ABOUT LITTLE ATHLETICS: The Little Athletics Association of NSW (LAANSW) aspires to provide the community with recreational athletics activities that contribute to the healthy development of our children. Such activities will promote fun, fitness, the development of skills, the building of character and self esteem, and the fostering of good sportsmanship in a safe, positive, family-friendly and inclusive environment. (From the LAANSW Mission Statement.)
The concept of Little Athletics was the brain-child of Trevor Billingham and the first competition started in the sixties, in Victoria. The motto for this State, "Fun Running With Little Athletics", is simple and basic; more enjoyment will be derived from Little Athletics if this simple motto is always kept in mind.
Competition at Hornsby Centre first began in the summer of 1969. Since then, Hornsby has been prominent in NSW Championships and has had many children represent the State in Interstate Championships. More importantly, many thousands have passed through the ranks having enjoyed the fun, fitness and friendship that come from participation in the sport of athletics.
The main activity of our Centre is Saturday morning meetings, where your children are encouraged to attempt to compete in as many events as possible. The ideals of the Little Athletics movement will be attained if concern for a child's placing in an event is secondary to praise for individual improvement. To this end, the Centre provides each athlete with a special book in which tickets detailing individual performances may be pasted. Personal best performances and improvements can be systematically recorded and assessed.
After the second week of competition, each track event is organised so that athletes of like ability are graded to compete in the same heat, with ability and performance being monitored regularly on a weekly basis.
OBJECTS OF COMPETITION: All competition at Hornsby District Little Athletics Centre is governed by the rules set down in the IAAF Handbook or as otherwise stated in the rules in `Notes for Guidance of Officials' handbook of Little Athletics Association New South Wales (LAANSW). Hornsby combines some events, such as long distance events, runs and walks, for the sake of time reduction. Where such events are combined by the scheduled competition program, any performances and/or records will be permitted to the athlete. However, the combining of events should be authorised by the Office for Track and Field or Assistant to the Officer for Track and Field. Where the competition program provides for a 200 metre and a 400 metre event in the same timeslot then the 200 metre event has precedence over the 400 metre event. However, should the 400 metre event commence prior to the attendance of the corresponding 200 metre athletes then the 400 metre event will complete. The Key Assistant for the Inner Circular track should first check with the starter of the Outer Circular track for the current status of the 200 metre.
PARENTAL ASSISTANCE: For Hornsby Little Athletics to be as enjoyable as possible, it is important that it is well run. This will only happen if enough parents are present each Saturday morning to assist at the different venues, enabling the children to compete.
In order to share the load fairly, we require that one parent from each family be available to assist ONE SATURDAY IN TWO, as rostered. You should sign on no later than 8.10am so that the first event can start at 8.30am sharp. The equipment roster involves helping move equipment at 7.00am, before competition, AND again at 11.00am, when the meeting has finished. If your child is selected to represent the Centre at Championships organised by the State Association, then it will be necessary for you to assist for a few hours on those days.
On your rostered days you may choose to assist in the canteen, as a timekeeper, judge, marshal, or the like. Experience is not a requirement as there will be many "old hands" around to help you. You should find it an enjoyable experience and one which will be much appreciated by your children.
However, it is important to note that a little athlete must have a parent or guardian in attendance at each competition event. The parent or guardian should be available to render any assistance to the athlete that Centre Officials may not be able to attend.
Parents are reminded that they are required to be in attendance at the field at all times during the times that their child(ren) is(are) competing.
CHANGES TO ATHLETE/PARENT DETAILS: A reminder to all parents that they are required to advise the Centre's Records and Ranking Officer and Registrar of any/all changes to their personal details, such as address, telephone etc, and any medical condition (to the First Aid Officer) that were not provided at registration day or that have (had) changed since registration day.
PARENTAL ABSENCE: Any parent(s) who may find it necessary to absent themself(ves) from the Centre on competition day is (are) required to attend the Age Table(Officer for Special Awards) and complete an appropriate form detailing a means by which they can be contacted in the unfortunate circumstance that their child(ren) is(are) in need of medical treatment. The form will also provide that they may provide details of another adult who is designated as temporary guardian. (See also Parent Assistance.)
ATHLETE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: Parents, and especially athletes, are reminded that asthma puffers are permitted to be carried on the athlete's person during competition days at Hornsby Centre.
COMPETITION DAYS: Except where indicate elsewhere in this handbook, parents are reminded that there WILL NOT BE ANY COMPETITION held on Pennant Hills No 2 Oval on Zone, Regional and State Championship days.
In the event of an athlete being absent from competition at Hornsby and attends competition at a Country Centre, they are requested to complete a form supplied by the Records and Rankings Officer so that any absence can be recorded for 60% (and 100%) attendance. The results cannot be used for PB and other awards at Hornsby BUT their attendance will be allowed.
