Season 2019-20

The old adage ‘you play like you train’ is never truer than when applied to athletics.

Think about it: every other sport your kids are involved in requires them to turn up at least once a week for practice, so that they’ll be up to the challenge come Saturday/Sunday morning games. Running, jumping and throwing are no different—the more you put in on the training track, the better you’ll perform on match day.

At BLAC, we’re all about personal development and enjoyment. We invite your athletes to come down to Dendy Park during the week to receive top quality coaching from experienced coaches and pro athletes. We’ve really ramped up the coaching and training in the past couple of years and we’re hoping more athletes will take advantage of the quality coaching on offer. Midweek training isn’t compulsory, but we can honestly say it makes a big difference.

We also want to dispel the myth that training is only for elite athletes—the fastest runners, longest and highest jumpers, or strongest throwers: It is for anyone who wants to develop their technique and performance in particular events—who seek personal improvement and to enhance their enjoyment of athletics. We want to encourage participation and improvement.

Training days are also a vital part of building camaraderie and team spirit among athletes. Athletics is for the most part an individual pursuit. By attending training midweek, your athlete will have a great opportunity to forge new friendships whilst pushing each other to greater heights at the same time.


Check out the below for all the fast facts on coaching at BLAC

What coaching is available

We have Coaches who cover most track and field disciplines that are available on competition days. This includes:

  • sprinting (70 to 400 metres)

  • middle distance (800 and 1500 metres)

  • hurdles

  • discus and shot put

  • high jump

  • long and triple jump

  • walks

Most disciplines are covered both at Saturday competition and during the week. See below for details of training days.

BLAC Coaching Schedule.JPG

All Age Coaching

When & where is coaching?

Coaching is provided at Dendy Park – our usual competition location during summer.

We have a fine group experienced and dedicated coaches across all athletic disciplines.


This year we again have a dedicated middle distance training session. Rupert van Dongen, a coach with more than 20 years experience with athletes ranging from national champions to little athletes, will be training our athletes for 800 metres and 1500 metres events. Rupert will be running a training session each Tuesday 5pm - 6pm

We encourage athletes competing in under 9 and above to come to Rupert’s sessions as these are the age groups that participate in middle distance events of 800 metres and longer.

Rupert will also be working with any athletes interested in race walking and will conduct walk training sessions in the lead-up to the days when walks are part of the program for BLAC’s Saturday morning competition.


Tuesday is field day, with training from 5pm onwards

High Jump and Throws start at 5pm while Long Jump / Triple Jump starts at 6pm so athletes have the opportunity to train for all of these events in the one session.

Olympic shot putter Damian Birkinhead & Commonwealth games hammer thrower Jack Dalton are our throws team. Throws training will include discuss, shot put and javelin.

Marijn Kortekaas is BLAC’s new long jump and triple jump coach. Marijn is a parent at BLAC and has stepped up into coaching, a transition we strongly encourage other parents to try.

John Crane, who is president of the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association (Victorian branch) and has more than 40 years coaching experience, is in charge of high jump training from 5pm.


Thursday is track day, with training for sprints starting at 5.30pm and Hurdles at 5pm.

Laura Bainbridge, a former Brighton Little Athlete herself, is back for her third season and will be on deck for sprints training. Allan Poynton, BLAC’s longest-serving coach, kicks off hurdles training at 5pm sharp.


Sunday afternoons are for relay training where we master the baton changes from 4.30pm (TBC for 2019/2020 season) as we prepare our teams for the Southern Metro Region relay championships in November.

The best thing about relays is that a sport that is a very individual pursuit suddenly becomes a team concern. BLAC is an active participant in regional and state relay championships and we have a proud history of sending many teams and snaring some excellent results with our relay teams. We encourage your kids to join in the team spirit.

We need more coaches and parent participation!

As you can see we have excellent roster of experienced coaches. However, we are always keen to get more people involved. All parents are encouraged to support the athletes on competition days, but also to help out on training days. The most important attributes we’re looking for are enthusiasm and commitment (a bit of kid-wrangling skill comes in handy too!).

If you really want to take it up a notch and get yourself qualified, we can arrange for you to attend an Introduction to Coaching Course (ITCC), which Little Athletics Victoria schedules regularly during the season. We’ll even pay for you to become a coach!

If you’re interested in getting involved in coaching, please contact BLAC coaching director David Saunders at:

See below for further details about the Introduction to Coaching Course.-

BLAC Sponsored:


Take your first step into basic athletics skills coaching. 

All practical .... No exam .... No previous experience necessary! 

If you want to learn more about athletics for kids, then the ITCC is for you! 

The ITCC is designed to help participants become better placed to assist children to perform basic athletic skills. The course is great for parents, school teachers and other interested persons who want to know a little more about the skills of the sport so that they may help to coach children of Primary school age, assist at Little Athletics Centres or prepare students for a school athletics carnival. Participants will be shown skills, drills, games and activities relevant to the target age group. 

The ITCC is a non accredited practical coaching course designed for Little Athletics and conducted on behalf of the Australian Track and Field Coaching Association (ATFCA). 

Course Outcomes 

At the conclusion of the course the participant will, for the target age group: 

  • Better understand an appropriate working model for each Little Athletics event

  • Have a greater knowledge of appropriate drills, skills, games and activities for particular event groups

  • Identify some of the more common technical faults of events

  • Have a basic understanding of a simple coaching session

  • Better understand how to organise a group safely

1 Day course - 6.5 hours duration - approx. 8.45am to 3.20pm

Participants need to be minimum of 16 years of age at the time of the course. 

 Please contact David Saunders to register your interest