Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Sun is up, looks like another perfect summers day. Pack the car, make sure the kids are all in, get the cold drinks, snacks and sunscreen ready, and head off for another Saturday morning at Mace Oval in Mt Martha for Little Athletics.
The kids are buzzing with anticipation while the adults are busily putting up the last of the equipment, ticking names off, and attaching bib numbers before warm up begins. With set up done, barbecue cooking, and the kids off for a warm up, parents grab a cappuccino and get ready to help the children with their events.
The community atmosphere is what really makes Little Athletics great; everyone is prepared to have a go and it's a real team effort.
Surprisingly it is not competitive, in the sense it doesn't matter if your child comes first or last. They are awarded by beating their own personal best times, and are not compared to other children's results.
One memorable moment was when a child came last in an event, however he was ecstatic because he was the only one to get a P.B. This is what makes it great.
Little Athletics was formed by Trevor Billingham after he noticed primary school children were too young to enter running events. That got him thinking. He came up with a 'simple' idea to run a Saturday morning competition at Landy Field, Geelong on the first Saturday of October in 1964. By 1967, Victorian little athletics association was formed. In 1972, Australian Little Athletics followed.