Parents & Volunteers

At USCLAC we are privileged to have a passionate and dedicated group of volunteers who are responsible for co-ordinating our Friday night competitions. But we need your help!

We understand that many parents may not have been involved in Little Athletics before but don’t worry…..we all started out as new parents not knowing what to do or how to help.

We absolutely understand that just like our little athletes, our parents have a diverse range of talents and experience……so if you think you can help, our Officials Officer would love to talk to you. Please come and see us at one of our sign-on days or during Friday night competitions (you can find her at the bottom of the grandstand near the Long Jumps).

Please see some further information below about how you can help.  For those who would like to become more involved, consider becoming part of our ‘Leadership Group’.  If you are interested, or would like more information, please talk to any of the current Leadership Group (you’ll recognise us by the USCLAC uniform) on a Friday night.

Parent Helpers

PARENTS – your children need your input!

USCLAC is a centre run totally on volunteer input – without it there is no centre, no events and no club.

Every year, parent feedback forms highlight a wish for fewer delays and greater efficiency on Friday nights. We can achieve this with your help.

Each age group needs a number of parent helpers each Friday night.

No parent helpers = no Friday night competition
Few parent helpers = slow competition, delays, late finish, unhappy children.
Many parent helpers = efficient competition, on-time finish, happy children (and parents!)

In addition, children love it when their parents are involved!!

Many hands make light work

Some feedback received in previous years has suggested parents may be more willing to help if:

  • they better understood the various ways in which they could be involved
  • there was some formal instruction as to how to carry out some of these roles
  • they knew that, if taking on a role (eg as an age marshal), there would be others to help carry out other roles including measuring, raking long-jump pits, helping manage the larger age- groups etcHopefully the information below will help. The children will have so much more fun if we can continue to develop a culture where a large group of parents wants to be involved.

So how can I help?

There are numerous roles that need to be carried out at every Friday night competition.

Remember that all can count toward the parent levy refund at the end of the year – just remember to fill in the ‘parent helper’ card each time you help out. USCLAC would be more than happy to refund each family their parent levy – this would inevitably translate to Friday nights being much more efficient and fun!

Some of the roles are discussed below.

AGE MARSHAL

  • Keeps children within an age group together (and off the track/away from throws!) • Moves the group from one event to the next
  • Organises the group at field events, making sure each child takes part in turn
  • Helps make sure events (especially throws) are carried out safely
  • Records each child’s measurements with each attempt

This job is actually very easy when other parents help out (see below)

ASSISTANT AGE MARSHALS/ VARIOUS ROLES

At least 2-4 parents per age group (depending on size) are needed to help the age marshal with the above, as well as:

  • Taking measurements for throws and long jump/triple jump
  • Raking the pit for long and triple jump
  • Replacing the bar at high jump, and altering its height when required

TIMING

Often 1-2 people are required to assist with the electronic timing systems that record each athlete’s performance. This is not difficult, and there will always be someone to show you how to do it at the beginning of the night. There are always experienced people nearby if questions arise.

FINISH LINE HELP

At least 2 people are needed each night to help hand out place cards to runners as they finish their race (middle distance races), and to read out the athlete numbers in the correct order to the team doing the timing.

CANTEEN

Assists the canteen officer by serving children/parents and collecting money.

What if I have no experience/don’t know what to do?

This is not important – all that is required is a willingness to help the children!

None of the tasks is particularly difficult, and all are easy to learn as you go. There are several sources of help if you are unsure:

    • Orientation sessions for parents will be held on sign-on days and/or early in the season to helpexplain marshalling, how to measure throws/jumps, and some of the competition rules
    • Detailed instructions for each field event are found within the age marshall folder.
    • The USCLAC website has helpful videos/step-by-step instructions on helping kids to throw/jumpcorrectly, as well as how to measure etc.
    • Other parents helping with that age group – many are experienced!
    • USCLAC leadership group members: there are several of us around on a Friday night, and we’rehappy to help answer your questions. You’ll know us by our ‘leadership group’ shirts.

Within 1-2 rotations on a Friday night, you will probably be feeling comfortable with the role, and find it easier for following weeks.

Introduction to Coaching (ITC) Course

For those who are keen, the club will sponsor you to undertake a 1-day introductory coaching course, which is carried out by Little Athletics Queensland. You will learn how to instruct children how to improve their performances (especially useful for your own children!), which makes marshalling and other duties on Friday night even easier. If you are interested in attending this course, let us know at sign on, or on a Friday night – we’d love to get as many doing this as possible!!