Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Little Athletics?
Little Athletics is a uniquely Australian sport for children aged from 3-16 years. As the name suggests, it is based upon the sport of athletics (track and field) and the events are specifically modified to suit the ages and abilities of children. A wide range of running, jumping, throwing and walking events are conducted. 'Little A's' (as it is affectionately referred as) is not really about winning, but rather, it's about having fun, making friends and getting families involved in healthy activities. The emphasis is placed on participation and personal improvement. The motto of little athletics is "Family, Fun and Fitness". Little Athletics recognises that children vary widely in size, shape and ability and it is one of the few sports that successfully caters for them all. Our season runs from August through to March the following year. We usually have our 2 sign on days in August where athletes can register to participate.
What ages does Algester Little Athletics cater for?
Algester little Athletics caters for children 3 to 16 years of age, with 3-4 year old children forming part of our 'tiny tots' program. To check what age group your child will be, please refer to the Age Group table under the 'Join Our Club' tab. Age groups are determined by the athlete's year of birth. We will need to sight a copy of the birth certificate of new athletes to our centre (this is not required for returning athletes).
What does the Tiny Tots program involve?
Tiny Tot program is for 3 and 4 year old children and is made up of suitable play training events, games and modified events relevant to the abilities of the Tiny Tot age group. 'Play Training' is a game or series of games and is designed to provide groups of children with activities geared to their interests and concentration span. It also seeks to teach the basics of running, jumping and throwing. The Tiny Tot age group will only take part in activities at the Centre. They cannot participate in any Centre Carnivals or Pentathlons, Regional or State events. The parent or guardian of the Tiny Tot athlete must be present while the child is participating. Tiny Tots runs from 2.30-3.30pm on our competition days. Tiny tots must register the same way as other athletes do, but the club uniform is optional for our tiny tots age groups.
How much is it to register my child and what does my registration fee include?
We are a not for profit organisation, and 100% of our fees go back into our athlete and our centre. Approximately one-third of the fees we receive are paid to Little Athletics Queensland. Our centre fees are located on our website. They can vary each season. The amount of registration fees payable will depend of which age group your child is in. Age groups are determined by the athlete's year of birth. Our fees also include a refundable fundraising levy (paid once per family each season), and a parent participation levy, which is also refundable if families help out at 75% of our eligible centre competition days. Unfortunately, our fees are not reduced for athletes who start later in the season. We do not accept payment plans, but we do accept FairPlay vouchers.
Please Note: The cost of the club uniform is an additional fee.
Can we try out before joining?
Yes, our Centre allows a two week trial period where you can "try before you buy" so to speak. For $10/week, your child can attend and try Little Athletics at our centre for two weeks. You will still need to fully register in order to have a 2 week trial period, so you will need to complete the registration form in full and either email it to us, or attend one of our sign-on days. If you then register for the whole season, the $20 trial fee is deducted from the registration costs. If you decide not to go ahead, then the Centre keeps the $20. There is only 1 trial period per athlete permitted. There is no need to wear a club uniform during the 2 week trial period (comfortable clothes and suitable footwear are all that is needed) however, you will need to purchase a uniform if you register for the whole season. If you decide to stay for the rest of the season, you will also need to show us your athlete's birth certificate. Trialists do not receive a sign-on bag unless they register for the whole season.
Who runs the centre?
Algester Little Athletics is run by a Committee of volunteers. The Committee is nominated and voted for at the annual general meeting in April each year and are responsible for all facets of running the Centre, under the leadership of the Centre Manager. Details about joining the Committee is on our website. New committee members are very welcome!
What events are offered?
Algester Little Athletics offers sprints, middle distance, long distance, hurdles, race walking, shot put, discus, javelin, long jump, triple jump and high jump. Events that are offered are dependent on the child's age and the program that is being run each week. Some events are age restricted (such as javelin and triple jump which are restricted to under 11 and above). Generally, each age group competes in a range of 3-5 events during each of our weekly competition days.
When / where does your competition run?
Algester Little Athletics takes place at Col Bennet Park, at the corner of Ridgewood Rd and Silkwood St. Algester. It is run on Saturday afternoons from 2.30pm until approximately 5.30pm from August to March, with a break in December / January. Our two Centre Championship days are held in March, which are like our 'grand final' events. We usually hold our trophy day in April. For more details, please refer to the 'program' tab on our website.
