Last updated 14-Mar-17 Blyth Running Club

Club Rules and Constitution

1.  Name  

The club will be called ‘BLYTH RUNNING CLUB’ and will be affiliated to the governing body ‘England Athletics’.

The colours of the club shall be Green Vest with a Single Broad White Hoop. Club colours should be worn in all competitions under uk:athletics laws.


2. Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of the club will be:

To offer coaching and competitive opportunities in Road, Cross Country and Fell Running together with Track and Field Athletics under the rules of the relevant governing body.

To encourage and promote the club within the local and amateur athletic community.

To ensure a duty of care to all members of the club.

To provide all its services in a way that is fair to everyone.

3. Powers

In order to achieve its aims the club has the power to:

Employ and pay staff (who cannot be members of the committee).

Co-operate with other organisations such as local groups, voluntary bodies, charities and the statutory authorities and also to exchange information and liaise with them.

Raise funds by any lawful means except permanent trading.

Accept gifts either for a specific purpose connected with the aims or the general aims.

Do anything else within the law that is necessary in carrying out the aims.

4. Club Equity Statement

This club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development. In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the following Sport England definition of sports equity:

Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them.

It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.

The club respects the rights, dignity and worth of every person and will treat everyone equally within the context of their sport, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.

The club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse.

All club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity.

The club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to club disciplinary procedures.

5. Membership

Application for membership must be made on the appropriate form and should be accompanied by the appropriate subscription.

The club is open to all members of the community.

The club will ensure all present and future members receive fair and equal treatment.

Membership should consist of officers and members of the club.

All members will be subject to the regulations of the constitution and by joining the club will be deemed to accept these regulations and codes of practice that the club has adopted.

Members will be enrolled in one of the following categories:

     Full member.

     Associate member.

     Junior member.

     Life member.

6. Membership fees

Membership fees will be set annually and agreed by the Management Committee or determined at the Annual General Meeting.

Fees will be paid:  with application for membership and thereafter annually on 1st January each year. Any applicant applying for full membership after 30th June in any year will be entitled to reduced membership fees for that year.

Family discount packages are available.

The Committee shall have the power to expel any member of the Club whose subscription is 10 months in arrears, provided a months’ notice in writing shall have been sent to such member by a Registered or Recorded Delivery letter, addressed to his/her last known address, informing him/her of the proposed action of the Committee. The name and address of any person so expelled from the Club shall be sent to the Hon. Secretary of the Area Association who shall enter the name in a book kept for that purpose. Every person whose name has been so entered shall be suspended from competing under uk:athletics Laws until the liability causing his/her expulsion, which shall not exceed one year’s subscription shall have been discharged.

A member wishing to resign must give notice in writing to the Hon. Secretary.  Membership will cease with effect from the date of the notice unless the member is in debt to the Club (in particular if his/her subscriptions are overdue) in which case acceptance of the resignation will be withheld until the debt has been cleared. The Secretary in all cases should send acceptance of a member’s resignation in writing.

7. Officers of the club

The officers of the club will be:


     Honorary Secretary.

     Honorary Treasurer.

     Nine others

     Any other relevant position.

     Officers will be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.

     All officers will retire each year but will be eligible for re-appointment.

8. Committee

The club will be managed through the Management Committee consisting of:

Chairperson, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and nine others. Only these posts will have the right to vote at meetings of the Management Committee.

The Management Committee meetings will be convened by the Secretary of the club and held no less than 8 times per year.

The quorum required for business to be agreed at Management Committee meetings will be: 4.

The Management Committee will be responsible for adopting new policy, codes of practice and rules that affect the organisation of the club.

The Management Committee will have powers to appoint subcommittees as necessary and appoint advisers to the Management Committee as necessary to fulfil its business

The Management Committee will be responsible for disciplinary hearings of members who infringe the club rules/regulations/constitution. The Management Committee will be responsible for taking any action of suspension or discipline following such hearings.

The Management Committee must keep an up to date list of members.

9. Finance

All club monies will be banked in an account held in the name of the club.

The Club Treasurer will be responsible for the finances of the club.

The financial year of the club will end on: 31st October.

An audited statement of annual accounts will be presented by the Treasurer at the Annual General Meeting.

Any cheques drawn against club funds should hold the signatures of the Treasurer plus one other member.

No member of the committee can receive any payment or other benefit from club funds except for reasonable out of pocket expenses properly incurred for the purpose of the club

10. Travel Expenses

1. Any club member attending a business meeting involving Blyth Running Club will be eligible to claim transport expenses to a maximum of £10.00. This NOT to include BRC committee, EGM or AGM meetings.

