The Tiny Tots program is for children from 3 to 5 years of age that encompasses skills based games that are focused on participation and fun. The fundamental skills of running, jumping and throwing are approached through “appropriate” activities for 3-5 year olds. Emphasis is not on competition but on the development of young children and this is incorporated in play and relatively unstructured games. Games include activities such as running and jumping over rope ladders, mini hurdles, hoops, throwing and catching bean bags or playing with the big parachute. The children also get to participate in ‘Athletics’ events such as long jump or a 50m run on the track.
Little Athletics provides a great environment for athletic development. While the emphasis in the younger age groups should be on fun and participation, as the athletes get older, there are opportunities for development, competition, and participation, depending on the Little Athlete’s interests. It is important that the level of activity, training, and competition is proportionate to the athlete’s chronological age and development stage. For more information, please see the DEVELOPMENT POLICY
Some Little Athletics Centres may offer a weekly coaching session. Check with your local centre whether they offer this, and when it is on. For those wishing to find coaching in a specific discipline, private coaches are available through the Australian Track and Field Coaches Association (ATFCA) or Athletics Australia.
There are often coaching clinics running throughout the season. These may focus on particular age groups or events, or may be general clinics. These are often held during school holidays, and provide athletes with the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new friends, and often meet elite athletes. Please contact your State Association for information on upcoming coaching clinics.
Junior Development Squads
For those athletes (usually U12 and above) wishing to take their athletics to the next level, there are state-based junior development squads. There is no national junior development squad, however, state associations may run their own development squad programs. The eligibility criteria and program content is at the discretion of the State Association. Please contact your State Association for more information on their athlete development squads.
National U15 camp
In September/October each year, Coles LAA holds an annual National U15 camp over four days at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra.
In previous years, LAA have advised minimum qualification standards for athletes to achieve before being considered for the U15 AIS Camp, scheduled in September/October each year. Each state was allocated a number of positions and states were responsible for selecting athletes.
In 2016, LAA selected the highest performing athletes in each event nationally. Offers for attendance were based on performances at each State’s Track and Field Championships (unless an athlete has missed the Championships, through injury or another legitimate reason prior to Championships, then an application for consideration was provided to LAA, through the State Association.)
Selection is by invitation only and is at the discretion of the LAA National Camp Organising group.
This is a great opportunity for athletes to be coached by some of Australia’s best coaches, and to receive expert training and education in a range of areas, both physical and theoretical.
For more information on the National U15 camp or to learn more about the eligibility criteria and application process, please the Coles Little Athletics Australia office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 03 9682 1511.