Active NAtion

The Lockeroom

A Closer Look At Athletics

Active Nation are very excited to celebrate the 2018 Commonwealth Games this month! Often referred to as the ‘Friendly Games’, the multi-sport event is held every four years and sees 70 teams compete. This year, the games are being held on the sunny Gold Coast in Australia. So, for this Locker edition, we are taking a look into a key sport at the Commonwealth Games: athletics.

Athletics offers a wide range of choices of sport for people wishing to participate, focussing on running, walking, jumping, and throwing events. The Commonwealth Games also features a heptathlon, which combines 7 events from all three areas. The variety of events suits different types of body shapes and sizes, and is a great sport for people who prefer focussing on their own fitness goals over organised team sports. So, read on and find out which of these events would suit you best.


Running events range from 100m to a marathon, and from relays to the 3000m steeplechase (which involves hurdles and water jumps). There is also a 20km Race Walk which, unlike running races, requires one foot to always be in contact with the ground. The key skill in running events is speed, so if you’ve got the need for speed, running might just be your sport.

Running is an accessible, free, and hugely beneficial way to get active, and it improves both physical and mental health! With events such as the Commonwealth Games and the London marathon taking place this month, April is the perfect time to get out and try running. Why not attend a local Parkrun which takes place weekly in parks across the UK? Also, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to running!


Throwing events include shot put, hammer throw, javelin and discus throw. These sports make up some of the oldest competitive sporting events in the world, with discus throwing dating back to at least 708 BC. Throwing uses all of the major muscle groups, but particularly works upper body strength. So, if you think you’ve got some arm power, give one of these throwing events a try.


Jumping events include long jump, high jump, triple jump and pole vault. These sports take immense physical strength, flexibility and power. There is a vast amount of research into the mental preparation involved in professional jumping, with studies suggesting that visualising yourself jumping over the bar will help you to actually achieve it. So, if you want a physical as well as a mental challenge, and think that an activity focussing on power is up your street, then try out a jumping event this month!

In celebration of the 2018 Commonwealth Games this month, Active Nation encourage you to find your inner Jessica Ennis-Hill and try out an athletics sport! If you’re in the Southampton area, make sure you take a look at our Outdoor Sports Centre and visit the athletics track! You can follow the Commonwealth Games, which beings with the opening ceremony on Wednesday 4 April 7:00pm-10:15pm Gold Coast time – (9:00am-12:15pm UK time), until the closing ceremony on Sunday 15th April 7:00-10:15pm Gold Coast time (9:00am-12:15pm UK time).

About the author

Active Nation

We’re Active Nation, a registered charity who are wholeheartedly committed to a bold and exciting mission to persuade the nation to be active.

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