Frequent Questions

Interested in little athletics? Have a look at our information booklet

The motto of Little Athletics is family, fun and fitness. Little Athletics caters for children of every skill level and should not be seen as competing to win but rather for enjoyment and improving upon your previous best.

View our 2022-23 Season Calendar

What ages are catered for in Little Athletics?

Little athletics is available for all boys and girls aged 5 to 16. Age groups are designated as U/6 and so on up to U/17. A child may register and start to compete once they turn 5 years of age at any time during the season, but not before this time. A child may start and are most welcome to start Little Athletics at any age between 5 and 16.

How are age groups determined?

To register, athletes must have turned 5 years of age, and be under 17. The age groups are based on the athlete’s age at the end of the calendar year in which the track and field season commences. For season 2022-23, it is the athlete’s age as of 31 December 2022 that will determine their age group. A copy of a birth certificate or other proof of age document should be made available when registering for the first time. 

When is the competition held?
The summer track & field season typically runs from the start of October to the end of March. Competition is held on a Saturday morning with warm-up starting at 8.30am. Finish time is typically about 11am-11.30am. An emphasis is to have younger age groups (U6-U7) finishing earlier than this, before 10.30am. There are also occasional twilight meetings held on a Friday from 5.15pm to about 8pm, generally on public holiday weekends. A Winter Cross Country Season runs from April until September.

Where is the competition held?
The regular weekly track and field competition is held at the same venue for each week of the season at Edithvale Reserve, Bridges Ave, Edithvale – Melway Map 93 C9. Competition is on a grass track which is very beneficial in preventing injuries particularly in younger athletes as opposed to a harder synthetic track.
Additionally various centres around the state hold Open Day events where athletes may compete at the host Centre. Regional and State Championship competitions are also held for U/9 – U/15 age groups (TBC) at various locations around the State. Inter-centre events can also be held.

How do I find out if competition is cancelled?
Drainage facilities at Edithvale Reserve are excellent and generally only the most severe conditions (e.g. continuous rain) results in a cancellation of the day’s competition. If the grass surface or jumps pits are overly wet, then hurdles and jump events may be delayed or cancelled, to reduce the chance of injury. In the event of a delay or cancellation, we will post updates on the home page of our main website, on our Facebook and Twitter.

Do I have to live in any specific area?
Whilst most members live locally (Aspendale/Aspendale Gardens, Edithvale & Chelsea/Chelsea Heights), there is no restriction based on the address of any prospective member.
Many of our members come from outside the local area including Cheltenham, Mentone, Parkdale, and Mordialloc to the north, Braeside, Bangholme, Waterways, Keysborough, Noble Park, Dingley to the west, and Patterson Lakes, Bonbeach, Carrum, Skye, Sandhurst, Seaford, and even Langwarrin and Frankston to the south.

How do I join?
There are information days held before the start of the summer season. Registration must be completed on-line via our website, and all members once registered need to collect an official t-shirt patch at the clubrooms at Edithvale Reserve prior to the season starting. You may register on-line at any time during the season, or get further information during a competition meeting at the track.  For more information, refer to our  Registration Information page.

How much does it cost to join?

Registration fees for the 2022/23 season are $180 per athlete. Note: the Little Athletics Victoria Association Registration & Insurance fee of $89 is non-refundable.  The fees cater for around 15 weeks of competition as well as entry into the Ray White Chelsea Gift and Medallion Day. The Centre generally does not make any profit from the season fees as these go towards affiliation with Little Athletics Victoria covering insurance and the like, as well as allowing for costs towards end-of-year awards, trophies and events. The centre makes most of its proceeds from fundraising, sponsorship and canteen/bbq facilities.

Where do my fees go?
Of the $180 season 2022-23 registration fee, the compulsory LAVic affiliation is $89. The remaining funds are used for end-of-year awards, trophies and presentations (approx $40), centre funded events ($30) and to pay for the registration of athletes at external events e.g. Mentone Open Relay/Regional and State events/Road Relays). The Centre also pays lease fees on the building and grounds to Kingston City Council of approximately $5 per athlete. As you can see, the centre effectively makes little profit from the registration fee. A typical season entitles an athlete to 16-20 weeks of regular competition, plus the annual Gift Day, Medallion Day, Relaython, presentations and an end-of-season awards (subject to weather and any Covid-19 regulations). We believe this is terrific value for money, and on top of all of this – athletes remain active and healthy and make friends at the same time.

