Little Athletics is lots of fun and a great way of meeting new friends while you get fit and compete in a range of athletic events. At BLAC, the focus is on personal development and encouraging each athlete to perform to the best of his or her ability, improving each week and striving for a personal best.
You will find below answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by families who are considering joining Little Athletics. Whilst these are the most commonly asked questions, please feel free to contact us for any other question you might have.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can we join Little Athletics?
BLAC will be holding an Information/Registration Day for the 2016-2017 Track and Field season on Saturday 10th September and 1st October at the Dendy Park Pavilion, Dendy Park from 9 am to 10 am.
We also do accept registrations at any time throughout the season.
For first-time members your athlete must have turned 5 years of age to compete. You are required to provide Proof of Age in the form of a Birth Certificate or Passport. We are only required to see this document at registration and do not need a copy to be made or kept. It is a Little Athletics Victoria requirement that we record Proof of Age. This is a precondition for having your child’s results recorded.
How long does the season run?
Little athletics at Brighton can be a year-round activity for athletes between the ages of 5 and 16 years. The summer track and field component of the year begins in October and runs through to March, with a break over the Christmas holiday period.
There is also a winter Cross Country season, which runs from April/May through to August.
How much does Little Athletics cost?
The Track and Field Season registration fee at BLAC comprises 2 components:
A combined Registration fee for Little Athletics Victoria (LAVic) and Brighton Little Athletics Centre.
- The LAVic component ensures your athlete is covered by insurance and also covers you for the LAV component
- For season 2016 – 17 this fee is $70 per athlete
The second component is the BLAC Registration fee which is used to cover expenses in the running of the Centre, including our rental of the ground and pavilion, our utility costs, minor equipment replacement and upgrades, track consumables, administrative costs for the provision of notices and awards for the Brighton Championship event and end of season awards and family days. This season the fee structure is as follows:
- 1st child = $220 (including the LA Vic component of $70)
- 2 children = $380 (including the LA Vic component of $140)
- 3 children = $495 (including the LA Vic component of $210)
- Additional Children $165 each (including the LA Vic component of $70)
For athletes wishing to participate in the 2016/17 Winter Cross Country Season there is a further fee payable to Bayside Cross Country of $25 per athlete
What do I wear and bring?
Once registered, all Brighton athletes are required to wear the Brighton Little Athletics competition Singlet or T-shirt with a Jetstar logo attached and navy running shorts. These tops can only be purchased at our club rooms on Registration/Information Day and during the season. All tops cost between $25 and $35.
The LAVic registration chest plate, also given at time of registration, complete with registration number and athlete details, must be worn on all competition days. These plates have a barcode, enabling your athlete’s results to be recorded electronically for each event. They also help all duty volunteers (i.e. age marshalls) to know who your little athlete is and we encourage you to detail any medical problems on the of the chest plate.
- A key point to remember – no chest plate, no competition. It’s a requirement at LAVic level that each athlete must have their chest plate on during competition. So we can record their details and meet sponsor requirements. If a chest plate is lost you can purchase a new one for $5 by speaking to the Registrar on the Committee.
For athletes who wish to compete at Region and or State Championship then the new LAVic branded Brighton tops must be worn. Girls may also wear crop tops to regional/state competitions, although these may not be worn at Dendy Park, due to our Sun Smart policy.
Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times. Only athletes U12 and above may wear spikes which is a health and safety consideration for growing bodies.
To participate to the best of your ability it is important to remain hydrated, so please bring with you a NAMED water bottle.
BLAC also promotes a Sun Smart policy. Therefore we request that all athletes wear sunscreen and hats whilst competing. We also encourage our officials and parents to support our promotion by doing the same.
How do I know what age group I will compete in?
Age Groups are determined by the year and month that registering athletes celebrate their birthday with the assessment date each season being 1 October. So a little athlete who is aged 8 on the 1st October will participate in the Under 9 category. Two other key considerations:
- It’s also important that each little athlete who competes has their attendance recorded with their respective Age Marshall.
