A Welcome Message to the 2019-20 season from Centre President Matt Gleeson

Dear Athletes and Parents,

On behalf of myself and all the members of the NDLAC committee, I would like to welcome you to Season 2019/20. We look forward to exceeding all expectations this season, by making Little Athletics at Foxglove Oval great fun for both athletes and parents.

Last season we focused on three main themes and drove a theme through these:

  1. A Fresh New Look – In uniform, logo and in a much greener and sustainable track positioning.
  2. A Fresh New Program – Encouraging juniors to enjoy the fun of Run-Jump-Throw, bringing training to Saturday programs, and giving older athletes more selection control over events.
  3. Opportunities to engage parents and senior athletes in growing our Juniors – Introduced the Junior Development Coaches to training schedule and encouraged older age groups to mentor younger on Saturdays.

In all three areas we plan to continue, with minor refinements and improvements in the season ahead of us. We are also excited to announce that we will have the following additional focus areas for Season 2019/20:

  1. A new digital age for NDLAC – With a brand-new website already up and going, as well as advanced plans for replacing paper results sheets with electronic Tablets to reduce results handling effort and streamlining information for athletes and age managers.
  2. Increased Focus on Training and Skills Development In four key areas:
    1. Doubling our Coaching focus with dedicated training for Younger Age Groups and Older Age Groups; each held at later times on Thursday to encourage maximum participation
    2. Bringing former NDLAC Superstar and current Australian Hero, Alysha Burnett in to the coaching team to work in partnership with Martin Smellie
    3. Making Level 1 Athletics Coaching courses available for Age Managers free of charge
    4. Training Junior Development Coaches in a brand-new Cadetship program formed specifically for NDLAC through collaboration with Athletics NSW, so that they can increase effectiveness of training programs
  3. Greater forward visibility of Programs for Saturday and Thursday Training – to allow anticipation and excitement to flow for athletes as they see their ability to improve and perform in pet events and experience other events.

We want to keep things fresh at Northern Districts with new ways to enjoy the sport of Athletics and for kids to grow both physically and socially during the year. So, we are continually looking at ways to liven up the program, including having other clubs join us for Intra-Club nights, and by visiting their grounds too.

To commence this season, we really want to place a big focus on enjoying athletics safely – including both a focus on the way we run events, but also the physical mechanics of engaging in the events. As such, we intend our first two weeks to be a big drive on skills both for athletes (in some cases teaching new disciplines, and in other teaching ways to further grow performance) but also for parents (to help understand how the events are run safely and time effectively). We think this two-week program will set the foundation for a fantastic season in which all our little athletes can perform safely, and our parents can engage confidently in the weekly events.

We are so excited about the season ahead, and with your energy and enthusiasm, we believe it will be an outstanding season at Northern Districts Little Athletics Club.

Matt Gleeson

President NDLAC