The 2018 Coles Australian Little Athletics Championships will be held on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 April 2018 at Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre, Gold Coast.
The Championships will bring together the best 224 athletes from across Australia in the U13 and U15 age groups who will compete towards achieving national medals and team trophies.
The Australian Teams Championship (ATC) is a team’s competition for Under 13 age group athletes where each athlete gains points from events towards a total team point score.
The Australian Multi-Event Championship (MEC) is an individual competition for the Under 15 age group with each athlete competing in seven (7) events. Points are based on the best performance in each event and totalled to determine the overall places.
The inaugural Australian Team Championships commenced in 1974. Before that between 1970 and 1973 four interstate matches were held with only NSW and Victoria competing at all matches.
From 1970 to 1982 the age group was under-12. From 1993 to present the age has been under-13 and in 1987 the under-15 multi-event was added.
The history of athletes who have competed in the event is fascinating and many have gone on to Australian representation and careers in sports administration and beyond.
David Tarbotton and Ron Bendell looked back at the championships a few years ago and documented the incredible history. Some of the exceptional athletes they researched who have competed at the championships include:
- Narromine’s Melinda Gainsford, a future Olympian and national 100m and 200m record holder and media commentator
- Future Olympian Jane Jamieson (heptathlon) and Jane Saville (walk)
- Future state Little Athletics CEO’s Dean Paulin and Kerry Arkins
- Australian 400m record holder and dual Olympian Darren Clark
- Chris Bradshaw Australian team doctor and Commonwealth games decathlon representative
- John MacLean who went onto become a great Paralympian in various sports
- Queenslander Riley Day was a former Beaudesert Little Athletics club member and went onto compete at the 2018 Commonwelath Games.
Find out more
Pat Birgan for Athletics Australia
With thanks David Tarbotton and Ron Bendell, Athletics NSW