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Parent Assistance

Some important points to note:

Please remember that all members of the Committee are volunteers. Most of us are putting much more time into our Committee roles than we are comfortable with. We are all parents too, and most of us get precious little time to watch our own kids during the course of the Little Athletics season because we are performing roles that help others. Overall the committee does a fantastic job, evidenced by the fact that our Centre is the success story of the Port Hunter Zone in terms of growing membership. However, like everyone, at times we make mistakes and struggle with insufficient resources which can cause delays. If you have a gripe about anything throughout the season the best thing to do is get involved, help out and make it better.

At each meet we require in the order of 70 helpers. For those new to our Centre, the children undertake their events in age groups split between girls and boys. Eg U/6 Boys, U/6 Girls, U/7 Boys, U/7 Girls etc. Each age group requires at least one Age Marshal for the duration of each club meet. Age Marshals assist the children and help co-ordinate the events that they undertake. They ensure the events program is followed and move their group from one event to the next and should ensure that all children are kept safe as there are dangers associated with athletics events. 

Each age group is allocated a plastic bin that is carried around with that age group during the course of events. In that bin is a ring clip folder (Age Folder) and a clipboard (Results Folder). The Results Folder contains pre-printed sheets used by the Age Marshals to record the results for field events (results for track events are recorded by others at the track). The Age Folder contains all manner of information on the events program, how to conduct the events, how to measure etc. If you are new to Little Athletics or to our Centre, or if you are performing an Age Marshal duty for any particular age group then please take the time to look through this folder. It will likely put to rest many of the concerns you may have in helping out.

Parent helpers will be required to sign on for a duty, generally for the duration of each meet. Those signing on will need to provide the registration number of one of their children to help us identify the relevant family. There is provision within our results & statistics system to record all the duties performed by all parents and analyse the level of participation by each family. 

With the exception of those parents who provide help in setting up and packing up all the equipment, all others performing parent duties will be required to wear a Hi-Viz vest that will be provided at the time and place of the helper signing on for their duty. Upon returning the vest, a Committee member will sign off on the duty to confirm that it was actually performed. It is the responsibility of the parent helper to ensure this countersigning occurs.

Whilst we definitely need these permanent helpers for the duration of each meet we will also still require some transient helpers for additional Place Judge and Timekeeping duties. Typically these transient helpers will be drawn from the parents of each age group as and when their children are performing on the sprint track and outside track. Performing these transient duties usually only takes about 5 or 10 minutes and does not count toward the minimum required 5 duties per family.

The sign on sheets also detail the minimum number of helpers we require for each duty. Related events and age groups will not proceed unless at least the minimum number of required helpers are signed on. The sign on sheets also contain provision for a maximum number of helpers to sign on each meet. These controls will help to ensure that we do not get too many or too few helpers for any one meet. While parents may share a duty we suggest this be restricted to sharing within a family as only the family signed on will be recognised as having performed the duty.

The parent assistance process is really not too demanding. Committee members are generally nearby to provide guidance or assistance if required. Typically those parents who do participate enjoy the whole Little Athletics experience much more. ‚Äč

A register of Parents who have not achieved the minimum 5 parent helps per family can be found here. Please review and catch up before the end of the season to ensure your child / children are eligible for awards at the end of season presentation.

If you believe you are unable to assist for genuine reasons, please approach the committee to discuss options.