What do the children do?
The children come together - on either Saturday mornings or Friday evenings and participate in a selection of different events. The program of events for each meeting is detailed in the season handbook, which is given to every family once they have registered.
What are the events?
- Skills Development Programs (“On Track”) held specifically for boys and girls in the U6 & U7 age groups.
- “On Track” is a modified version of athletics that makes it easy for children to learn the skills of our sport and easy for parents to coach. Using an extensive range of fun activities, the idea is to teach children the correct skills and techniques of athletics using the enjoyment kids naturally get through exercise.
- Sprints (70m, 100m, 200m)
- Middle Distance, depending upon age group, (400m, 800m)
- Long distance, again dependent upon age group (1500m)
- Walking (up to 3 per season)
- Hurdles, depending upon age, (60m, 80m, 90m, 100m & 300m)
- Long Jump
- Triple Jump/High Jump, depending upon age.
- Shot Put/Discus
- Javelin, Under 11 aged athletes - Under 16 aged athletes only.
Where are the events held?
BLAC uses the pavilion and upper oval facilities at Dendy Park, (corner Breen Drive and Dendy Street), Melway Ref. 77A2 (for the summer season).
Brighton Little Athletics Centre, along with 6 other surrounding athletic centres, also competes in the Bayside Cross Country season. Runs alternate between a number of venues in the area, offering a diverse range of running courses and conditions.
What time does the program run? /How long is it?
The summer Track and Field season between Oct & Mar kicks off on a Saturday at 8.15am sharp with announcements and on track warm ups for the little athletes. Full competition start details are detailed below:
- Saturday mornings – 8.30am sharp – 11.00am with the younger age groups finishing as early as 10am.
- Friday evenings (Twilight) – warm up and registration starts at 5.45pm with competition between at 6.00pm - 8.30pm
The winter Cross Country season, (April-Aug);
- Saturday mornings – 9.00am – 10.30am
How do you handle hot and inclement weather?
Its summer in Australia so we get to experience the very best and very worst our city and country has to offer. It can be very hot…and it can be very damp too! So here’s how we handle hot and inclement weather AND importantly how we communicate with you so you and your athlete/s are aware of what is going on at all times.
- In the lead up to each weekly competition, the Competition Director will monitor the weather forecast to assess the likelihood of adverse weather impacting the program
- Decisions regarding the delay, cancellation or abandonment of scheduled events will be made with primary consideration given to the safety and wellbeing of athletes, volunteers, officials, parents and other attending family members
- Where extremely hot or inclement weather threatens the start of a competition program a decision will be made by 7:45am on competition day (5pm for twilights) as to whether the scheduled program will proceed
- We will communicate via Team App if a competition is not proceeding on any given morning or twilight period
- Should adverse weather force the abandonment of a program whilst it is in progress, no communication will be sent to parents as each athlete should have at least 1 nominated guardian at the centre at all times whilst competition is in progress
- The Centre reserves the right to adjust and or modify weekly competition programs at short notice to ensure that adverse weather and ground conditions are taken into account. Wherever possible the Centre will endeavour to provide a program / event of some description which may include running a wet weather program e.g. a cross country run.
How do you communicate with parents and athletes during the season?
Brighton Little Aths strive to ensure all parents and athletes are kept informed of key events and information both before and during the summer competition season. We make use of multiple communication channels and to help everyone be informed as possible on what we will communicate, when and through what channel, we’ve listed how we’ll communicate during the season below:
For the season it’s important to note that we will not be using SMS to communicate reminders or competition day alerts. We will use Team App solely for this purpose – we encourage all parents to download this app (www.teamapp.com or Team App in the App Store or Google Play) for reminders and alerts on duty.
How are the athletes’ performances monitored?
All little athletes’ performances are measured, timed and recorded at each during the program and available online usually within 24 hours of the morning or twilight session finishing. We encourage you to access these online with your little athletes to help them monitor their success during the season against their own PBs.