2. The club will subsidise coach transport (where necessary) or shared car transport (min 3 participants including driver) to National, Regional and Area Championships where the club enters a team.

3. The club will subsidise coach transport (where necessary) to Track and Field League meetings held over 30 miles away. Distance requirement is one way, not there and back.

4. Shared car subsidy to be paid by committee thus – a) Over 30 miles: £10.00. b) Over 50 miles: £15.00. c) Over 70 miles: £20.00. d) Over 100 miles: £30.00. e) Over 150 miles: £45.00. f) Over 200 miles: £60.00.  Distances to be calculated as distance of venue from Blyth Sports Centre one way.

5. This policy will be reviewed at least every two years to take into account any material increases in fuel costs.

6. Disclaimer. The Club will not be liable for any claim for injury or damage to a vehicle or its occupants whilst travelling to or from these venues.

11. Annual General Meetings

The annual general meeting will be held in the months of December or January each year.

Notice of Annual General Meetings (AGM) will be given by the Club Secretary. Not less than 21 clear days notice to be given to all members.

The AGM will receive a report from officers of the Management Committee and a statement of the audited accounts.

Nominations for officers of the Management Committee will be sent to the Secretary prior to the AGM.

Elections of officers are to take place at the AGM.

Such other official Club posts may be created and filled at the Annual General Meeting or as the Committee considers appropriate. The Committee may co-opt members to fill vacancies during the year. Either the AGM or the Committee has power to form such Sub-Committees as it may deem necessary.

All members have the right to vote at the AGM.

The quorum for AGMs will be 10% of the senior membership.

The Management Committee has the right to call Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) at any time outside the AGM, or if 10 members request such a meeting to be held. Procedures for EGMs will be the same as for the AGM.

12.  Discipline and appeals

All concerns, allegations or reports of poor practice/abuse relating to the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults will be recorded and responded to swiftly and appropriately in accordance with the club’s child protection policy and procedures. The club Welfare Officer is the lead contact for all members in the event of any child protection concerns.

All complaints regarding the behaviour of members should be presented and submitted in writing to the Secretary.

The Management Committee will meet to hear complaints within 28 days of a complaint being lodged. The committee has the power to take appropriate disciplinary action including the termination of membership.

The outcome of a disciplinary hearing should be notified in writing to the person who lodged the complaint and the member against whom the complaint was made within 7 days of the hearing.

There will be the right of appeal to the Management Committee within 7 days following disciplinary action being announced. The committee should consider the appeal within 28 days of the Secretary receiving the appeal.

The latest England Athletics Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures are available to download on the following links (pdf documents).

England Athletics National Disciplinary Procedure

England Athletics Grievance Procedure

13. Dissolution

A resolution to dissolve the club can only be passed at an AGM or EGM through a majority vote of the membership.

In the event of dissolution, the members of the committee holding office will remain responsible for the orderly winding up of the affairs of the organisation. Any assets of the club that remain after the satisfaction of proper debts and liabilities will become the property of England Athletics or some other amateur sporting club with similar objectives to those of the club.

14. Amendments to the constitution

The constitution will only be changed through agreement by majority vote at an AGM or EGM.

No changes may be made to:

Clause 2 (The Aims) if they make the objectives of the club uncharitable.

Clause 13 (The dissolution).


15. Declaration

BLYTH RUNNING CLUB hereby adopts and accepts this constitution as a current operating guide regulating the actions of members.

‘Athletics Welfare’ is the document shared by UKA and AAA which forms the policy and procedures for best practice in the sport of athletics and lays down procedures to assist club members if things should go wrong. It contains flow charts of the actions club members and clubs must take when there are complaints about the welfare and treatment of club members. It covers such things as child protection, poor coaching, bullying and cheating. It lays down minimum standards of expectations within a club in the section entitled codes of conduct and it gives simple proofreads to assist clubs as they strive to provide the highest possible standards.

 Why do we need ‘Athletics Welfare’?

 All organizations which offer a service to the community offer an implicit statement that their services are safe and of high standard. Athletics is no different. Some of the disciplines within the sport are highly dangerous but there is a blind expectation that the coach is trained and knows how to teach/coach the discipline, or they entrust their children to the club on away journeys. Athletics clubs have a duty of care towards all its members whether they are athletes, official, coaches, volunteers or parents. Similarly ‘Athletics Welfare’ states that each has a duty towards the club and its other members. More than ever, clubs and its officials are being asked to examine the ways they fulfil their duty of care. The following extracts from the code sets out some of your duties. It is meant to help you to anticipate and overcome some of the problems which might occur.