My child may not be athletically minded.....
Little Athletics caters for children of every skill level. Remember, the focus is on family, fun and fitness. The only requirement is to try your best! Little Athletics provides many different events, and almost everyone will find at least one event that they are suited to. Children can become despondent if they finish at the tail end of an event every week, but we have to remember to encourage and remind them they are trying to only beat their best. Almost all Olympians only compete in just one event, being that one event they are really good at. It's a matter of finding that event for each child. They might not be a great sprinter, but may later find they can throw a discus really well! Until then, it's about trying new things and learning new skills - and most importantly, having fun and making new friends.
What happens if it rains?
On occasions, due to safety reasons, we may have to cancel our weekly competition (for example, if it has been raining and the Committee consider the track and grounds to be unsafe). If this occurs, we will update the Algester Little Athletics Facebook page. This is where we post most of our information, so make sure you follow our page to keep up to date!
Does my child need to wear a uniform?
Yes it is mandatory that all registered athletes wear the correct uniform, which can be purchased at the clubhouse. This includes royal blue shorts or bike pants for girls (no patterns are permitted, and no black), and the Algester polo shirt. Athletes who are participating in the 2 week trial do not need to wear a uniform during that trial period. Hats / caps are mandatory. Athletes can purchase an Algester hat or cap, or wear something different.
Where do I sew the age level patch, Coles patch and LAQ registration number?
Little Athletics Queensland requires the red age group patch to be sewn on the left shirt sleeve. The registration number must be affixed to the front of the uniform top. Additional instructions also are available for singlets and crop tops. It is important these labels are correctly located as it may lead to athletes being unable to compete in LAQ events if they have been put in the incorrect locations. Please refer to our website under the 'uniform' tab for detailed instructions about where the patches are to be located.
Can my child participate in bare feet?
No, Little Athletics Queensland has a strict footwear policy Please ensure that appropriate footwear is worn at all times.
I am a parent - what do I do?
Little Athletics is a family activity which is run solely by volunteers. It is therefore very different to some other sports where it is possible to pay a fee and sit on the sidelines. If everyone did this at Little Athletics, then we wouldn't be able to run our weekly competition days. We need approximately 60 helpers to safely and efficiently run our program each week - that is a lot of help!! When you sign up your child, it is an expectation that you will assist with the running of the weekly competitions in some way. Don’t worry if you have never been involved in athletics, as we will have people stationed at each event to help you out. Assisting may be as simple as picking up a discus, placing on a high jump bar, raking a sandpit or for younger ages, being the age marshal. By adopting the 'many hands make light work' approach, we can ensure that we can continue to provide a weekly competition for our kids and families to enjoy.
Can children with disabilities register for Little Athletics?
Yes, we can cater for children with disabilities. We do not run any specific events, but they join in with the events that are already being run.
What if I don’t have a Blue Card?
As long as you are the parent of a competing athlete, you do not require a blue card. Algester Little Athletics Centre and LAQ (Little Athletics Queensland) have a strict child protection policy and any volunteer who is not the parent of a competing athlete will require a blue card in order to be involved in centre activities and volunteering. All club committee members are required to hold a blue card.
Is there waiting around between events?
Yes, there can be waits of up to 30 minutes at times, occasionally longer on very busy days. If this is the case, please let someone on the committee know and we may be able to send your child's age group to another event if possible, or amend our program to avoid this happening in the future. However, please understand that at the beginning of the season, wait times are likely to be longer than usual as we have a lot of new athletes to the Centre who generally require a bit more assistance.
What are 'coloured groups'?
Our U13-U17 athletes are known as the coloured group. At present we have four coloured groups, these are RED, GREEN, PURPLE and BLUE. There is a maximum number of 15 athletes per coloured group, meaning that athletes need to arrive early to put their name down for their first preferred group. Athletes must remain in the same colour for the duration of the competition. If the group is full, athletes will need to select another group. A copy of the program is located on our noticeboard, website and in each age group folder so athletes know what events each coloured group is doing.
Do I need to remain at the competition each week?
