There are many different types of competition that members can get involved at various levels depending on ability and need. This is a guide to help you decide what you could or should be doing.
Leagues - There are two leagues in which the club fully participates, ie the club affiliates to these leagues and pays the fees (for open meetings athletes are responsible for their own entry fees)- the NEYDL (NE Youth Development League formally YAL) for u13, u15 u17 boys and girls, and the North of England T&F League for u17, seniors and vets. These provide a reasonable standard of club athletics - each league has a fixed format for each fixture. There are two mid-week leagues in which athletes of all ages can compete, although the club does not treat them as a team competition - NYSD (North Yorkshire & South Durham) held on Tuesday evenings at Darlington & Middlesbrough. Each meeting has a different selection of events for different age groups - athletes pay for their own number (the club will now pay these fees for all age groups), but the number is then is valid for all the NYSD fixtures (make sure numbers are kept safe!) - ideal for novices gaining experience in new events. The NEGP (NE Grand Prix – formally NEAL) is held on Wednesday evenings at Jarrow or Gateshead. This is usually of a slightly higher standard than NYSD, both have graded races for U17 and older age groups ie athletes of similar ability run against each other - which promotes better performances.
Championships - the first level is North East Counties held usually at Gateshead in May. Includes events for all age groups. . The second level is Northern Athletics regional championships, with separate two day championships for u15/u17 and u20/Sen - this is quite a high standard for top 20% The top tier is National Championships which have qualifying standards. The more able school age athletes will also be aiming for the English Schools Championships for which there are qualifying standards.
Open Meetings - these are generally held early and late season - each meeting offers variety of events. The early season meetings often have ‘mid’ distance track events eg 300m, 600m & 1000m 1500mSC as preparation for specialist events
British Milers Club events - These are held at various level locally (at Durham) and regionally and nationally at distances of 800m+ The races are both paced and graded - and are where most middle distance runners set Pbs.
Veterans - whilst veterans can and do compete as seniors, there are league events and championships for those aged 35+ where there is a good standard of competition without the fear of being blown off the track by “young whizz kids”!