Welfare & Child Protection Policy

Aim of the Policy

Our aim is to create an environment in which the young athlete (child) and their parent(s), guardian, responsible adult, carer, closest relative; can feel confident that our Running Club is providing a safe and wholesome setting for all participants in the sport of athletics.

As a club, we can support and offer advice to every athlete, coach, helper, official and officer of the club in order to protect them from neglect, exploitation and abuse.

Child Protection

All suspicions and allegations of abuse against young athletes will be responded to, and followed up appropriately in accordance with this policy and local Area Child Protection Policy guidelines and procedures.

Key Principles

All people under the age of 18 years are defined as children for the purpose of this policy. All children regardless of their gender, racial origin, culture, ability, religious belief and sexual orientation have the right to protection from abuse.

All suspicions and allegations of abuse will be taken seriously and will be responded to by any officer of the club, who through the Club's child protection officers will refer the matter to the Social Services Department in whose area the incident or suspicion occurred.

All coaches and officers who come into active contact with children will be subject to a police reference.

Code of Practice for people working in Athletics with children

Avoid when possible, situations when you and an individual child are alone.

Avoid physical contact. Teach techniques by demonstration.

Coaches are expected to hold appropriate qualifications recognised by UK Athletics. Otherwise they must work under the direct supervision of a qualified coach.

Adults should never over-criticise young athletes, or use language or actions which may cause children to lose self-esteem or confidence.

Coaches and adults should not take unrelated children to their (i.e. the coach or adults) home. Permission must be obtained from the child's parent or guardian for car journeys. The presence of a further person should be sought. It is sensible to seat any child in the rear of the car.

Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed in all conversations; so coaches and adults must not give children a promise or expectation of confidentiality

Actions to be taken by Child Protection Officers of Blyth Running Club, or in their absence, any officer of the club.

Advise the child that you will not be able to maintain confidentiality.

Listen to the child rather than question him/her.

Never stop a child who is freely recalling significant events.

Make a note of what is said, taking care to record the time, date, setting and people present.

Any person with a suspicion or allegation of child abuse shall report to the Child Protection Officers or any club officer who should without delay, refer the matter to the Social Services Department where the alleged incident occurred.

Telephone number for Emergency Duty Team  0845 6005252   Out of hours and weekends.

The person reporting the suspicions or making the allegations must be prepared to speak to the Social Services to clarify their concerns.

Any person suspected of abusing a child should not be approached by another member of the Club concerning the abuse issue.

Other Club officials should deal with matters if the person who would otherwise deal with the matter is compromised by a relationship or friendship with the person against whom the suspicion has emerged.

Any child, parent or person is encouraged to contact the Social Services or the police local to them, directly, without referring the matter to the Child Protection Officers of the Club.

Any coach or member of the club who has been accused of abusing a child will be suspended by the Club "without prejudice" pending the investigation.

Definitions of Child Abuse

Physical Abuse. Occasions when adults or other children deliberately inflict injuries upon a child, or knowingly do not prevent such injuries. This could include the nature of the intensity of training or competition. Offering alcohol or drugs.

Emotional Abuse. Where adults or other children fail to show due care or attention or threaten, use sarcasm, taunt or shout at a child causing them to lose confidence, self-esteem and become nervous or withdrawn.

Neglect. Where adults fail to provide help and care to the child. This also includes leaving a child without proper supervision or placing the child at risk of injury.

Sexual Abuse. Where adults or children use children to fulfil their sexual needs.

The coach, volunteer, official or Officer of the Club may be placed in a position of trust by the child who may feel able to disclose incidents which have occurred at school or at home. These must be taken seriously and referred immediately to the Social Service Department. It may not be safe for the child to return home.

Athletics Welfare Roles

The Athlete: Code of Conduct

As a responsible athlete you will :-

Treat others with the same respect and fairness that you would wish to receive

Uphold the same values off the field as you do when engaged in athletics

Anticipate your own needs, be organised and on time

Thank those that help you participate in athletics

Inform your coach of any other coaching you are receiving.

Show patience with and respect diversity in others

Act with dignity at all times

Notify a responsible adult if you have to go somewhere( why, where and when you will return)

Not respond if someone seeks private information, unrelated to athletics

Use safe transport or travel arrangements

Avoid destructive behaviour and leave athletics venues as you find them

Never engage in illegal or irresponsible behaviour

Challenge anyone whose behaviour falls below the expected standards of   ‘Athletics Welfare’

Speak out immediately if anything makes you concerned or uncomfortable (telling your parents/carers and or the club Welfare Officer) or if you suspect a club mate has suffered from misconduct by someone else.

