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History of Algester Little Athletics Centre

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Being part of the Algester community for more than 40 years means that we’ve managed to chalk up a bit of history!  Algester Little Athletics Centre has seen some amazing success stories and accomplishments over the years, and a recent spring clean of our office has unearthed some amazing information about our past athletes and their families.  No doubt some of our athletes from the 1980’s now have children of their own, and we would love to think that they have continued with the Algester Little Athletics tradition and have become members of our Centre.  So, if you’re feeling a little nostalgic, please have a read of our historical year books or perhaps have a bit of a look at our photographs and newspaper articles.  Many of these are undated or unnamed, so if you are able to provide us with any information to fill in the blanks, we’d love to hear from you.  Equally, if you have any old documents that you would like added to our archives, please feel free to send them through – we’d love to hear from you.
Happy reading!

  • 1983/84 - Summit Algester Little Athletics Centre was formed in the 1983/84 season by Peter Marconi, Stan Perkins and Ray Schoenauer. The Centre name “Summit” meant we would always strive to be the best, to reach the pinnacle. Our home then was Algester State School.​  Our first season saw an enrollment of 123 athletes. The centres' representative athletes at the State Championships brought home 6 medals (2 silver & 4 bronze) – a very satisfactory effort for the new kids on the block.
  • We have enjoyed many trips away since ‘83 but perhaps the most memorable one to Caloundra when the quick actions of two of our parents who knew what they were doing saved the day when an athlete suffered a severe asthma attack.
  • 1984/85 brought about a change of venue to our home grounds here at  Col Bennett Park, as part of an agreement between Souths Junior Rugby League and ourselves. The stage this year was set for an exciting year with the Olympic Games being held prior to our sign-on. We were not disappointed our registered competitors reached a staggering 298. At State Relay Day we were well represented and our U8 Girls won the Gold Medal in Long Jump. We finished a creditable 12th out of 36 centres on weighted points and 14th on aggregate. Zone titles the same season and five of our athletes broke zone records with 23 qualified to represent us at the State Championships where we achieved 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Our own Centre Championships in 1984-85 also saw many records tumble – a staggering 66 – due to the change of venue and much improved facilities.
  • We triumphed in the Zone Metro South Relay, taking home the Trophy on an unprecedented 17 occasions from ‘88 to ‘05. This success was largely due to the great support given by our athletes and their parents to the Centre – we compete as a TEAM and everyone puts in their best effort at all times.
  • However, it has always been the aim of this Centre to encourage all athletes at every level. Our awards system introduced during the 1987/88 season enables any athlete to gain recognition, not only those who grace the victory Little Athletics is not just about winning trophies bonus however, being the improvements made by the Raiders especially to the Canteen Area.dais, which is a great encouragement to all athletes to keep going.The Christmas break during ‘87/88 season saw us pack our bags again and relocate to the Acacia Ridge High School when Souths allowed the Algester Raiders Aussie Rules Football Club to move on to our turf at Col Bennett Park. This arrangement did not work out and we returned home to Col Bennett Park.
  • 1990 and we reached the pinnacle of achievement as a team in Little Athletics by taking the State Relay Trophy for the first time. The buzz felt by all was incredible. We have since won this trophy from ‘91–‘95 and again in ‘99. We came second in 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2001 and third in 1998.
  • 1991/92 and 1994/95 seasons and we were off to Townsville for the State Championships. A great deal of fundraising meant we sent a strong contingent of enthusiastic athletes north both times. The majority traveled by bus and stayed at the Townsville Backpackers Hostel. Many of us have some very amusing memories of these trips and we are sure that the athletes involved will never forget the trips “up north”.
  • 1996/97 season again saw some changes implemented at the Centre – this time the uniform and logo went, and so too the “Summit” from our name. The uniforms look great and nobody misses us on competition days!
  • 1997/98 season began with another change – this time QLAA re-organised the zones – again! We were still in Metro South but our zone now comprised Browns Plains, Beenleigh, Jimboomba, Tamborine, Springwood, Sunnybank and us.
  • 1998/99 – Tamborine departed our zone and headed back to the South Coast Zone.
  • 2001/02 was a great year for our Centre, and we were represented by 42 athletes in this year’s State Championships – for a grand tally of 19 medals (5 Gold, 4 Silver and 10 Bronze).
  • 2002/03 and we were off to Townsville again. Forward planning ouplewe we jetted off to Townsville in style, arriving fresh and ready to go, not tired from a long journey by bus. An incredible 29 medals graced the team in of seasons with a concerted effort at fundraising meant that the previous (8 gold, 14 silver & 7 bronze) and we returned home triumphant but tired from a great carnival. Whilst it is costly for both the Centre and parents to go north for the Championships, it’s a great team trip. Thanks to a hardworking Committee and, also to the parents who cook, chauffeur and chaperone, for an outstanding team effort.
  • 2003/04 – just where were we going to be? Again controversy about ‘our’ home grounds. Souths had put the property on the market, but thankfully the Council rescued us and now the park will remain just that – home to us and parkland.
