Prospective Members “Frequently Asked Questions”
What is the cost?
Please refer to the “Membership” section for current fees and membership options.
What do the fees cover?
- Facility rental for training (Kinsmen Fieldhouse, Rollie Miles Track, Foote Field)
- Meet entry fees for club-supported competitions
Are there any other fees or expenses?
All Harriers are required to register online (Athletics Alberta website) for a provincial Athletics Alberta membership. Fees vary according to age group. Age (as of December 31) categories are as follows:
U12: 11 years & under
U14: 12-13 years
U16: 14-15 years
U18: 16-17 years
U20: 18-19 years
This fee is for insurance purposes, and to enable athletes to participate in provincially-sanctioned competitions. For athletes registering for the first time with Athletics Alberta in the fall, the membership extends through to December 31st the following year.
Athletes are required to wear a club singlet ($50) when competing. Out of town expenses, travel, accommodation and food/incidentals are the responsibility of members.
Where and when do we train? How often? Can we take part in other sports as well as track & field?
For the Cross Country (September & October) season we are based at Hawrelak Park. Indoor Track season (November through March) we are at Kinsmen Fieldhouse (with the distance group doing some training outside if weather permits). Outdoor Track season (April through August) we are at a combination of Rollie Miles, Foote Field and Hawrelak Park. Training times for most athletes are 4:30 to approximately 6:00PM. Training days are Monday through Thursday, and when there is no competition scheduled there is an additional training session for the distance-running group on Saturday at Hawrelak Park (10:30AM to Noon).
How often you train is an individual decision made in consultation with the coach(es). Young athletes are encouraged to continue with other sports – the training in track & field usually benefits other sports a great deal. These athletes train with us on average twice a week. As you get older you will want to specialize more and might be doing specific track & field training up to 6 times a week. As a general guide, most elementary students train twice per week, junior and senior high athletes train 2 to 4 times per week (or more), depending on their involvement in other sports activities.
What Events Can I Do?
The club offers coaching in cross-country running and all track & field events except pole vault. Younger athletes (U12 & U14) will be encouraged to take part in many different events. This helps develop all-round athletes and specialization comes later. Even if you think you know which event you want to specialize in at a very early age, we will strongly encourage you to try other events. Track & field includes running: sprinting, distance running and hurdling; jumping: long, high, triple; and throwing: shot, discus, javelin and hammer.
How Long Is The Training/Competition Season?
Indoor season is usually November to the end of March. Outdoor season begins with training early in April, competition beginning in May. Some athletes will finish as soon as the summer holidays begin, while others, especially those U16 and up athletes on provincial or national teams, train and compete right through mid-August. Cross-country season is September to early November.
Our club is seen as a leader in the Edmonton area in terms of offering services to the general community. We are a club that hosts several races for youngsters throughout the year, and also contributes our part (along with other track clubs) in providing volunteers for other sanctioned events, so parent volunteer involvement is definitely an aspect (and usually an enjoyable one) of membership in the Harriers. Full-year members must fulfill at least 6 volunteer shifts per year per registered athlete member. No prior experience is required for helping out at track meets!
Generally our major volunteer commitment is in the cross country (Sept/Oct) and indoor season (Jan through March). We host an extremely popular and successful elementary cross country series of 3 races, which requires many volunteers. We also host an elementary indoor relay event in January, which requires “all hands on deck” to make it happen. The commitment requirement for track is small compared with many other sports. However, without this commitment the sport simply would not exist. When everyone fulfills their commitment, it spreads the load and ensures that no individual or small group is overworked.
Every 2 years, there is a casino fundraiser for which each member family is expected to participate.
There is also opportunity to fulfill a role within our volunteer Board of Directors. The club operates and is run completely through the efforts of parent Board volunteers. Taking on one of these positions may reduce your other volunteer requirements.
Do I Have To Have Special Athletic Ability?
Anyone with a positive attitude towards the sport is welcome. The emphasis is placed on personal achievement and growth (doing your personal best). We find that everyone who is willing to apply themselves will improve. Many of our members are outstanding athletes. Do not be discouraged if you can’t perform like them at first – with patience and a reasonable amount of effort you will improve.
What Ages Does The Club Cater To?
We welcome athletes 10 years and older.
What About Competitions?
For the outdoor track season the competitions available depend on your age and, in some cases, your ability. Again, there is a great deal of flexibility – you choose which meets you wish to enter (guided by coaches). There are generally some out-of-town meets that involve additional expense, notably a major meet in Calgary (mid-June) and a meet in Kelowna (July Long Weekend).
Indoors there are a number of meets at the Butterdome here in Edmonton. For the short cross-country season there are a number of club competitions in Edmonton and surrounding area (Wetaskiwin, Leduc) and Provincial Championships, alternating between Edmonton and Calgary.
How Do I Start?
We take in new members mainly in the fall (starting in September), and some in the spring (starting in April). Prospective members are welcome to come out for a week or so of trial training sessions, and we do encourage this. If you are interested, please email our club contact person (email address is under “Contact” on the website) for information on specific dates and locations of trial training.