Little Athletics is a uniquely Australian sports offering for children aged 3-16 years. As the name suggests, it is based upon the sport of athletics (track & field) with events specially modified to suit both ages and abilities of children. A wide range of running, jumping, throwing and walking events is conducted at a centre near you.
Little Athletics is a foundation sport providing young people with skills that will stand them in good stead for both their sporting future as well as their adult lives.
Each year across Queensland, approximately 14,500 boys and girls turn up at a centre to enjoy the activities that Little Athletics has to offer. They also take the opportunity to catch up with their many friends made during these years.
Originating in Victoria during the early 1960’s, Little Athletics was developed for children too young for senior athletics. Co-founder Alan Triscott’s idea in 1973, to bring Little Athletics to Queensland, began with several public meetings in Brisbane. As a result of these meeting, Redcliffe Little Athletics was established.
The QLD Association now has over 100 centres located throughout Queensland. The Little Athletics motto of ‘Family, Fun and Fitness’ highlights that it is a community activity involving the whole family on a weekly basis.
Athletes are encouraged to improve themselves in areas including performance, sportsmanship and social skills, throughout the season. Each of the events offered is age appropriate according to motor development and a gradual process of skill learning.
The track & field based competition is conducted throughout both the summer and winter sports season and includes:
Sprints – 70m, 100m, 200m
Distance – 400m, 800m, 1500m
Hurdles – 60mH, 80mH, 90mH, 100mH, 110mH,200mH & 300mH
Walks – 700m, 1100m, 1500m
Relays – 4x70m, 4x100m, 4x200m, 4xMedley, Swedish
Jumps – Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump
Throws – Shot Put, Discus, Javelin
Centres may offer the Tiny Tots Program for children between the ages of 3 and 4. Tiny Tots will participate in games and activities designed to develop gross motor skills. They will not engage in competition. This program is optional and no Centre is compelled to offer the program.
The philosophy of the Little Athletics movement is summed up in the slogan:
One of the basic reasons for the continued development and enthusiasm generated by Little Athletics, has been the attempt to meet the needs of children as part of the family unit.
Little Athletics is more than a sport. It is a community-oriented organisation which enables the entire family to do something together. Parents are involved in the program as voluntary helpers or officials. They share in many experiences with the children.
Little Athletics provides a vital communication bridge between parent and child. This link can have benefits far beyond the years spent in the centre. Society has, increasingly, produced subtle and damaging pressures on family and community relationships. The FAMILY CONCEPT approach to programming counteracts those pressures.
All children like fun…all children need fun. The weekly competition provides fun through participation in an enjoyable sport, with friends in the same age group. Many friends made at Little Athletics remain friends for life.
The community has become increasingly aware of the value of physical fitness, particularly in the fight against obesity. A fit body can mean an alert mind and a decrease in the incidence of many physical ailments.
Combined with FAMILY involvement…FITNESS can be…FUN in the happy environment of a Little Athletics Centre.
Little Athletics aims to develop children of all abilities by promoting positive attitudes and a healthy lifestyle through family and community involvement in athletics activities.
LAQ aims to guarantee all children and adults access to a complete range of participation, training and competition opportunities and to ensure equity in all aspects of Athletics, including the provision of rewards and incentives, coaching, officiating and administration. LAQ recognises seven equity areas, which include: gender, disabilities, older adults, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, non-English speaker, employment status and isolated communities.