  • 2004/05 – We opened our brand new tartan runway at long jump, courtesy of another successful grant application with the Gambling Community Benefit Fund. The Zone Relay Shield would be ours forever with the introduction of a new award for participation. State Relays - the heavens opened and we competed and volunteers worked in very inclement conditions.
  • 2005/06 –134 registrations, a trip to Townsville for the State Championships,12 medals, another successful Grant application and another athlete selected to represent this great state of ours at the ALAC’s.
  • 2006/07 – registrations were down but spirit was high – more grant monies courtesy of the Lord Mayors Suburban Initiative Fund for timing equipment and lights. Not to mention the inclusion of another athlete in the Qld team bound for the ALAC’s, medals at States, a downpour at State Relays and fun at home at Col Bennett Park.
  • 2007/08 – it was another great year of competition at Algester which saw the introduction of the Tiny Tots program. This was extremely well received by the athletes, parents & the Tiny Tots Coordinator.  Congratulations Ashleigh on a fantastic start to the inclusion of the littlest members of Algester Little A’s. ‘07 was also a big year for change at Association level with the re-structure into Regions, meaning we are now part of the South East Region.
  • 2008/09 – shall be known as the season we turned on the lights. Our very first twilight competition held under the new lights occurred in January ‘09. Registrations were up again and we were in for a bumper season.
  • 2009/10 - our 27th season saw our registrations remain fairly constant. We jetted off to Townsville with another very enthusiastic team and returned triumphant with a swag of medals and two more athletes were selected to represent our state at the ALAC’s in April.
  • 2010/11 will be remembered as THE WETTEST SEASON on record. We lost an unprecedented eight competition days to wet weather. We struggled to have competition times recorded for athletes prior to Regional Relays competition day, we only just managed to get our carnival on the track, there was no last day before Christmas when Santa always drops in. Wet ‘n’ Wild was really (really) wet, and it rained on our parade at Centre Championships. IT WAS WET WET WET!!
  • So what do we remember of 2011/12 – It could be the lights under which we can now play and enjoy the balmy summer nights instead of the sticky heat of summer days. Or it could be the fact that we hosted regional competitions this season and did it remarkably well.​
  • 2012/13 was the year of the London Olympics – and it encouraged 262 athletes to register for our 30th birthday season. Our athletes again produced some stunning results at both State Relays and Championships, bringing home a swag of medals and many Personal Best performances.
  • 2013/14 – the year we celebrated our great Centre having brought Little Athletics to Algester for 30 years and our new long jump runway. A celebratory uniform incorporating our heritage colours (with a twist); a trip to Cairns for States; and again three (3) representatives selected in the State Team heading off to the ALAC Championships in Sydney.
  • 2014/15 – was another good year at Little Athletics. We had a hailstorm that cut short competition in January, but other than that, it was a quiet season.
  • 2015/16 was a quiet year for the club. Numbers were down this season, but we still managed some good results at regionals and states. Our carnival was a great success with record numbers attending. We had yet another State Representative chosen to go to the ALAC’s in Adelaide. We trialed our new family friendly Trophy Day format here at Col Bennett Park  This was a huge success and will definitely become a yearly event.
  • 2016/17 – An Olympic year and the hope that it would attract record numbers of new registrations as it has done in previous years. We ended up with a total of 181 registrations. We received a grant for approximately $27,000 which was allocated to the purchase of timing gates, a trailer, travelling irrigator and $10,000 of refurbishments. We also had one athlete, Ethan Mamahit, representing the State at the ALACs.
  • 2017/18 - This was the year that our carnival was rained out not just once, but twice!  Our registrations were steady, with approximately 195 athletes.  This season we introduced the Dave Tolhoph Memorial Award in Distance Running, in recognition of Dave Tolhopf (Life Member) who was for many years the Centre Coaching Coordinator at the Centre.  We had three of our athletes representing our Centre at the ALAC's and doing us proud, including setting a new Australian Best Performance in U13 girls javelin.  We were also successful in obtaining much needed funds from the Building Stronger Communities Grants Program, enabling us to attend to maintenance of our grounds at Col Bennett Park.
  • 2018/19 - We had around 188 registered athletes this season, including 23 tiny tots.  True to form, the weather again played havoc with our annual carnival and we were forced to cancel our event in the afternoon due to a thunder storm.  State championships were held in Townsville this season, and we had 28 athletes who travelled up north and represented our Centre.  We had also one athlete, Sebastian Cu, selected for the Queensland team competing in the freezing cold ALAC's in Hobart. It was another successful season of grants, and we managed to secure some additional timing gates, hurdles and a coffee machine for the canteen.
  • 2019/20 - We had around 185 amazing athletes this season, but it was a season that was memorable for all the wrong reasons.  State Championships were cancelled at the last minute due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and our grounds were broken into and our beloved trailer was stolen.  However, on the upside, we had some outstanding performances at regional relays and regional championships, and despite the setbacks, our Team Algester family remained  strong and thrived.
  • 2020/21 - We welcome new members to our family and hope that you will feel at home. We look forward to creating a new season of memories with new and returning athletes and their families
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