Athletics Northern Ireland are pleased to announce the second Speed & Relay Squad Day will be held on Saturday 2 April 2016 at Ulster University Jordanstown. The day will also act as a preparation camp for teams that wish to enter the Belfast International relays competition on Saturday 7 May 2016.

Following the success of the coaches only Speed and Relays Launch Event held in late November 2015, the second Speed and Relays Day will provide an opportunity for athletes from across Ulster and Northern Ireland begin to develop their relay skills. It will also offer coaches the chance to once again learn more about key topics in sprint training and get practical hands on experience of coaching sprint relays.

The Relay Squad Day will be the perfect opportunity for athletes to learn the push pass exchange technique in preparation for the 2016 Belfast International

Tom Crick, Director of Coaching and Athlete Development said, “On 7 May 2016, the Belfast International will be held at Mary Peter’s Track. The programme will include a men’s and women’s 4x100m relay race that will be open to a limited number of teams from across Northern Ireland. These relay races will also act as a talent identification event for a future Northern Ireland relay team.”

“The Speed & Relays Squad Day on 2 April will give athletes and their coaches an opportunity to begin to practice performing and coaching the push pass exchange technique that will be used by the NI Relay Squads when they are selected. Therefore, I strongly encourage any athlete over the age of 16 who would like to be selected for a future Relay Squad to come along and attend to see what will be expected.”

In the future Northern Ireland Relay Squads will be run at both senior and developmental age groups. The aim will be to ensure all speed athletes across Northern Ireland develop the skills necessary to compete effectively at relays. In time it is hoped this will lead to an opportunity for Northern Ireland to deploy competitive relay teams at the Commonwealth Games. It should also mean that Northern Irish athletes are also able to excel should they be selected for the GB or Irish relays teams.

The second NI Speed and Relay Squad Coach and Athlete Development event will be held on Saturday 2 April 2016 at the indoor track Ulster University Jordanstown, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB. It will begin at 09:15 and finish around 16:00. The morning will be a pure coach development event but from 14:00 – 16:00 athletes will have the opportunity to begin to learn the push pass relay exchange technique, which is used by both the GB and Irish Relay teams. The track is also booked from 16:00-17:00 so anyone who wishes to stay on and do a training session can make the most of the indoor facilities.

The relay squad day is FREE for both athletes and coaches

Tom said, “This coach and athlete development opportunity is FREE to attend until we reach capacity. It is open to all coaches in Northern Ireland as well as any coaches who wish to travel to Jordanstown from the UK mainland and Ireland. We have made it open to all because we have athletes who will potentially be in the NI squads who have coaches from across Europe and I actively encourage anyone with an interest in Speed or Relays to attend.”

Adam McMullen will undertake an "Open Workout" at the 2nd NI Speed & Relays Squad Day. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

Adam McMullen will undertake an “Open Workout” at the 2nd NI Speed & Relays Squad Day. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

The coach development part of the day will begin with a discussion of the key sprint training methods including – speed, speed endurance, special endurance and specific endurance. This will then be followed by an “open workout” featuring 2016 Irish Indoors Long Jump Champion Adam McMullen, which will focus on speed and plyometrics for sprinting. Adam’s coach Alan Kennedy will also be in attendance to provide reflective commentary and discussion. After lunch the Irish Junior Women’s Relay Coach Karen Kirk and Athletics NI’s Director of Coaching & Athlete Development Tom Crick will be provide a practical recap for coaches on the fundamental concepts of the push pass exchange. Then from around 14:00, the coaches in attendance will have an opportunity to practice teaching what they have learned to attending athletes under the supervision of Karen and Tom.


The full schedule for the day was as follows:


09:15 – Arrival and Registration (Indoor Track)
09:30 – Speed Training Methods
11:00 – Break
11:15 – Example sprint session featuring Adam McMullen and Alan Kennedy
13:00 – Lunch
13:45 – Relay theory and practice recap with Karen Kirk and Tom Crick


14:30 – Athlete relay fundamentals – push pass exchange with assistance from coaches who have attended the morning session
16:00 (Approx) – Practice finishes
16:00 – 17:00 Open session for athletes who want to stay on to train using the UUJ indoor facilities

How to book

Coaches please register to attend from 09:15 – 16:00 using the following link.

Athletes please register to attend from 14:00 – 16:00 using the following link:

Confirmation from Athletics NI

Final confirmation of the details for the day will be emailed to athletes and coaches on Wednesday 30 March 2016 around 17:00.