Little Athletics evolved, like most voluntary community organisations, through the mind and conscience of one man. Trevor Billingham followed the pattern set by many pioneers in the field of community service – he recognised a need and introduced an idea designed to meet that need.
On an October day in 1963 three boys turned up at an athletics meeting in Geelong, Victoria. They were ready to compete. On approaching an official they were told that they were too young to take part. That official was Trevor Billingham.
The disappointment, evident in the boys, left a marked impression on his mind.
The thought was forgotten; it came alive again several months later. At a coaching clinic designed for secondary school students it was noted that the majority of children were of primary school age.
Reminded of his earlier experience, Trevor Billingham had an idea. The answer to the need expressed in the children would be a simple Saturday morning competition.
On the first Saturday of October 1964, he met with a small group of children on a Geelong oval. They took part in a short program of running events.
From that simple beginning, athletics for under 12 boys and girls developed at a phenomenal rate. Little Athletics created tremendous interest; by 1967 the Victorian Little Athletics Association was formed.
Australian Little Athletics Union was formed in Perth on the 31st March 1972.
Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Territory & Western Australia were the founding members.
South Australia, Queensland & Australian Capital Territory joined in the 1973/74 season
Tasmania joined in the 1974/75 season.
The first Executive members of the Australian Little Athletics Union were:
Australian Little Athletics Union became Australian Little Athletics (ALA) during the 1992/93 season.
In 2008/2009 season there were approx 98,000 Little Athletes competing throughout Australia on a regular basis, and in the 2012/13 season, over 104,000 Little Athletes participated across the country.
Presidents – Australian Little Athletics
1972-1974 Bruce McKenzie
1974-1976 Robert Quail
1976-1980 William Tucker
1980-1984 Greg Adams
1984-1988 Mal Hastie
1988-1990 John Guerra
1990-1994 George Harvey
1994-1996 Michael Cassar
1996-2000 Dave Cramer
2000-2006 Majorie McNamara
2006-2012 Ross Burridge
2012-2018 Dereck Fineberg
2018-Present Andrew Pryor