This information sheet will hopefully provide parents who are new to Manly Warringah Little Athletics with details of what goes on during a normal competition meeting.
Information for New Parents
What Little Athletics is all about
Little Athletics has the motto “Family, Fun and Fitness”. The emphasis is placed on participation and personal improvement in a healthy, supportive, friendly and enjoyable environment. Children are encouraged to “be their best” and are shown that winning is not everything. Parents are expected to lead by example and help show their children the values that Little Athletics is trying to emphasise by praising their children’s achievements regardless of what they may be.
The children are divided into age groups based on their age and sex (e.g. Under 7 Boys, Under 7 Girls, Under 8 Boys etc.}. Each age group has an Age Manager which leads their age group from event to event each competition day. Please introduce yourself to the Age Manger of your child.
The Age Managers will instruct your child on the basic techniques of each event.
As there is a lot to do each competition day, especially for the younger age groups, the Age Managers are always looking for helpers. If you would like to help the Age Manager, please let them know. You will need to sign-on at the sign-on desk first as only those people who are signed on are allowed within the competition area.
At the start of the season (first 2 weeks}, all age groups assemble in front of the grandstand in front of their age group sign. The Age Manager will then take each group to their first event.
During the season (3rd week onwards}, children are to meet their Age Manager at their first event which will be displayed on a table by the front gate.
If you would like to contact the Age Manager of your child, please go to the Age Managers Page of the Manly Warringah Little Athletics web site (www.mwlac.org.au) or see the Centre handbook that you received at registration.
What your child should take
Competition can go for up to 4 hours at the beginning of the season. During this time the children need to make sure that they have enough food, water and sunscreen to keep them going. Children should take a back pack with them during competition which contains:
- A hat;
- A jumper if it looks overcast or cold;
Parents should apply adequate sunscreen to their children to last them the duration of the competition.
What is the time of competition?
Competition is held at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Wakehurst Parkway Narrabeen. Competition starts at 7:30am for 1500m races (older age groups} and 8:00am for all other events.
At the beginning of the season, when the number of athletes are the largest and everyone is still getting use to the way things run, competition usually goes for about 4 hours (i.e. until approx. 12:00pm}.
During the season, competition goes for about 3 hours (i.e. until approx. 11:00am}. The duration of the competition depends on the size of the age group and the events that the age group has on.
Can I follow my child around during competition?
Only those parents that are signed on to perform a duty are allowed within the competition area (including helping the Age Manager}. If you are signed on to perform a duty then you must perform the duty that you are signed on to do. It is not a “free pass” inside the competition area.
The children can be watched from outside the competition area (i.e. behind the fence or outside of throwing areas} by their parents.
If you are keen to be with your child during competition then please sign on as an Age Manager helper at the sign-on desk located inside the front gates.
Little Athletics can only function through the assistance of volunteers. Each Saturday morning competition requires each club to provide volunteers to fulfil a range of duties that their club is responsible for. As a result, each family will be called upon to perform certain duties during the season to help run the competition. Your club will contact you during the season to organise your duties.
During the normal Saturday competition, the athletes must wear their club uniform (which can be obtained from your club}. If your child is chosen for representative duty, then they must wear the Manly Warringah Centre uniform. Please see the Competition and Training page on the web site (www.mwlac.org.au} or see the Centre handbook that you received at registration.
As well as the Manly weekend competition, inter-centre representative competitions also take place. They are:
Zone: Manly is part of the North East Metropolitan zone. We compete against Mosman, Northern Districts and Ku-ring-gai. Under 7 and above age groups are eligible to compete at the Zone Championships. Under 7s do not progress past the Zone Championships.
Regionals: Manly is part of Region 1. It is made up of the North East Metropolitan, Northern Metropolitan, North West Metropolitan and Central Coast Zones. Qualifying for the Regionals is via performances of the athletes in the Zone Championships. Under 8 and above age groups are eligible to compete at the Regional Championships. Under 8s do not progress past the Regional Championships.
States: All Regions compete in the State Championships. Qualifying for the State Championships is via performances of the athletes in the Regional Championships. Under 9 and above age groups are eligible to compete at the State Championships.
State Relay: Little athletics conducts a relay championship event each year. The relay teams compete in either track or field. Selection for the State Relays is based on a child’s performance during the weekend competition. Children that qualify for a State Relay team representing Manly automatically qualify for State Championships as there are no qualifying rounds to get to the State Championships. It is open to Under 8 and above age groups.
State Multi: A multi event is held each year at a country centre over a full weekend. The format is one where each child accumulates points based on their results of the events that they compete in. There is a set program of events. It is open to all age groups.
For more details of the Representative Competitions, please see the Competition and Training page on the web site (www.mwlac.org.au) or see the Centre handbook that you received at registration.
If you are still unsure about Little Athletics or what to expect or do, please do not hesitate to ask one of the Manly Warringah Committee members or one of the club committee members.