What is Little Athletics?
Little Athletics is a uniquely Australian modified athletics program for children from 3 to 16 years. As the name suggests, it is based upon the sport of athletics (track and field). There is a wide range of events from running, jumping, throwing and walking and events are modified to suit the age, developmental stage and ability of the children.
Little Athletics promotes that it is important to “Be your Best”. The emphasis is on fun, participation, performance, technique and getting involved with your family in physical and healthy activity. The motto of Little Athletics is ‘Family, Fun and Fitness”.
Across Australia, more than 100,000 girls and boys enjoy the activities of Little Athletics. Little Athletics is the “Foundation for all Sports”. All sports use the skills developed at Little Athletics.
How Does it Work?
At HDLAC, most Saturday mornings throughout the summer season (September to March), athletes participate in a weekly rotational program of three track and three field events with their age group. Performances are recorded and available to view via Results HQ portal. Regular attendance is encouraged for personal development, but not mandatory*.
Training will be provided on a Saturday, particularly at the start of the season as children learn new events. Additional optional training is also available mid-week to continue to work on skill development and fitness. See training tab for more information.
*Some end of season awards have a minimum attendance requirement
Throughout the season there are opportunities to participate in inter-club events such as Zone championships, or team based events such as Community Nitro or Club Championships.
What Events are Offered?
Events include: Sprints, Hurdles, Middle Distance, Race Walking, Relays, Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, Long Jump, Triple Jump, and High Jump. Note that some events have age restrictions on them.
Safety and fun are of the utmost importance at Little Athletics; hence equipment is modified to suit the age and developmental stage of the athletes. For example, it may be lighter (e.g. discus), made from modified materials (e.g. foam javelins, or elastic high jump bar), or of a smaller height (e.g. hurdles), to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our Little Athletes.
What Level of Ability do Children have to be to Join?
Our emphasis is on Family, Fun & Fitness. Children can join with any level of skill or fitness. Children are given plenty of encouragement to achieve personal bests (PB’s). Little Athletics recognises that children vary widely in shape, size and athletic ability, and thus is one of few sports that successfully caters for all.
What is Expected of Parents?
Because Little Athletics is a totally voluntary sport, we cannot operate without the assistance of parents and other adult volunteers each week in fulfilling the many and varied duties required. These include officiating at an event; managing an age group; recording results; working in the canteen; just to name a few.
Most jobs are very easy to complete, and training will be provided for more technical roles. Little Athletics is one of the few sports where parents can become fully involved in their child’s sporting interests.
When and where?
Our summer competitions are held at Pennant Hills #2 Oval (otherwise known as Ern Holmes Oval). Our winter Cross Country season is held in the National Park trails accessed from Pennant Hills. See Cross Country tab for details.
Our summer competition runs between September and March. The regular centre competition, which follows a six-event format with alternate track and field events, kicks off with a warm at 8.00am. In addition, we offer distance (1500m and up) and walking events for athletes wishing to do these, starting at 07:45.
Our winter Cross Country competition runs between April and July.