Yes, this is mandatory for all families. There are several important reasons for this. Primarily, if an athlete is injured, we need for parents to be present to make decisions about the treatment of those injuries, and of course, to comfort their injured children. Additionally:
If competition is cut short due to inclement weather or other reasons, it is not reasonable for another adult to have to have to wait for the athlete's parent to pick them up.
We need assistance from parents and family to help out running the competition each week. Without help from parents, we may not be able to run some of the events.
We do not offer supervision of any children, and do not accept responsibility for their supervision. Therefore, leaving your child behind means that they will be unsupervised. We ask that parents ensure that their children are supervised at all times. We do not offer child minding services.
Finally and most importantly, one of the benefits of young children doing sport is that children are able to share their achievements with their parents. If parents aren't there to share in their achievements, and cheer them along, this may reduce the athlete's enthusiasm to do weekend sport.
If we are aware that a child has been dropped off at the competition and there is no adult present who is responsible for the child, then unfortunately, we will ask the athlete to sit out of the competition until the responsible adult has returned.
What should my child bring each week?
They should wear their centre uniform, shoes, (spike shoes to be worn only during events and put away / taken off after each applicable event) socks, hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and a happy smile of course! :-)
How do I know my child’s results each week?
Each week after each event your child will be given a small ticket which records their results for the day. Many athletes keep their records over many years so they can see their improvements year after year. Results are also electronically recorded in the Results HQ system, which you can access online at any time after your child has registered. Details about the Results HQ system is available on our website.
Are awards presented to children?
All registered athletes who compete at Centre Championships and who meet eligibility requirements will receive a trophy at our trophy day at the end of the season. There are also other awards for most improved in each age group, age champion as well as other specialty and perpetual awards. Additionally, there are awards from Little Athletics sponsors that can be achieved during the season, such as the McDonalds achievement award certificates. Please refer to our 'results' tab for further information.
Do you offer coaching and training?
Yes - coaching is provided at our club during the season for our members (not the general public or members of other Centres, sorry!) However, it is entirely optional and athletes are not required to attend. The coaching is offered by independent coaches who charge a separate fee (ie. coaching costs are not generally covered by the registration fees, although some free sessions can be provided, subject to demand). Please monitor our Facebook page and weekly newsletter for details about coaching, as they tend to change each week. There are also coaching clinics and camps hosted by Little Athletics QLD throughout the year.
Is there a break over Christmas?
Yes, Algester Little Athletics will have a 3-4 week break over Christmas each year, commencing early December. We then resume early in the New Year. Please remember to check the weekly newsletter, Facebook page and website for details of those dates. We usually hold our annual Christmas breakup in early December, which marks the last day of competition for the calendar year.
What other forms of competition are there?
In addition to our weekly competition days, it is possible to attend various other little athletics events. Other competitions include:
LAQ Junior and Senior Carnivals and Pentathlons.
Regional Relays - a team event where children from our Centre compete against other Centres in the region.
State Relays – if you meet the qualifying requirements at Regional Relays.
Regional Championships – individual competition against other Centres in our region.
State Championships – if you meet the qualifying requirements at Regional Championships.
Australian Championships – U13 (13 boys and girls) and U15 (3 boys and girls) are selected from across the state to represent Queensland.
LAQ Winter Carnival – held in North QLD (Townsville/Cairns).
LAQ Spring Carnival – held in Bundaberg.
LAQ Summer Carnival - held at QSAC.
Other Little Athletics Centre carnivals, such as Browns Plains, Beenleigh, Springwood and Redcliffe.
How do I nominate for a Carnival?
During the season, other Centres, as well as Little Athletics Queensland, will run carnivals which your child can enter. The calendar of events is available from the LAQ website. You can nominate for other carnivals directly by following the entry details on the specific entry form. It is also possible to nominate for some carnivals directly through Results HQ.Should you have any questions about nominations, or our Centre generally, please feel free to approach any of our committee members who would be glad to assist.
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN BEHIND!
Parents and guardians of all athletes are reminded that they must remain at Col Bennett Park for the duration of any athletics competition at all times. We do not offer child minding services and we are not responsible for supervising your child. It is essential that you remain at Col Bennett Park at all times and actively supervise your child (not while sitting in your car!). Please do not leave your child behind in any circumstances.