Club Records are always special so we place extra importance on double and triple checking the accuracy of the measurement. A Centre Record can only be recognised if a member of the Centre Executive is in attendance and checks the record. Parents on duty must be aware that if is likely that a record is to be broken, a Centre Executive member should be called to verify the result. A Certificate is awarded to all athletes who break a Centre record.
What other forms of competition are there?
During the season there are:
- Other little athletics’ centre Open Days; these competitions provide athletes the ability to compete against athletes from other athletic centres within Victoria for ribbons and medals. These competitions are entirely optional, are advertised on our website and other communication channels like Team App and Facebook and attract a small fee to help the host centre run the event.
- Regional Competitions are open to athletes in the U9-U16 age groups. These competitions are for relays and track and field events and serve as qualifying events for athletes to compete at LAVic State level events.
- Athletes who qualify at regional events may also enter State Competitions where they compete against athletes from all regions across Victoria. However, there are no qualifying requirements for State Multi-Event and the State Cross Country Events. The State Cross Country championships also permit U7 & U8 athletes to compete in Invitational Events.
- There is also an under 6 to under 8 carnival – a great way to get the ‘little’ little athletes competing against others from around the region and state. The dates for this event will be communicated during the 15 – 16 season.
What is expected of Parents?
Without parents there is no BLAC. Your help is so greatly appreciated and it is also expected that all parents assist with the operation of competition by performing a duty. At Brighton parents are required for duty on a fortnightly basis, which enables you to be with your little athletes for a good portion of the season. If you are not on duty then we encourage you to cheer on your child as they compete in each of the events during competition.
The list of duties can be found on our website and includes age-group marshalling, track operations, set-up/pack-up crews amongst others. We need all parents to participate as we have removed a duty bond so as to encourage more little athletes at our Centre.
One final point – we need you, as parents, to remain at the Centre to support your little athlete for the duration of the competition morning or twilight period. This is for your child’s safety. If you need to leave for any reason then you MUST notify a member of the Executive Committee and leave a current contact number and nominate, in writing, the name of a parent who is present at the venue who will assume responsibility for your child. We need this so the duty of care to your little athlete is upheld at all times.
What is expected of Athletes?
Athletes are expected to be courteous and attentive to those parents and officials who are there to assist them. Sportsmanship is a demonstrable feature of BLAC with athletes encouraging and cheering each other’s performance.
Is there any coaching provided?
Coaching is provided during the week, and usually commences once daylight saving starts, usually from 5pm. Days, times and the disciplines offered (i.e. sprints, hurdles, throws etc) will be confirmed once the season and coaching panel is confirmed and listed under the Coaching section of our website. This coaching is optional and is included in your registration fee. Any additional coaching fees for specific, one-off coaching, will be advertised well in advance and be entirely optional to take up.
What about Safety, Insurance and First Aid?
All athletes are covered by insurance provided by the Victorian Little Athletics Association. We endeavour to provide a level 2 qualified first aid officer at all competitions.
What the types of awards are presented?
At the end of the season presentations are made to athletes based upon;
What level of ability do children have to have to join?
Children can join Little Athletics with any level of skill or fitness. Our emphasis is on fun, fitness and participation and we encourage children to achieve their personal best in all events.
What is available to children with disabilities?
All children are encouraged to join and we will provide assistance where we can to any little athlete who requires specific support.
Can children try Little Athletics before joining?
Yes, you can try little athletics for 1 competition event and see if it is for you. The steps to trying out little athletics to see if you like it are:
- Register online through www.lavic.com.au without paying a registration fee
- Introduce yourself and your little athlete to any of the centre Executive before the commencement of the competition’s program
- We will issue you with a temporary barcode to enable your athlete to compete on that day
- Your athlete will be placed into their appropriate age/gender group and they can compete with their results being recorded
- If your athlete enjoyed the experience we just need you to complete your registration by paying the appropriate fee – we will then issue your athlete with a name plate (including a bar code), get them into a BLAC shirt and you’re away!