If you are considering a new activity for your child, athletics is a great option to consider. Often considered a foundation sport, athletics builds kids’ skills in actions such as running, throwing and jumping, which are required in most other sports. It also gives them the opportunity to try many different events, including sprints, hurdles and relays, discus, javelin and shot put, long jump, triple jump and high jump, and more. Kids can experience being part of a squad team, and can get qualified coaching to build their skills and take them to the highest levels of competition. Above all, it is a fun and engaging activity to take part in, so kids can build a life-long love of sports and physical activity.
What Age You Can Start
Most kids’ athletics clubs will offer programs for children as young as 5, with coaching tailored to their age and ability, usually beginning with developing basic skills in coordination, balance, running, throwing and so on. There tends to be a focus on team spirit, and getting involved in a fun and active way.
For younger kids or those just developing an interest in sports activities, there are some great programs for those as young as 1.5 years. These tend to give an introduction to a range of sports, including athletics, and give kids a taste of various sporting activities in a fun and positive play-based experience.
Some great options for younger kids are:
Physi Kids — offering kids aged over 2.5 years multi-sport programs in childcare centres, as well as after school and vacation care.
What the Benefits Are
There are many benefits to kids taking part in athletics. Athletics is a great physical activity for kids to take part in, to help them get active and fit and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Through the wide range of events and skills involved, kids can improve their balance, coordination, motor skills and agility.
Athletics can also have many mental benefits. For example, with regular coaching a training kids can build their self-esteem and confidence as they see continued improvements. This also teaches them persistence and patience, and improves their dedication as they work towards new goals. The competitive elements of athletics can also build their resilience and emotional control as they learn to take the wins and the losses along the way.
Athletics squads and teams are also great for improving kids’ social skills. They learn about teamwork, meet other kids from a wide range of backgrounds, learn to get along well with others and experience the camaraderie of being part of a team. They can make friends for life, all while doing something they enjoy.
What the Future Prospects Are Professionally
Athletics events have a long and rich history, depicted in Ancient Egyptian tombs and played at ancient games thousands of years ago. Even the first event at the original Olympic Games back in 776 BC was an athletics running event. As such, Athletics is a well respected event, featured in most major sporting competitions and extremely well represented by Australians on the world stage. Australia has been represented in athletics at every Olympic Games, every Commonwealth Games and every IAAF World Championships, with a huge tally of medal wins and world records.
For kids starting out on their athletics journey, the sky is the limit in terms of the level they can reach professionally. Quality coaching, especially by accredited coaches and clubs ensures children get the best help to develop their skills and encouragement to work towards their goals. Most clubs also offer excellent opportunities to take part in competitions, from local meets all the way through to state and national championships and beyond. When looking for a club for your child, be sure to ask about current and past members to find out the levels achieved by kids who have used the same coaches and facilities.
Where You Can Do It
There are a great many venues where kids can get involved in athletics around Brisbane, so it will not be hard to find a location near you.
Queensland Athletics, throughout Queensland
The following clubs are affiliated with Queensland Athletics, so they come with the assurance of being accredited by an athletics governing body:
- Ashgrove Rangers Athletics Club, The Gap
- Aspley Athletics Club, Geebung
- Athletics North, Newmarket
- Caboolture Athletics Club, Caboolture
- Deception Bay Athletics Club, Deception Bay
- EGAC, Nathan & Hawthorne
- Fast Track Athletics, Regents Park
- Intraining Running and Triathlon Club, Milton
- Ipswich & District Athletics Club, Ipswich
- Jimboomba Athletics Club, Jimboomba
- Lockyer Districts Athletic Club, Laidley
- Mayne Harriers Athletics Club, Windsor
- QEII Track Club, Nathan
- Queensland Athletic League, Various
- Queensland Masters Athletics, Nathan
- Queensland Race Walking Club, St Lucia
- QUT Athletics Club, Kelvin Grove
- Race Pace Runners, Aspley & Bracken Ridge
- Redlands Athletics Club, Cleveland
- Sheldon Academy of Sport, Sheldon
- Thompson Estate Eastern Suburbs, Carina
- Toowong Harriers Athletic Club, Taringa
- University of Queensland, St Lucia
For a range of recreational running groups, visit qrun.com.au.
UQ Sport Kids Athletics, UQ Sport Athletics Centre, University of Queensland, St Lucia
UQ Sport offers a range of awesome Kids Athletics programs that specially designed to get kids excited about taking part in track and field events. There is a Term Program on weekday afternoons throughout school terms with athletics coaching for kids aged 6 to 17 and a whole range of athletics events to practice. Lower Primary is for kids aged 6 to 8 and focuses on sprints, jumps and throws; Upper Primary for kids aged 9 to 11 works on agility, balance and coordination in events such as hurdles, javelin and relays; and the Junior Athletics Squad for 12- to 17-year-olds gives more advanced technical training and also includes the high jump and triple jump.
There is an Athletics Holiday Program for kids aged 6 to 17 in school holidays, with coaching to improve performance and technique in a range of field events. There are also athletic meets, such as the Junior All Comers Meets and School Holidays Meets.
You can read all about UQ Sport and Athletics for kids at uqsport.com.au.
Little Athletics, various locations
Little Athletics offers athletics activities for kids aged 5 to 16. It covers a wide range of skills like walking, running, jumping and throwing, with track and field events specially tailored for each age and skill level. There are also track and field event competitions that children can take part in throughout the year.
Fast Track Athletics, various locations
Fast Track Athletics does everything from coaching beginner athletes to developing older kids and young adult athletes into the highest level of competitors. It provides quality coaching, squads and lots of competition opportunities. Training is offered at many locations on Brisbane’s south side on most week nights and some weekends.
Visit fasttrackathletics.com for more information.
Athletics Australia is the national governing body of athletics in Australia. Their website athletics.com.au has a wealth of information on Australian athletics, news, competitions, results and more.
Queensland Athletics offers athletes a range of training and competition opportunities, and overseas equity in athletics, including competing, coaching, officiating and administration, and gaining rewards and incentives. You can visit the Queensland Athletics website at qldathletics.org.au to search for affiliated coaches and clubs, and for athletics news, competition event information and more.