The Coach: Code of Conduct

As a responsible coach you will: 

Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every athlete and treat everyone equally, regardless of background or ability

Place the welfare and safety of the athlete above the development of   performance

Develop appropriate working relationships with athletes (especially under 18s), based on mutual trust and respect

Not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward

Encourage and guide athletes to accept and take responsibility for their own behaviour and performance and give them as much autonomy as possible

Never do something for an athlete that they can do for themselves (in the case of some disabled athletes or vulnerable adults tasks of a personal nature may be requested or necessary. In such cases the full understanding  and consent of the athlete, parent or carer should be sought and the individual’s dignity should be respected.)

Avoid critical language or actions, such as sarcasm, that undermine the athletes self esteem

Not spend time alone with a young athlete unless clearly in view of others

Avoid taking a young athlete alone in your car

Never invite a young athlete alone to your home

Never engage in physical or sexually provocative games, including horseplay, or share a bedroom with a child

Always explain why and ask for consent before touching an athlete

Work in same-sex pairs when supervising changing areas

Ensure that parents/carers know about and have approved in advance if taking a young athlete away from the usual training venue

Respect the right of  young athletes to an independent life outside athletics

Make sure you are appropriately qualified for activities that you coach and update your licence and education when required by UK Athletics

Adopt safe training regimes appropriate to the age, stage of development and capacity of the athlete

At the outset, clarify with athletes (and where appropriate their parents or carers) exactly what is expected of them and what performers are entitled to expect from you

Never try to recruit, either overtly or covertly, athletes who are already receiving coaching

Co-operate fully with other colleagues (e.g. other coaches, officials, team managers, sport scientists, doctors, physiotherapists, governing body staff) in the best interests of the athlete

Consistently promote positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play) and never condone rule violations or the use of prohibited or age inappropriate substances

Strictly maintain a clear boundary between friendship and intimacy with athletes

Challenge inappropriate behaviour or language by others

Report any accidental injury, distress or misunderstanding or misinterpretation (including if a child appears to have been sexually aroused by your actions). A brief written report of such incidents should be submitted to the Welfare Officer as soon as possible, and the parents/carers notified. Your club should have incident report forms, otherwise see sample Incident Report Form in appendices of ‘Athletics Welfare’) 

Report any suspected misconduct by other coaches or athletics personnel (see figure 1 in ‘Athletics Welfare’)

Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance

Guidance Notes for Parents/Carers

The parent/carer is the person who the young athlete looks to for support. You are accused of interfering but you have to provide the transport to training and you have to console if things don’t go right or encourage when it is needed. You will be taken for granted simply because it is your job and you will be asked to watch and support in all temperatures after all you are the parent/carer and it is expected. The club will also make demands – you should fill in all the forms, pay the subs, pay for the kit and make sure the kit is clean and in good order. You would like to travel to competitions but you have other children to look after and you don’t want to show favouritism. You join in the activities because other parents do and you don’t want your child to feel different The club would like you to volunteer to work for them and your little charge wants you to but you have lots of other commitments. You trust that your child is receiving the best attention and is safe. You do all of this because it comes with the job.

Code of Conduct

As a responsible parent/carer you will:

Check the people who are coaching or managing your child

Take an active interest in your child’s participation

Attend training and competitions whenever possible

Ensure that your child does not take unnecessary valuable items to training or competition

Know exactly where your child will be at all times and who they are with

Return a written informed consent form to the club/team manager/chaperone, including next of kin details, health and medical requirements, before your child goes to any ‘away’ trips

Inform your child’s coach of any illness or disability that needs to be taken into consideration for athletic performance

Provide any necessary medication that your child needs for the duration of any trips

Never make assumptions about your child’s safety

Report any concerns you may have about your child’s welfare/ treatment by the club or its members to the club’s welfare officer immediately. This does not affect your Rights to notify the social services department or police if you feel that a crime has been committed.

Members should be aware of the following rules of competition as laid down in the UK Athletics Rule Book.

 Rule 211 General

All runners must be eligible as currently laid down by UK Athletics rules.

Any runner found to have taken drugs prohibited by the IAF will be disqualified and reported to UK Athletics. It should be noted that if confirmed this could lead to a four-year ban from all athletics worldwide.

Race numbers must be worn on the front of the vest as issued, i.e. not mutilated or folded in any way. The race number must be so worn that it is visible at all times. Failure to comply may lead to immediate disqualification.

A runner must retire from a race immediately if ordered to do so by a medical official of the race.

A runner who retires from a race must not remove his/her number until he/she has reported to an official as having retired from the race.

A runner who competes in a race, which does not have a UK Athletics Permit, may thereby render himself/herself liable to suspension. This does not apply to Fun Runs.