Can we try out before joining?
At the start of each season (typically in the first month), “Coaching” days and free one-two week trials are held where children can compete in events held on that day at no cost, and then decide if they wish to join. Athletes must enter on-line before attending the track for insurance purposes, as either a trial athlete or full paid-up athlete.

Can we transfer our membership?
Athletes may transfer membership to another Centre. Whilst the LAV component of the registration fees does not need to be re-paid, the local Centre associated fees may need payment.

Can we cancel our membership?
All requests for cancellation of membership must be submitted in writing. The LAV portion of the fees is non-refundable under any circumstances. The remaining portion of the fees is only refundable in exceptional circumstances and will be considered by the next full Committee meeting.

Do girls compete against boys?

Generally no, genders are separated for reasons of competition. At times however boys and girls events may be run simultaneously for streamlining the day’s program, but will be judged separately.

What events are available?

The U/6 and U/7 age groups generally compete in 3 events each week and also learn skills required in a non-competitive fun “On-Track” program conducted each week. The U/8 age groups and above compete in 5 events each week in a 3 week rotating program. See the Weekly Programs to find out what events each age group performs.

What are parents expected to do?

The foundation of Little Athletics was built upon involvement of the family. Unlike many other sports, parents do and are expected to take an active part in the running of the events. This provides for great interaction with and enjoyment for children who really appreciate Mum or Dad or even Grandparents being out there with them. Little Athletics should not be considered as “child minding”. You’ll find that it does not take much expertise to use a measuring tape or rake a sand-pit!

Are volunteers screened for Working With Children?

The Working With Children Act 2005 applies to Little Athletics. All volunteers in Executive Committee Positions at Club and Centre Level, and additionally those who are directly involved in a support role such as Coaches, Team Managers,  and On-Track Coordinators have been through the WWC process.

Are awards presented to children?

Every athlete that competes, given a minimum number of competitions attended, receives an award at the end of the season. To qualify for end-of-season awards, an athlete must have competed in a minimum of 50% of the available competition days after the day of registration. Additionally, no less than 2 weeks of competition after Christmas Day.

Is a special uniform required?

There are uniforms available for sale in the clubrooms uniform shop. The most important part of the uniform though is ensuring that the LAV registration/sponsorship patch is attached. Comfortable running shoes and black shorts are also required. When athletes compete at Regional or State Championships the specific Chelsea uniform is required, these are also available for hire or purchase.

Why is the Hurdles run over 81m rather than 80m?

Our most commonly asked unusual question. As permanently marked positions are not possible on a grass track, it was first proposed by VLAA (LAV) Life Governor and CLAC Life Member John Ellem, that the 80m Hurdles event should be modified to 81m to reduce set-up time when changing from the 60m Hurdles event. The answer is found in the difference between these two events. In every other respect, apart from the distance run and number of flights; with regard to the height of the hurdles, the run-in (distance from start to first hurdle – 12m), and the spacing of the hurdles (7m), these events have the same specification. The run-out (distance from last hurdle to finish line) differs from 13m for the 60m event to 12m for the 80m event. John cleverly surmised that if the 80m event was modified to an 81m event, the flights of hurdles could remain in the same position for the two events. Thus the only difference from the LAV standard event is an increased run-out and therefore the athlete’s running pattern and technique would not have to modify in any way apart from an additional 1m distance after the last hurdle flight is cleared.

What is Open Day?

The Chelsea Open Day is a showcase event for the Centre. Athletes from Centres all across Victoria are invited to our Centre to compete against each other in a friendly atmosphere. Medals are awarded for place-getters in an event final. The day typically runs from 9.30am to about 3.30-4.00pm depending on entry numbers. Typically held on a Sunday during the season, the Chelsea Open Day has a reputation for being well organised due to the wonderful contribution made by all parents at the Centre, and is one of the longest running Open Days on the Little Athletics calendar. Check out the Season Calendar for details on the date the event is to be held, if at all, depending on season commitments.

What is Medallion Day?

Medallion Day is effectively the Centre Championship Day, and is the last weekly competition day of the Summer T&F season for the Centre. All athletes compete in five events on the day, usually the same group of events that make up the State Multi-Event program, and based on the tally of points earned for performance in each event the athlete is awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal. Each competing athlete receives a medal. The other significant event on this day is the Centre AGM. At this meeting Centre Awards are presented and the Centre Committee is elected. Check the Season Calendar for details on the date the event is to be held.

I have more questions to ask?
Simply contact the centre.