In a different event format to the past the 2020 Coles Little Athletics Australia Hall of Fame is being held virtually for the first time. Hosted by Simon Reeve the awards celebrate the induction of 6 outstanding individuals into the achievers, volunteer, sportsperson and official of the year categories.
Coles Little Athletics Australia would like to congratulate all 2020 Hall of Fame inductees.
To relive all the excitement and hear from our inductees, a full replay of the Awards is available below:
Amy Pejkovic was a member of the Cherrybrook Little Athletics centre in Sydney for 9 years, commencing in 2002 as an U9 and finishing in 2010 as an U17.
First qualifying for the LANSW (Little Athletics NSW) State Championships in 2005 as an U12, where she finished 6th in the high jump with a jump of 1.45m. Twelve months later, as an U13, Amy finished 2nd in the high jump (1.57m); 2nd in the long jump (4.98m) and 3rd in the triple jump (10.75m). These performances saw her selected in the Little Athletics NSW State Team to compete at the ALAC (Australian Little Athletics Championships) in Canberra, in April 2006. At the ALAC, Amy won the high jump, with a jump of 1.64m and finished 4th in both the long jump and triple jump.
Amy finished second in the long jump (5.48m) and triple jump (11.53m), and won the high jump with a jump of 1.80m. This jump was a LANSW State Record and an ABP (Australian Best Performance). Amy still holds the ABP today, shared with none other than Eleanor Patterson.
Amy was signed to modelling agency, Chic Management in 2007, and as a teenager, Amy’s modelling had already taken her to New York, and had seen her on the cover of Russh Australia and on the catwalk for Chanel.
After Amy became very ill at her 19th birthday party, her mother rushed her to hospital where an emergency MRI scan was performed. The scan uncovered a potentially life-threatening brain tumour located at the base of her skull, measuring over 5 centimetres. The cancer was the size of a baseball and it had to be removed urgently. The doctors told Amy that with the pressure the tumour was putting on her brain stem, she could have been dead within a matter of days.
A difficult, but successful operation saw the removal of the tumour and further analysis revealed that the growth was benign, and the operation was a complete success.
The invasive surgery had however left Amy’s whole body in a state of huge trauma. Amy lost 10 kg of muscle mass in two weeks. She had to re-learn how to walk and eat. “It was like I was a baby again,” she said. “My right and left side were just not in tune. I had no rhythm. For a while I considered packing it all in.”
In the 2013/2014 season, clearing 1.87m in March 2014 to be ranked number 2 in Australia again. Amy set her sights on the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but in January 2018, was forced to again re-adjust her goals when she was diagnosed with cartilage damage to her left knee. She underwent surgery on the knee and missed the next 18 months. Amy returned again to the track in March 2019, now considering Tokyo 2020 as a potential future goal. Amy said, “My career will continue into my thirties, so I’ve still got a while to go, and there’s the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020”.
For Amy, she says: “I enjoy both high jumping and modelling, and I would like to think I could continue to do both. They are both so different. Modelling is like being an actor, as we have to be in character for a day. The high jump allows me to be myself.”
Roslyn McAlister has been associated with Little Athletics for over 27 years commencing at Townsville Central Little Athletics in 1992 as a parent helper at weekly competitions, holding centre roles and as a general committee member. She continued her involvement with Little Athletics with Zone and Regional Committee roles, through the Officials program, Competitions, Area Liaison Officer (ALO) and as General Director on the LAQ Board, before becoming the Finance Director in 2011 and being awarded Life Membership of LAQ in 2019.
Roslyn strongly believes in the ethos of Little Athletics, ‘Family, Fun and Fitness’ and the nurturing of skills development of children through the sport of athletics. She believes that we need to continue to encourage, develop and offer opportunities and pathways for our members to achieve his / her potential.
She is also a passionate advocate for Centres and athletes in North & Far North Queensland and has been a representative on the LAQ Board for these Regions from 2004 until 2019.
Roslyn McAlister’s contributions to LAQ over the past 25 years have made significant impacts to the strategic management of competition, development and the future direction for all athletes and centres in the state.
Sarah started with Little Athletics from the age of 8 in Perth where she soon was winning events and setting records. Competing for several clubs (Perry Lakes, Fremantle and Hamersley) over her career in Little Athletics from 1981-1990 she won many state awards and set state records from 70 metres to 400 metres as well as hurdles and javelin. Sarah still holds the record for the Under 10 400 metres and Under 11 100 metres events, some 30 years later. Sarah was a member of the state team from 1987-1990 in the respective age groups and won the W.A. girl athlete of the year award in 1991.
Sarah played approximately 60 games for the Australian women’s lacrosse team from 1992-2009, approximately 75 games for Western Australia at the Australian Women’s Lacrosse Championships, approximately 260 games in A grade for Wembley Lacrosse Club, and 71 games for the University of Maryland Terrapins.
2005 Selected in the All-World Team following the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Annapolis MD USA.
2005 Received the Wes Patterson Spirit of Lacrosse Award for the player of the tournament at the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Annapolis MD USA.
2009 Selected in the All-World Team following the Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in Prague Czech Republic.
