Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Athletics North Queensland recently conducted one of the first IAAF Kids Athletics courses in Australia with great results. Held in Barcaldine, North Queensland on the April 20th -21st this course opened the eyes of all participants as it gets young athletes involved and motivated in a fun and exciting environment. Perfect for getting and maintaining kids involvement in athletics.

The IAAF Kids' Athletics program is one of the biggest grassroots development programmes in the world of sports. Created in 2005, the programme by the end of 2011 had reached a cumulative audience of 1.5 million kids across 100 territories. It aims are to ensure a steady and sustainable policy of development of the sport of Athletics. The course educated participants about modified kid's athletics events, basics on training and development principles aimed at kids aged 12 years and under, and organisation of kid's athletics competitions.

Longreach, Barcaldine and Barcoo (Blackall/Tambo) Athletics clubs attended along with school teachers participated in the course, in total there were 13 participants. Congratulations to Rebecca Dean, Jesse Marshall, Josh Smith, Grant Smith, Toni Hammond, Adriaan Greyling, Kim Trickett, Karen Frost, Zach Frost, Jessica Shute, Jack Sheppard, Martin Lloyd and Duncan Aldred who successfully passed the course. Kim Trickett, Blackall Region Sport and Recreation Officer loved the course. " this will work perfectly in our club to get the kids (and parents) motivated....... no longer will we be seeing kids getting bored and losing interest in athletics at a young age"

As part of the course participants had to organise and run a Kids Athletics Competition. 20 kids from the Barcaldine region came along for a 1 hour competition. Dayne O'Hara, ANQ Development Officer and Lecturer of the course believes that this approach is the future for kids athletics in Australia. "The kids and the parents that were involved had a ball and wanted to just keep on doing it..........I have never before seen the kids wanting to stay and keep doing athletics after the competitions are finished....... It is building their motor skills in a way that is fun and exciting for all"

Athletics North Queensland also has been working with the Australian Sports Commission to further develop athletics and participation in sport within North Queensland. As a results of this Qld Regional Coordinator Duncan Aldred participated and lectured at this course. As this course shares the philosophy of maximum participation in sport utilised by the Australian Sports Commission's Active After School Communities program, participants were also qualified as Community Coaches, along with getting their Athletics Australia Level 1 Community Coach Accreditation. This will equip participants to share the Kids athletics program at both school and club level.

"This course offers great opportunities for engaging more children, more effectively in the foundation sport of Athletics. This will help to equip children in their basic motor skills for any of the choices that lie ahead in terms of sporting skills" Aldred said.

All three athletics clubs, along with Barcaldine State School will start implementing kids athletics for the 2013 season. As the course content is very different to the traditional way that Australia organises athletics for kids under 12 years, the following months will be pretty exciting for North Queensland. Barcoo Athletics Club are planning to showcase a Kids Athletics Competition at the upcoming Shockwave Festival held in May.

Due to the success of this course, Athletics North Queensland plan to roll out more Kids Athletics Courses for 2013 in Townsville and Cairns, along with Mt Isa and Emerald in 2014. For more information about the course contact ANQ or check out our website at

Article sourced from the Athletics North Queensland