Area Cross-Country Championships take place either side of Christmas for Minors, Juniors, Intermediates and Seniors.
The SSAA Championships take place at the end of January, or beginning of February, with 15 athletes representing each Area in each age group.
10 athletes per age group are selected to go forward to the South-West Championships which are held in February.
8 athletes per age group (but not Minors) go forward to represent the County at the ESAA Championships which are traditionally held on the third Saturday in March.
The first 8 athletes in the Junior and Intermediate races at the ESAA Championships are selected to represent England in the SIAB Home International.
SSAA Junior Cross-Country Championships (for year 7 and year 8 athletes) take place at the end of February, with entries coming direct from schools.
Area Track and Field Championships take place in late May for Juniors, Intermediates and Senior age groups.
The SSAA Championships take place on the second Saturday in June with Areas entering a maximum of 4 athletes per event. Usually a total of some 600 athletes will represent their Areas at these Championships.
A team of 130 competitors is selected to represent the County at the South-West Championships held on the following Saturday.
Somerset being a ‘C group’ County enters a maximum of 25 athletes in the ESAA Championships, traditionally held on the second Saturday in July and the preceding Friday. An ESAA Entry Standard should have been achieved by those athletes selected.
An Intermediate team (2 per event) is selected from the ESAA Championships to represent England in the SIAB Home International.
SSAA Junior Track and Field Championships (for year 7 and year 8 athletes) take place in the week prior to the SSAA Championships with entries coming direct from schools.
The SSAA Combined Events Championships take place during the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May for Minors, Juniors, Intermediates and Senior age groups. Entries come direct from schools and clubs.
Teams of four athletes (not Minors) are selected to represent the County at the South-West Regional Championships which usually take place on the fourth weekend of June.
The winning team, plus the top two individuals not in that winning team, from each age group qualify automatically for the ESAA Championships.
In addition, from the six Regional competitions, ESAA will extend invitations to the top 6 athletes in each age group who have not already qualified by right .
The ESAA Championships are held on the third weekend of September.
Race Walking Championships for Minors (not at ESAA Championships), Juniors, Intermediates and Seniors are also held at all Combined Events Championships.
County Coaching days are held from November through to March.
Individual invitations are sent to all athletes who represented the county in the previous season. Schools are also asked to nominate students who have not represented the county but show an aptitude for athletics and/or who are new to the county.
All track and field events are offered with coaches coming from across the south-west region.
One of the aims of the coaching courses is to bring athletes together to meet with their team mates prior to the following season.
Somerset is classed as a ‘C’ Group county which is determined by the number of students on role, the last calculation taking place in 2005. We are the 5th smallest county of the 45 affiliated to the ESAA.
At all national championships individual athletes compete against other individual athletes for the title of ‘national champion’.
Within cross-country and combined events all county teams are competing to be national team champion within each age group.
At the track and field championships county teams are competing against other teams from within their group to be national group team champion within each age group.
At the cross-country championships county teams are also competing to be overall group team champion.
As a ‘C’ Group team we are allowed to take 25 athletes to the track and field championships (‘A’ group take 60 athletes, ‘B’ group 35 athletes). All teams take 48 athletes to the cross-country championships whilst the number of representatives to combined events and walking championships is determined by performances at the regional championships.
A larger county is ‘doubly’ stronger as it has more students from which to select a larger team! Statistically, therefore, we ought to be gaining a national champion once every two years ....
This page gives a brief overview of the Association’s activities: