After so much time at home, the kids are eager to stretch their legs and soak up the sunshine – and there’s no better way to do that than through athletics.
In July, research by the Australian Sports Foundation suggested that more than 16,000 local sports clubs were at risk of closing due to reduced revenues and increased costs (#thanksCOVID).
But with the help of the likes of gold medallist Sally Pearson, world champions Kelsey-Lee Barber and Jaryd Clifford, and Coles, there has been a renewed interest in Little Athletics since our local restrictions eased – particularly on the Gold Coast.
Urging kids to dust off their running shoes and get back on the track this summer, athletics stars recently congregated at the Runaway Bay Little Athletics Centre to announce a new partnership between Coles and Little Athletics Australia and Athletics Australia.
Sally Pearson, who started her illustrious career at Little Athletics on the Gold Coast, said she was delighted to continue supporting the next generation of Aussie athletes despite retiring from international competition last year to give birth to daughter Ruby.
“Little Athletics is where it all began for me, so I know how important grassroots centres and volunteers are to helping kids realise their potential,” she said at the event. “I’m so glad to continue my involvement with athletics through Coles’ partnership with Little Athletics Australia.”
A uniquely Australian modified athletics program for children from 5 to 15 years, Little Athletics is based upon track and field sports. Offering a wide range of activities, from running to jumping, throwing to walking, the events are modified to suit the age, developmental stage and ability of your children.
There is a strong emphasis on fun, participation, performance, technique and getting involved with your family in physical and healthy activity, and the sport is a particularly inclusive one – across Australia, more than 100,000 girls and boys take part in Little Athletics.
So, why should your kids get involved in Little Athletics? Here are some of the key benefits:
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Healthy growth of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons
- Improved coordination and balance
- A greater ability to physically relax and, therefore, avoid the complications of chronic muscular tension (such as headache or back ache)
- Improved sleep
- Mental health benefits, such as greater confidence
- Improved social skills
- Improved personal skills, including cooperation and leadership.
- It’s tonnes of fun!