Orion Juniors has been established for 30 years and with 380 junior members we believe it to be the premier athletics club in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The age group is 8-20, male and female. Unusually, Orion has a female membership of approximately 50%. This is achieved by encouraging the girls to take part in weekly conditioning sessions which boosts their confidence and overall fitness and allows them to compete at a level befitting their individual abilities. Orion is an inclusive organisation that accepts and encourages children of all abilities and backgrounds.
After having achieved Club Mark accreditation in 2005, Orion Juniors has strengthened its strong links with England Athletics, County Athletics Boards and Local Schools Sports Partnerships. Having been a member of PESSCL, Orion is now with PESSYP which is the nationally recognised school-club link. Orion are also a part of the new England Athletics Network which consists of other local clubs and Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL). The link with GLL through their brand, London Track Stars, enables Orion to work with youngsters at an early age who can eventually go on to become members of the club
Orion have also recently formed links with Leyton Sixth Form College through the FESCO coordinator. This gives students the opportunity to receive coaching which could lead to them competing for the club. There is also the opportunity for students to get involved in other aspects of the club such as reporting on competitions, photography, website management etc. etc.
Orion is run on a purely voluntary basis and raises funds through England Athletics and the Jack Petchey Foundation and other relevant authorities. Orion also fund raises through community fundraising such as presentations and in particular the Orion Pentathlon Day which is an open event that encourages young athletes to compete in various disciplines that they would not have tried before.
All coaches at Orion are fully qualified and have coached Orion athletes to National, County and Borough championships. Orion also has a strong tradition of encouraging junior coaches at age 14+ who become mentors to the youngest athletes. These young coaches start on the Level One Young Leaders Award which gives them the opportunity to go on the UK Athletics Coaching Pathway.
Orion prides itself in encouraging its athletes through the difficult transition from junior to senior athletics and has a strong history of keeping athletes in training/competition at over 17 level which is traditionally an age where many athletes drop out
Many Orion athletes are role models in their school environment and many of our new members have come through this association as well as through our strong links with local schools. Orion hosts the Orion Schools Invitation in which 20 local schools compete as well the Waltham Forest Primary and Secondary Schools championships. In the LBWF mini marathon trials Orion had 54 young athletes competing of which a large number were selected to represent the Borough
What I would say sets Orion Juniors apart from other clubs is the fact that we cater for athletes of all abilities whilst still managing to deliver excellent results. We are able to provide top quality coaching to those of higher ability whilst encouraging those of lesser ability to participate and improve their fitness. We have a number of athletes who considered themselves to be of lesser ability but who found hidden talents in throwing or jumping events and have gone on to excel in these events. Orion are a family club and also encourage parents to participate. We have a number of parents who assist in training runs and others who qualify to be officials at race meetings and other events. At the annual Orion Juniors presentation evening attended by the membership and their parents we were very proud to be able to award our athletes with over 400 trophies and medals