What is Little Athletics?
Little Athletics is an Australia-wide organisation encouraging kids of all ages to participate in athletic events. Children from under-6 to under-17 have a regular schedule of track and field events, and younger children can participate in the ‘Tiny Tots’ program, which involves a play-based program designed to introduce the youngest children to Little Athletics.
The emphasis in Little Athletics is on participation and personal improvement – children are encouraged to continue to improve their Personal Best performances.
When and where are competitions held?
The regular University meets are held on Friday nights, from September to March. Events start at 6pm, and a group warm-up is held from 5.45pm. The Friday night competitions are held at the Athletics Track at University of Sunshine Coast – we are fortunate to have this fantastic tartan track and associated facilities available for use.
There are also opportunities to compete in inter-club competitions. The main events each year are the Regional Relays in November, and the individual Regional Championships held in February. From U9 onwards, athletes participating in Regional events can qualify for State Championships.
What events do they do?
The range of events differs depending on the age group. There is a set program every Friday – U6 and U7 do 4 events, and others do 5 on a typical night. The typical finish time is around 8-8.30pm (earlier for Tiny Tots). The rotating program can be seen on our website (usclac.com.au).
TRACK EVENTS – FLAT RUNS
- 70m: U6 to U10
- 100m: all age groups
- 200m: all age groups
- 300m: this is the ‘middle distance’ event for U6 athletes
- 400m: U8 upward
- 500m: this is the ‘middle distance’ event for U7 athletes
- 700m: this is the ‘middle distance’ event for U8 athletes
- 800m: U9 upward
- 1500m: U11 upward
- Race walks will also be conducted (various distances depending on age)
TRACK – Hurdles
Note that the hurdles are set low for younger age groups to encourage children to ‘run’ rather than ‘jump’ over them.
- 60m: U8 to U12
- 80m: U13 B&G; U14G
- 90m: U14B; U15G and U16G
- 100m: U15B, U16B, U17G
- 110m: U17B
- 200m: U13-14
- 300m: U15-U17
- Long Jump: all age groups
- Triple Jump: U11 upward
- High Jump: U8 to U10 do ‘scissor’ only; U11 up do ‘flops’ or ‘scissor’ techniques
- Shot Put: all age groups
- Discus: all age groups
- Javelin: U11 upward
Tiny tots have a separate program, with games and some track events that introduce them to some of the skills and fun of competing.
How are age groups determined?
It is taken from the child’s age on 31 December of the competition year. For example, a child who is 11 years old on 31 December, 2018 will be in the U12 age group for the 2018/19 season.
How much does it cost?
The registration fee is $100 per athlete, with a maximum family registration amount of $190.
There is also a compulsory $55 per family lighting levy, to cover the fees that USCLAC pays to the university for the lighting.
In addition there is a $50 parent helper levy. This is fully refunded if you help out in some way at 50% of Friday night competitions (usually 12 nights). As USCLAC (like other Little Athletics clubs) depends entirely on volunteer input, we need parent helpers to assist with a number of fairly easy tasks each week to allow competition to take place. Just don’t forget to sign your parent helper card each time you help out!
Therefore, the maximum total for a family (excluding uniforms) is $295 for the season (= $190 registration + $55 lighting + $50 parent helper levy), which reduces to $245 after refund of the parent helper levy at the end of the season if you meet the above criteria.
There is government funding assistance for eligible athletes/families through the ‘Get in the Game’ funding program. Details can be found at:
What if I’m not sure about signing up for the whole season?
Children can have up to two ‘trial’ nights, at a cost of $10 per night. They will do all the events scheduled for that evening. This option is well worth taking if unsure, as once an athlete is registered for the season, refunds are only given under exceptional circumstances (please see the refund policy on our website). Any trial fees paid will be deducted from the registration fees if the child decides to register for the whole season.
How do I register?
Registration can be done on-line or at a sign-on day.
On-line registration usually opens in early August. Payments can be made online using PayPal or credit card, and packs can be collected or mailed to you.
There are 2 sign-on days held at the University (Sunday 26 August and Saturday 1 September from 9am to 12 midday), if you want to come in person to ask any other questions regarding our events etc. We can also answer any questions you may have about marshalling, measurements and competition rules, in order to make it easier for you to earn back your parent helper levy.
Is there any training offered?
Please see our separate coaching policy (in the Welcome Pack, and also found in the Centre Handbook on the website) for details about what coaching is available.
Athletes can use the track for their own training sessions – a small fee is payable to the University for each use of the track.
Are there uniforms?
Yes, and athletes need to wear these for Friday night competitions. The uniform consists of a polo shirt (cost $40), and either black bike pants or black shorts (we have some available for $20 but any plain black shorts are acceptable). Athletes who are U13 or above have the option of the singlet (for boys) and crop top (for girls) instead of the polo shirt – these are $30 each. Athlete registration numbers and age group patches must be attached to the relevant part of the top (especially for regional/state competitions – Little Athletics Queensland is very strict about this!). Please also note for official competitions that shorts cannot have visible brand logos or coloured stitching. Further details are available in the competition handbook.
Do we run during school holidays?
Yes. Our season runs from the beginning of September through to mid March. We do run normal Friday night competitions through the September/October school holidays. We do have a 3 week break over Christmas.
Do I need to sign in my child each week?
Yes. It is Centre policy that a parent/guardian must sign their athlete in and remain with them at the track for the duration of the competition.