2004, 2008 & 2009 Captain of the Western Australia team in the Australian Women’s Lacrosse Championships.
Chloe Esposito was registered with the Liverpool City Little Athletics centre in Sydney for 3 years from the 2003/2004 season when she registered as an U13, through until the 2005/2006 season as an U15.
Chloe still holds Liverpool City LAC centre records in the U14 and U15 age groups, being:
2005 U14 1500m 5:00.1 min
2006 U15 1500m 4:47.4 min
3000m 10:15.8 min
Chloe competed in the Little Athletics NSW State Cross Country Championships in 2004 and 2005, finishing 5th as an U13 in 2004 and winning the gold medal in 2005 as an U14. Then qualified for the State Track & Field Championships in 2005 and 2006, finishing 5th in the 1500m and 8th in the 800m (behind Alicia Keir and Selma Kajan) as an U14 and then 2nd in the 1500m (4:47.4 min) and 2nd in the 3000m (10:15.8 min) as an U15.
In an interview with Runners World Chloe Esposito talked about her Little Athletics experience “I started running when I was 10. I entered the school cross-country event and I really enjoyed it. I started doing some running sessions with dad and then picked up Little Athletics. I never won anything in primary school, but I enjoyed it a lot, especially hanging out and racing my friends at Little A’s.”
Chloe Esposito won the gold medal in the women’s modern pentathlon at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Australia’s first-ever medal in the event. Across the 5 disciplines of fencing, show jumping, swimming, shooting and running, that make up the modern pentathlon, Chloe won the 150th gold medal ever by Australia.
Gwen has been a stalwart of the sport at almost every level – club, Centre, Region, State – since the 1985/1986 season when her daughter Carol commenced as a Little Athlete at Essendon Little Athletics Centre (ELAC).
Gwen’s formal contribution to Little Athletics commenced with her taking up the role of Treasurer for the Royal Ascot Little Athletics Club, as part of the ELAC in 1986. In the 33 years hence, it might be expected that she reduce her Little Athletics activities in her advancing years, but the opposite has been true. Gwen remains as committed and as busy as ever. She is the current Secretary of ELAC, the President of the Northern Metropolitan Region (NMR) and Official Announcer at most State Championship events.
Gwen remains a powerfully influential figure within the sport, particularly at Region level. She commands authority when she speaks, and the sport listens. Her considered & highly responsible demeanour has provided our sport with the steadiness and confidence required to survive and thrive in an era of unprecedented change: when the number of sport and recreation options available to Victorian children and families has increased exponentially. All community sports require experienced and credible administrators like Gwen, and Gwen is hugely respected for it.
While we know her well from a sports administration perspective, generations of athletes at ELAC know her as the kindly President unafraid to whip the latte-sipping parents into line!
Possibly Gwen’s greatest legacy is the example she has set in terms of her dedication to her sport through volunteering. Gwen is the volunteer yardstick in Little Athletics against which other volunteers are measured. Her example was closely followed by her daughter, Carol, whose voluntary commitment to Victorian Little Athletics has bordered on life-long, and has already earned recognition for her efforts with a Life
Governor service award from the State Association in 2013/2014. Many others too have followed Gwen’s example.
Gwen’s honours include:
Paul has a very good way of explaining the rules of competition to parents and athletes at Centre competitions in such a way that they don’t feel like they are being talked down too. As Arena Manager at Centre competitions athletes and parents feel comfortable asking Paul questions knowing they will get an answer to their query in a polite and relaxed manner. This is very evident during our walks program when he is often seen explaining to little athletes and in particular their parents to meaning of ‘Contact’ and ‘Knees’.
He has also developed a great rapport with the Officials based up in Perth and is an active member of the WA Athletics Officials Club, to the extent some of them now make the trip from Perth to Bunbury and beyond to assist at Regional events.
Paul has been really supportive of anyone wanting to step up and become more involved in officiating at Centre level and beyond. He has actively promoted the on-line officiating courses through the Ausport portal to parents and senior athletes so the basic understanding of rules of competition are known. The number of Bunbury parents and athletes that travelled the 200km up to Perth to help at the 2020 Jandakot Perth Track Classic is in no small part Paul’s efforts to promote the benefits of volunteering.
At State level – Paul regularly makes the 200km trek from Bunbury up to Perth to officiate at State Championship Events which typically run over entire weekends and pays his own way. During competition he is often drawn away from the track to deal with questions, queries from athletes, parents and team managers. In particular, there were a number of issues at the 2019-20 State Relay Championships in the TIC area due to disqualifications. After, listening to questions and complaints, Paul was able to give advice, guidance and rulings to parents and Team Managers in a calm and confident manner; in what looked to be quite stressful situations with upset parents and athletes.
Paul’s passion for Track and Field is not only highly infectious but also highly regarded at BDLAC and at State level – given the regularity of his appointment to key roles at State events over the past few seasons.
Paul has been a passionate member of the Bunbury and Districts LAC for 10 years and been the President for five years. He is also a member of the State Technical Committee that oversees the competition program for LAWA’s Summer and Winter programs.
There are no upcoming events at this time.