Rule 212 Clothing

In all races, runners must wear at least a vest and shorts or other garments so as not to be objectionable.

Rule 213 Refreshments 

No drinks may be carried or taken by a runner other than those provided by the Promoter.

Rule 214 Assistance

No attendant shall accompany any runner in a race unless to assist a blind or partially sighted runner.

No person is permitted to join in a race, whether to accompany the runners for the whole of the distance or any part or stage of the race, unless he/she has been properly entered for that race and is eligible to run.

Pacing of an athlete by a runner in a different category (e.g. pacing of a competitor in the female or veteran category by an entrant in the open male category) is deemed to be assistance and may render both the paced and pacing runner liable to disqualification.

Rule 215 The Course

All runners must follow the course as designed and follow the normal rules of the road except where otherwise instructed by the Police or Local Authority.

Where any part of a road used for a race is open to traffic at the same time as the competition is in progress, a runner must remain on the left hand half of the road(unless directed otherwise by the Police or a race official).

The race referee has the power to disqualify any runner who does not follow the correct course or the instructions of the Police and race Officials. 

Rule 216 Entries

Every entry for a race shall be made to the Race Secretary on the official entry form, or the Universal entry form (if acceptable to the Promoter), as approved by the Regional or National association.

Entries shall be made in the competitor’s true name as legally registered and must be complete with the correct age/date of birth and other details

Numbers are issued to the individual athlete completing the application form and are non-transferable except with the specific authority of the Race Secretary.

Where any part of a road used for a race is open to traffic at the same time as the competition is in progress, a runner must remain on the left hand half of the road(unless directed otherwise by the Police or a race official).

Every entry for a race open only to specific age group(s) shall state the date of birth and the age of the runner in years and months on the day of the race.

A runner whose entry is accepted after the published closing date may at the discretion of the promoter:

Not be eligible for any individual prize.

Not be eligible as a scoring team member in a team race.


Track and Field season (April to August)

Cross Country season (September to March)

Road Races All Year round

Minor Athletes

Age Group: Under 11 girls and boys

Ages 9 to 10 (years 4 and 5) 

Competition in this age group is limited. The club do strive however to identify available competition to give these athletes as much experience as possible.

Young Athletes

Age Groups: Under 13 girls and boys / Under 15 girls and boys / Under 17 women and men

Ages 11 and 12 (years 6 and 7) / 13 and 14 (years 8 and 9) / 15 and 16 (years 10 and 11)

The club is affiliated to the Athletes North East Track and Field and competition is available in the 6 League meetings held on Wednesday evenings over the season and in open meetings organised by a variety of clubs in the area.

During the winter months young athletes may compete in various road and cross country races. The main competitions are the Durham Pine sponsored North East Harrier League, a series of 6 cross country races held at different locations throughout the region and the North Eastern Counties AA Cross Country Championships.

Junior Athletes

Age Group: Junior women and men

Ages 17 to 19

During the track and field season, competition is available in the uk:athletics National Junior Athletes League. This operates on a similar basis to the Young Athletes League.

Junior athletes may also participate in the North Eastern Counties AA Track and Field Championships, North East Track and Field League and open meetings as detailed above. The same road and cross country races are also available at this age.

Senior Athletes

Age Groups

Senior women - 20 to 34

Senior men - 20 to 39

Competition is available during the winter in North East Harrier League, and also local relay races, but there is plenty of opportunity to try new races.

Veteran Athletes Age Groups

Veteran women - 35 and over

Veteran men - 40 and over

Veterans tend to compete mostly alongside their senior colleagues as described above. However, there are various dedicated competitions for vets throughout the year.

Club Sessions

Seniors meet for training every Monday and Wednesday evening between 6:45pm and 7:00pm usually at Blyth Sports Centre although on occasions during the summer some sessions may be at Churchill Playing Fields, Whitley Bay

Small groups often run together on Sundays with those aiming for the Great North Run or the London Marathon often training together on other days.

Training venues vary dependant on time of year.

Juniors meet every Monday at 6.45pm at Blyth Sports Centre; Thursdays 5.30pm venue depends on the time of the year.  Summer sessions are held on the beach with winter sessions on the Quayside.  Saturdays 10 am venue depends on the time of the year. 

During the winter months a series of seven (2.5 mile) handicap races are held. Trophies for the overall winner, fastest girl and boy, team and athletes who complete 6 of the 7 races are awarded at a special presentation evening.

On training nights during the winter in the interests of safety to yourself and others it is strongly recommended that you have a WHITE OR REFLECTIVE TOP, for training with Club groups in the hours of darkness. Junior members will not be allowed to run without reflective tops.