Frequently asked questions

What does the Walton - Pope Youth Running Club offer?

Our Club has two seasons: Track and Field in the spring and Cross Country in the fall. Our program is designed to introduce kids to sprint and distance running and field events by providing an experience that is fun, competitive, social, and educational. The Walton - Pope Youth Running Club is a track and field and cross country running club for elementary, middle and high school aged girls and boys. We participate in the Northwest Georgia Youth Track League and USATF sanctioned meets. No prior experience with running competitively is required to participate on the team.

When is registration?

Registration for Cross Country usually takes place in July. Registration for Track & Field takes place in February. Our team for the 2021 Track & Field season is full. Our programs fill up quickly, sometimes within minutes of opening, so be sure to register early. CLICK HERE to sign up to receive notification of upcoming registration dates. Once the roster is full, we do keep a waiting list in case additional spaces become available.

When are practices?

Typically practices are on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings. Some groups will practice on different days, or more days per week. Practices take place in various locations in East Cobb, depending on the season. Attendance at practice is for the athlete’s own benefit and growth, and there is no attendance requirement. If athletes must miss a practice, we recommend finding time to complete a replacement running workout to keep up fitness levels.

When are meets?

WYTC competes in “developmental” meets with other local area clubs, usually 3-5 per season. After the developmental meets, WYTC participates in the USATF Junior Olympic series competitive meets. All meets are optional, and all WYTC athletes are invited to participate in the developmental meets plus the first USATF meet. After that, athletes must qualify to advance through the USATF season, culminating in the USATF Junior Olympic National Championship.

What equipment do I need to buy?

The only equipment that is needed (highly recommended) is a new/newer pair of performance running shoes. Using worn down shoes, non-running shoes, or running shoes that do not provide the proper fit and support will lead to injuries. Some athletes also choose to purchase running spikes for use during the meets (this is purely optional). A wide selection of all these shoes, and advice about proper fit and selection, are available at the Big Peach Running Company.

How can I get more information?

If you have specific questions about practice times and locations or registration fees, this information is updated as we plan each season and posted on our website as soon as it's available (at least one week prior to registration). If this information is not yet on our website for the upcoming season, that means that it is not yet available. If you have other questions that are not answered on our website, please email waltonytc@gmail.com. Thanks!

Do I need to live in the Walton or Pope school districts to join?

No. We welcome athletes from all the local districts to join the team.

Are Walton - Pope Youth Running Club coaches professional coaches?

All coaches are volunteers who love running and who dedicate a significant amount of their personal time to training and supporting our kids. Many coaches are team parents. All coaches have been through a background check and sport-specific training and certification. If you are intestered in coaching with our team, please click here.

Can my child attend practice to try out the club?

Our team is full to capacity every season. Our maximum number of athletes is determined by our facility permit as well as the number of athletes that our coaches can safely oversee. That, unfortunately, means that we can’t invite prospective athletes to try out our program. However, our club is unique from many other programs in that it is inclusive of all skill levels, and we have plenty of athletes who have never run before join the team and stay with us for years. We help every athlete advance their own personal levels of fitness, endurance, and skill while having fun in a team environment - regardless of their starting point.

Are there any opportunities to volunteer?

Yes! Our program is run 100% by parent volunteers, including coaches. We have been incredibly lucky over the years to enjoy parent coaches and helpers who happily give up personal time to come to practice and train our kids. Parent volunteers chip in to run all of the support duties, like the uniform program, website, and meet registrations. All of our league developmental meets are run by parent volunteers. We ask that, at a minimum, each family commit to volunteer for one shift during the season. If you would like to help out more throughout the season, we’d love to have your extra hands! Please click here to let us know you are intested!

Do I need to be a member of USATF to be on the team?

Yes. Our club participates in the USATF sanctioned series of meets and our meet registration system is linked to the USATF database. All Walton-Pope Youth Running Club athletes must keep a current USATF youth membership and the membership must be renewed each year (expires in December). This is a separate fee of $25 per year, paid online directly to USATF. To register for USATF youth membership, follow the steps below. USATF memberships must be obtained online at www.usatf.org. New Runners: Please sign up for a new membership. **IMPORTANT: During membership registration, ensure that your membership is affiliated with Walton - Pope Youth Running Club (club #197). All new runners will be required to complete the age verification process for USATF. Returning Runners: Make sure that your current membership is valid for 2021. If not, please renew it. **IMPORTANT: During membership registration, ensure that your membership is affiliated with Walton - Pope Youth Running Club (club #197). Note if your age is verified through USATF. If it is not, you will need to complete this step through the USATF website.

Why do I need to provide a birth certificate? Can I provide another form of identification?

USATF requires age verification via a birth certificate or passport. This step will be completed when you sign up for a USATF membership at www.usatf.org.

What are the fees?

New runner fees are $370 and include a full uniform kit, tech shirt, sweatshirt, and a team bag. Returning runner fees are $260 and include a tech shirt. All fees also include insurance, meet entry fees, and administrative costs. New runners are those individuals that have never run with the club or haven't participated in a year. Returning runners are those returning from one of the previous 2 seasons. As noted in our FAQ, a membership with USATF is required to participate in our club. The fee for an annual USATF Youth membership is $25 and is managed through the USATF website.

What ages can participate in the club?

As per USATF rules, an athlete must be between the ages of 7-18 years old on December 31 of the current year. For additional information, please refer to http://legacy.usatf.org/groups/Youth/ageDivisions.asp. If a sibling of a current athlete is age 6 as of December 31 and wishes to participate, please reach out to us at waltonytc@gmail.com.

© 2018 by Walton Youth Track Club