Little Aths approaching the start line
A CENTRAL location for junior athletics on the Surf Coast is becoming a reality following more than 500 expressions of interest across the region.
Little Athletics will have a new home based at Torquay College on Grossmans Road providing a direct pathway for junior athletes to develop their abilities in both the track and field disciplines to a senior level.
Lead organiser of Surf Coast Little Athletics Claire Osborn said the official start date for the program is confirmed for November 27 and, after recently acquiring an official affiliation with Little Athletics Victoria, it is full steam ahead.
“We are all very excited that it is becoming a reality,” Ms Osborn said.
“Sports participation improves community health and wellbeing, and we want kids to be outside doing athletics.
“Kids participating in athletics learn valuable skills for life, which extends far beyond the athletics track.”
The family-friendly program is set to hold meetings each Saturday morning from 9am to midday and is expected to draw participants and their parents from all over the Surf Coast.
In the past, families in nearby towns have had to travel to Geelong and down the Bellarine Peninsula to allow their children to participate in Little Athletics.
A location in the heart of the Surf Coast mitigates travel issues, according to Ms Osborn.
“It’s not that Little Athletics isn’t acceptable for people living in the Torquay and Jan Juc area, I just felt that we needed a centre for people living on the Surf Coast,” Ms Osborn said.
“Travel has always been a massive barrier for families on the Surf Coast, especially in nearby towns such as Anglesea and Winchelsea, and now they will be able to easily access our Little Athletics centre.”
2021 Tokyo Olympian and marathon runner Ellie Pashley has signed on as an ambassador for Surf Coast Little Athletics, providing a role model for young athletes to aspire to.
Being a Surf Coast resident, Ms Pashley is grateful to see the Surf Coast provide locals with a new location to compete.
“I used to do Little Athletics as a kid and I absolutely loved it, so I’m excited it’s going to be down here and I’m keep to be a part of it,” Ms Pashley said.
“I look forward to watching it grow over the next five, 10 years and hopefully longer.”
Under six and seven age groups will participate in the On Track program aimed at teaching fundamental movement skills.
Meanwhile, under eight to 15-year-old athletes will rotate through a program that gives them plenty of opportunities to participate in events such as sprints, middle-distance running, hurdles, walks, throws and jumps.
For more information or to register your interest head to surfcoastlittleathletics.com.