Track & Field Tips for Parents + Athletes

Clothing and Gear

Running Shoes
This is the most important piece of equipment so make sure shoes are lightweight, well-fitted and designed for running.  Avoid cross trainers, high tops, or all-leather shoes as they tend to be heavy and don't offer adequate support. 
It is recommended that athletes wear comfortable, breathable layers to each practice and track meet.  Warm-up pants or tights should be worn over shorts during warm-up and can be removed for the main part of the training session.  Always come prepared with layers for cold and wet weather - long sleeved shirt, light rain jacket, toque, light gloves can sometimes be necessary on summer days and particularly during evening spring practices!   Always keep these items handy in your backpack, just in case.
Track Spikes
Spikes are not mandatory, particularly for JD athletes, but since most tracks in the province are newer synthetic tracks, spikes could be an asset for the athlete. Track spikes can range from $80 - $100 for a decent pair and can be purchased at Running Room and Frontrunners. Used spikes are often available for purchase or swap at the track.
Note that JD athletes are asked not to bring spikes to practice until requested by coaches.  Spikes are not to be worn during warm-up laps and dynamic warm-up drills.  Coaches will announce when it is time to put on spikes.
Club Singlets
Singlets must be worn at all sanctioned meets. Please be sure to label with athlete’s name.
Club Jackets
Monogrammed club jackets and clothing are available to order early in the season.
Other Important Notes
  • Bring water to every practice.  Label your water bottle and stay hydrated at practices and competitions.
  • Try to eat a healthy meal or snack at least one hour prior to practice start time. 
  • PLEASE do not bring your child to track practice (and drop them off) if they have an injury.  Coaches do not have time to offer alternate activities so they will be asked to sit in the stands and wait for pick up.
Track Meets
Meet Fees
Most Island track meets have a set fee, so athletes can choose to participate in as many events as they’d like. Some meets are pay-per-event (Victoria, Langley and Championship meets.)  Athletes are given a number that must be pinned to their singlet prior to competing in an event.
At the Meet
On the day of the track meet, arrive at least 60 minutes before your first event.  Upon arrival at the venue, locate fellow NTFC club members and coaches, pick up your competition number, become familiar with the venue and proceed to warm-up with your fellow club competitors.  At this time, parents can make themselves available to volunteer at the Finish Line.
Track events take priority over field events. If an athlete has two events that overlap, they must check in to both events and leave the field event only long enough to complete their race.  After your race, return immediately back to the field event – PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOU MAY MISS A ROUND.
After your event/race, check in with one of your coaches.
What to Bring
  • NTFC singlet and shorts
  • Running shoes, extra pair of socks.
  • Spikes and tools (spike wrench, extra spikes)
  • Sweat pants/tights/long sleeve shirt/jacket (to be worn while warming up and right after competition to keep muscles warm.)
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Blanket and/or chair (some venues don’t have stands or bleachers), umbrella or sun tent
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Cooler packed with healthy snacks/lunch
  • Most meets have a concession with food and beverages available for sale.
Event results will be posted some time after your event. 
Ribbons/medals should be picked up at the meet. 
Any awards not picked up will be available at the clubhouse, following the NEXT Island meet.