Lit­tle ath­letes jump for joy

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

LIT­TLE Ath­let­ics is get­ting all new com­pe­ti­tion­stan­dard equip­ment af­ter re­ceiv­ing a $21,000 com­bined grant to give fu­ture Olympians the best op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed.

Ded­i­cated club pres­i­dent, coach and man­ager Laura Gray said the grant is a com­bi­na­tion of the Reef Casino grant and Com­mu­nity Ben­e­fits grant and she will be plac­ing the or­der for new gear by the end of the month.

“It’s very ex­cit­ing, we’re get­ting new hur­dles, new dis­cus, javelin, reg­u­la­tion high-jump mats, trol­leys, racks - pretty much all new gear for the club,” she said.

“We’re hop­ing it will en­cour­age peo­ple to join, we’ll have all reg­u­la­tion sizes for com­pe­ti­tion and get the best of every­thing and be­ing an Olympic year, hope­fully it’ll boost our pro­file.

“Last year we ex­pected to get 20 kids and we ended up with 61 club mem­bers and this year we are hop­ing for even big­ger and bet­ter numbers.”

Lit­tle Ath­let­ics is a pop­u­lar sport­ing ac­tiv­ity be­cause it is an in­di­vid­ual sport and the only com­pe­ti­tion the ath­letes have is beat­ing their own per­sonal best records.

“It gives kids an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence all dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of ath­let­ics and keep a lit­tle record of their jumps, throws and track to try and beat their per­sonal best,” she said.

“Some peo­ple come in for fit­ness or some are in­ter­ested ath­letes who want to com­pete, it’s a nice op­por­tu­nity for kids from all schools - it’s a nice so­cial el­e­ment.

“They can come along and have fun and the pri­mary state cham­pi­onship is in Cairns this year.

“Any­one from pri­mary school will have one whole term of train­ing to give the kids who want to com­pete a chance to be ready for it.”

The new equip­ment will be or­dered and de­liv­ered be­fore sign-on on March 28 and Laura is also look­ing for vol­un­teers in­ter­ested in coach­ing.

“It’s so ex­cit­ing be­cause I thought to get it started last year I thought I’d be on my own and I was so over­whelmed about how many kids came along and par­ents vol­un­teer­ing,” she said.

“And start­ing a new sea­son with bril­liant new gear will give a lit­tle bit of an in­jec­tion of ex­cite­ment and a huge boost for the new sea­son.”

Con­tact Laura Gray on 0437 213 108 for more in­for­ma­tion or to vol­un­teer as a coach for the 2012 sea­son.

Jump­ing for joy: Chris­tine

Cal­lan­der, Tory Botha, Andy Cal­lan­der, Melissa Cal­lan­der, Emily Cal­lan­der

and Laura Gray

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