1st and 2nd claim membership

Hi, would be grateful if someone could explain how the 1st & 2nd claim club membership works...in terms of competitions, membership, etc. I live in Wales, so pay the WA fee annually.

I'd like to join 2 clubs from April, am currently a member of only one. Do I have to go through the transfer process if I choose my first claim club to be the new one I'd like to join, or do you not need to do an official transfer as it is when club membership is renewed?

Also competition wise - can you only ever represent your first claim club, or could you e.g. run for the 1st claim in competitive leagues like cross country but run for the 2nd claim in parkruns & road races in that area?

Geographically clubs are in the same region even though 30 miles apart which could be tricky for competitions. I have genuine reasons to be a member of both (solid friendships and running companions are a 50:50 split between both clubs, it's just the training at one club suits my work & homelife better).

Guess I'd like the best of both worlds without sticking two fingers up to either club. I tend to get involved in club social & fundraising events too - I would definitely keep this up. Any advice on this v welcome, thanks.


  • Answering all your questions on this topic would make for very lengthy post as the claim status rules are pretty complicated, So I shall refer you to this link for Welsh athletics: http://www.welshathletics.org/athletes/athlete-transfers--forms.aspx . You don't need to wait until membership renewal time to change clubs, you can do it at any time of the year BUT according to England athletics' rules at least before submitting the form you must first formally resign from your previous first-claim club and gain a club official's 'approval' so to speak. So if you want to switch to second-claim,you may have to re-join that club with a different claim status. Often if the clubs are in a similar geographical area may be more hassle than its worth - may i ask why you wish to change your 1st claim? 

    As for competition, yo must represent your fist claim club in all disciplines to which it is affiliated to the Welsh athletics, eg. if Club A 1st claim is affiliated for xc,track and road you must represent them in those races but can represent club B in a fell race,if that club is affiliated to fell. I don't think they are too fussed about parkruns. Low-key local or road races may turn a blind eye but you need to be aware of this rule all the same; often only first-claim club runners are eligible for team awards for example. Unfortunately unless you race a lot on the fells 2nd claim often doesn't offer very much except extra training opportunities.Hope this helps! 

  • BB - thank you for your really helpful post and for the link. Gosh I hadnt realised it was that complicated. I thought when the club annual membership expired, you could just change clubs without going through a transfer.....but in hindsight that would end up very confusing for leagues, so I should have known better!

    Several reasons for my enquiry, inc. 1 club is more geared up towards off road running & xc which is what I really enjoy & they now have a clubhouse, so I'm ok with my Raynaud's and chilblains which I seem to get everytime I stand around outside in temperatures 9.C and below! Wil have a good think before deciding anything. Thanks again for your advice image

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