Gloucester AC target the Midland League, Youth Development League (YDL) and the Avon League.
In addition, there are many local, regional and national championships that all athletes should aspire to compete in. There are gold, silver and bronze medals available in all events and all age groups. Your coach will give you more details, but it is your responsibility to actually enter the championships.
There are also several open meetings available both locally and further afield.
The Midland League is the premier track & field league in the region for senior athletes. A combined mens and womens team comprising seniors, U20s and U17s competes in a divisional structure with promotion and relegation at stake each season.
Gloucester AC has an illustrious history in the Midland League, the senior men first entering the Midland Men's League in Division 6 in the 1974 season. The club won each division in successive years to reach Division 1 for the first time in 1979. Although relegated that year, the club won Division 2 in 1981 and regained promotion to Division 1 for the 1982 season where they then spent the next 8 years, competing against the best clubs in the region. The club finished runners-up on five occasions in this time.
A drop in form saw the club relegated at the end of the 1989 season, but they bounced back, winning Division 2 in both 1990 and 1992. A departure of many of the senior athletes saw the club drop out of the league altogether in the mid ‘90s.
However, following an influx of new talent combined with assistance from the road running members, the club re-entered the league in 1999, winning Division 6. They followed this with a win in Division 5 in 2000, and then gained promotion to Division 3 after finishing runners up in Division 4 in 2006. They kept up the momentum by winning Division 3 in 2007, gaining promotion to Division 2.
The club even entered a B team in the league in 1978, winning Division 8 that year and also Division 7 the next.
The senior ladies entered the Midland Women’s League in 1986, winning Division 8 and gaining promotion each year to reach Division 3 in 1991 and Division 2 in 1993. They too dropped out of the league after 1996, but re-entered in 2004, gaining promotion that year and narrowly missing out on promotion in 2005. After a league restructure, they competed in Division 4 in 2006 and then finished second in Division 5 in 2007, regaining promotion to Division 4.
In 2008, the Midland Men's and Women's leagues were merged to form the current version. Gloucester AC were initially placed in Division Three of the new league and straight away won this division to gain promotion to Division Two. After some very near misses in their quest for promotion to Division 1, they won the Division Two title in 2011 but were relegated from the top tier in the 2012 season following a neck-and-neck battle with three other clubs, all finishing on equal match points at the end of the season. The club had a poor first fixture in 2013, but improved at the remaining fixtures, culminating in a handsome win at the final match held at the newly refurbished Blackbridge track, the first full-scale league fixture ever held in Gloucester, to finish 3rd overall. After successive relegations in 2015 and 2016, 2017 saw a marked turnaround as the club finished as divisional champions three years in succession to regain their position in Division 1 for the 2020 season.
The 2020 league was cancelled due to Covid and a temporary regional competition was introduced for the 2021 season to minimise travelling, Gloucester being placed in the Gloucestershire division which the club comfortably won. Hopefully 2022 will see a return to normal competition and the club can show what it can do in Division 1.
The Youth Development League provides the perfect environment for young athletes in the U13, U15, U17 and U20 age groups to compete and hone their talents in a friendly atmosphere, and also offers a great opportunity for families to come and support athletes, and learn more about competitive athletics.
The Youth Development League was set up for the 2013 season and is a sort of amalgamation of the two leagues that existed up to this point to serve the younger age groups. These were the National Young Athletes League which covered the U13, U15 and U17s, and the National Junior League which covered the U17 and U20s. The new league now eliminates the double provision of league competition for the U17s.
Gloucester AC had regularly and successfully competed in the two leagues over the years. The Youth Development League (YDL) is split into two sections, the Lower Age Group section for the U15s and U13s, and the Upper Age Group section for the U20s and U17s, each having their own fixtures. In 2013 the Upper Age Group won the Midland West 2b division and gained promotion to Midland West 1.
The Avon league is not as highly competitive as the Midland League, or the YDL, but still it provides plenty of challenge and excitement for all age groups from U11 to Master without the pressure.
The Avon League was set up in 1984, primarily to provide competition for clubs in the then county of Avon which was abolished in 1996 to become part of South Gloucestershire. The league caters for all age groups from U11 to Master.
Gloucester AC entered this league in 2002 in order to provide more competitive opportunities for the club’s whole range of age groups, and now uses it to develop its young athletes and give much-needed competition experience to its newcomers.
The club has done very well over its relatively few years in this league. The senior men won the senior team prize for six consecutive years from 2003 to 2008 and the senior women have won it six times between 2003 and 2010. The U15 girls won their age group in 2010.
The club now uses the league to introduce younger athletes to team competition and to give competitive opportunities to any athlete seeking it.