TWILIGHT MEETINGS: During the month of January, normally considered to be a hot month, the Centre conducts Friday night twilight sessions commencing at 6.00pm, with a total of five events being competed by each athlete.
In the event that the Friday evening competition is cancelled then NO competition will be held that weekend; competition will NOT be transferred to the following Saturday morning.
EQUIPMENT ROSTER: As indicated in `Parent Assistance', the success of each Saturday's activities is very much dependant on a parent from each family performing duty as allocated at the time of registration. The placement of all the various equipment that is used by your children during competition has to be out in place well in time for the competition to commence promptly at 8.30am.
Parents on equipment roster are required to be available promptly at 7.00arn to take the equipment out. It is essential that they return and pack the equipment back into the equipment room at 11.00am.
PARKING: Parents are warned that the police are very enthusiastic about ensuring that motorists obey the No Parking signs beside the Oval in Britannia Street. There is plenty of parking available inside Pennant Hills Park complex at the back of the Oval. Note that parking inside the grounds, in the area between the Club house and No. 1 oval is restricted to Centre Officials and authorised Key Assistants and Age Manager/Rankers with bulky equipment utilised in their official roles.
CENTRE CONSTITUTION: The New Constitution of the Centre was passed at a Special General Meeting held at Thornleigh West Public School Library on Tuesday, 19 July 2005. Download the New Constitution (128kB pdf).
CODES OF BEHAVIOUR: Sport has a very special place in Australian society. We are proud of our sporting tradition. We look up to our champions and we remember and respect the sporting heroes of yesteryear - a great many of whom are revered for their deeds on the athletics field. Winning, of course, is a vital part of that tradition - but not as important as the spirit of Australian sport. And that spirit stems from our commitment to fair play.
The Australian Sports Commission has developed Codes of Behaviour for use in sporting programs for children. Little Athletics is a community activity, which utilises athletics to help foster the development of Australia's children, and as such, totally endorses these Codes for all its participants.
i) Parents - A child's basic training in good sportsmanship comes from the home!
ii) Coaches - The best coaches are more interested in their athlete's well being than whether they win or lose!
- If children are interested, encourage them to participate. However, if your child is not willing, do not force him or her.
- Focus upon your child's efforts and performance rather than the overall outcome of the event. This assists your child in setting realistic goals related to his/her ability by reducing that emphasis on winning.
- Teach your child that honest effort is as important as victory so that the result of each competition is accepted without undue disappointment.
- Encourage your child to always participate according to the rules.
- Never ridicule or yell at your child for making a mistake or losing a competition.
- Remember children are involved in organised sports for their enjoyment not yours.
- Remember that children learn best by example, applaud good performances by all athletes.
- If you disagree with an official, raise the issue through the appropriate channels rather than question the official's judgement and honesty in public. Remember, most officials give their time and effort for your child's involvement.
- Support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children's sporting activities.
- Recognise the value and importance of volunteer coaches. They give their time and resources to provide recreational activities for your child.
iii) Athletes - It isn't whether you win or lose, but how you play the game!
- Be reasonable in your demands on the young athletes' time, energy and enthusiasm. Remember that they have other interests.
- Teach your athletes that rules of the sport are mutual which no one should evade or break.
- When coaching, group athletes according to age, height, skill and physical maturity whenever possible.
- Avoid over-attention to the talented athletes. The "just-average" athletes need and deserve equal time.
- Remember that children compete for fun and enjoyment and that winning is only part of their motivation. Never ridicule or yell at the children for making mistakes or losing in a competition.
- Ensure that equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age and ability of the athletes.
- The scheduling and length of coaching practice times and competitions should take into consideration the maturity level of the children.
- Develop each athlete's respect for the ability of opponents, as well as for the judgement of officials and opposing athletes.
- Follow the advice of a sports medicine physician when determining when an injured athlete is ready to compete or practice again.
- Remember that children need a coach they can respect. Be generous with your praise when it is deserved and set a good example.
- Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed on sound coaching principles and the principles of growth and development of children.
iv) Administrators, Officials and Spectators - In Little Athletics virtually all these are parents temporarily occupying another role. Don't adopt a different code because your role has changed.
- Compete and train for the "fun of it", not just to please your parents or coach.
- Play by the rules.
- Never argue with the official's decision. Let your Centre Manager or Coach ask any
- Control your temper - no 'mouthing off', breaking equipment, throwing implements or other equipment.
- Work equally for yourself and your team in relay and team events, your team's performance will benefit and so will your own.
- Be a good sport. Cheer all good performances, whether your Centre mates or your opponents.
- Treat all athletes as you would like to be treated. Don't interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of any athlete.
- Remember that the goal of training or competition is to have fun, improve your skills and feel good.
- Don't be a show-off or brag about your own performances.
- Co-operate with your coach, Centre mates and opponents, for without them you don't have competition.