone regardless of their athletic background. Thunderbirds provides coaching for the athlete to achieve their own personal running goals. As the ability of the athlete develops, and more specialized guidance becomes necessary, individualized programs can be tailored to each athlete. Such a decision is at the discretion of individual coaches and the Club's management.

Group Separation

In many cases, different age groupings will have the same coach and follow similar schedules, but that need not mean all groups train together. We make an effort as a Club to separate athletes of different ability levels and ages where appropriate, and combine groups where mutually beneficial arrangements are possible.

Any questions about the suitability of this program to the athlete are done on a case by case basis through a contact form.