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Children - Track & Field

NOTE: For details of our childrens summer track and field, please refer to the track and field area of this website

Children - Cross-Country & Road Running

WINTER OPENING 2012 - Saturday March 17th, 2PM, Hansen Park
Hi Everyone, just a reminder that the winter opening is Saturday March 17th, 2PM, Hansen Park. Existing club members, please bring a plate. For the kids, there will be fun and games, adults can participate in a club run, all abilities welcome. If you miss the opening, please contact a club representative for details on how to join. It's never too late!!

The winter sport of cross country running is not only a great enjoyable sport in its own right but it builds great strength for other athletics disciplines and for other team sports. Port Hills has a strong winter programme for children aged 5 to 14 years. This covers all the winter athletics disciplines of cross country and road running, both individual and relays.

There is an inter-club competition approximately every second Saturday afternoon which generally means children can take part in Saturday morning team sports as well as competing in running events.

Our goal is to provide a structured and fun environment for all ages and skills with a view to keep kids interested in running and assisting anyone keen on improving their running skills.

With kids, we operate on the principle that time based training that is kept as interesting and non-repetitive as possible yields the best results. Coaching is designed to offer the children the following:

  • Sound advice on warm-ups
  • Training tempos
  • Time not distance based training
  • Technique and core strength

Programmes will be made available to club members that target specific events throughout the season. Each different age group is catered for. Specific training sessions available as follows:

  • Monday 4:30PM (starts April 2nd 2012), Halswell Quarry. This is a community based hill run open to any runners of any age. You do not need to be a Port Hills club member to attend this event. Simply come to the main car park and ask for Phil Chapman. For further details, contact Phil on 322 4266.
  • Tuesday 5PM (starts March 27th 2012), Hansen Park. This is a Port Hills members run, however, people interested in joining are more than welcome to come along and try out the training. This caters for any age and focus is on technique, skill and speed. Ask for Paul Johnston. For further details contact Paul on 332 1894
  • Thursday 5PM (starts March 29th 2012), North Hagley Park. This is a Port Hills members run, however, people interested in joining, are again more than welcome to try out the training. We meet together with the adults at Ayr Street, opposite Hagley Park. This caters for runners who can sustain a 15-20 minute warm up followed by some form of repetition training. Ask for Paul Johnston. For further details contact Paul on 332 1894


Paul Johnston
Paul is a qualified level 2 distance coach who is also a skilled runner himself having won in 2011 the Canterbury Masters 35-44 Half Marathon and the New Brighton Pier to Pier 5K Beach Race series. Also a runner in the early years, he has an awareness of the challenges that face kids when running and the needs they have. As a proud parent too, he has three children also at Port Hills aged 11 through to 14 and has a vested interest in seeing the entire Port Hills family do well in whatever they set their hearts too. He is also the Port Hills Junior Club Captain and sits on the Port Hills committee on behalf of the junior runners and parents. Specialisation in running is as follows:

  • Speed work
  • Running technique
  • Core strength training
  • Specialised programmes targeting events

Phil Chapman
Phil is a qualified level 2 distance coach who values inventiveness and loves the hills. His Monday night hill runs have been used by the Canterbury Primary Schools Cross Country team as an event on their training calendar due to the great format that it offers for all abilities.

Mary Hart
Mary is a qualified level 2 distance coach. She is also one of Canterburys top masters woman runners. She is currently running the Tuesday night training sessions and the kids enjoy the fun activity based training that she's doing.

Peter King
Peter is our next qualified level 2 distance coach. Also an excellent runner in his own right, Peter provides training support on Thursday nights.

If you would like further information on the children’s cross country and road section you can contact:

Paul Johnston  332 1894
Phil Chapman  322 4266
Peter Watts  332 1964
Peter King  341 1154