A great way to move forward in athletics

Illawarra Blue Stars will head into the summer track and field season determined to take on the challenges that the controlling body ANSW has now put forward to all senior clubs.  Blue Stars welcomes the new change to Dual registrations of Little A’s athletes between the ages of 11 to 17 years and looks forward to not only having these young people members of the club, but working with them and their coaches to ensure they have a pathway to senior athletics.

The innovative idea agreed between LittleA’s and ANSW will now see Little A’s athletes from 11 to 17 years of age registering with their Little A’s club and then selecting automatically a senior club, such as IBS, to have senior club membership.  These young athletes will then hold a dual registration that will enable them to not only take part in Little A’s events but will give them the opportunity of competing with their senior club in ANSW events and also club meets such as IBS weekly competition on a Sunday afternoon in Summer, Country titles, and any other events they chose to compete under ANSW and Athletics Australia, along with their Little A’s competition.

So what can Illawarra Blue stars do to make this journey exciting, challenging and rewarding?

The club can offer the pathway to senior athletics and the transition so much easier.  IBS can also offer coaches (if the athlete does not have a coach already).  The athlete can compete at the same time as senior and masters athletes who at all times are fully prepared to help any junior athlete make their way in the sport of track and field.  The club can offer qualified officials operating under IAAF rules so that athletes become fully aware of these rules whilst making the transition.  IBS can also offer the friendly, club based competition that the club is known for and at the same time can compete also with an older member of the family, and in some cases, their mums and dads, with family membership fully encouraged.

Members do not have to be a champion athlete, they just need to want to further their career in athletics and go as far as they wish , from junior athlete to senior , and possibly  later on in life,   became a masters athlete - all with the same club.

Athletes can compete in club competition only on a Sunday afternoon in summer if they wish, or they can extend this competition and go in major events conducted under the umbrella of ANSW and AA such as Country, State and possibly Australian titles if they desire.  They will be fully supported by IBS Board and Committee and will also be eligible for recognition of the club’s point score and major awards program.  The Dual registration will also extend to the following winter season allowing the athlete to take part in the club’s Winter Track and Field series and also cross country and road walks.

So what does the athlete have to do?  The category of 11 to 17 year olds with Little A’s can register with their local club as from the 1 August and select their senior club from the drop down box provided.  This will then register you with your senior club, which in turn will be notified of your membership.  IBS will encourage the athlete to come along and introduce themselves, take part in competition, order their new Blue Stars uniform, and then prepare themselves to take part in a senior club - with one only registration fee.

This new combined approach to ensure Little A’s athletes have  a “pathway” in the sport is a great opportunity for not only the athlete themselves but the sport in general.

For more information on dual registration with IBS contact President Geoff Hynoski on0437 036 013, Sue Sundstrom on 0411 231 949 or Valmai Loomes on 0409 307 325.

Blue Stars will commence their summer season in September with date to be announced in future column.

The club extends our condolences to Allan Johnson and his family on the death of his wife and mother Jacquie.  Jacquie was a strong supporter of our club, with her children being members of IBS and husband Allan a previous board member.  Her contribution to the sport in generalis recognised by little A’s, Blue Stars and the Illawarra Netball association.