Welcome to the 2020/21 season at Wangaratta Little Athletics; and an extra special welcome to all our new members.
Many young people in our community have not had the opportunity to participate in sporting and recreational activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year. We are really excited to have approval from LAVic to run an athletics program in Wangaratta, under strict COVID-Safe protocols.
Kate Finnigan and I have been appointed as our COVID Safe Officials and will play an important role in ensuring compliance with LAVic’s Competition and Training Protocols and the delivery of a safe little athletics program for Wangaratta.
The guiding principle for this season is “Get in, Compete, Get Out”.
We have had to make some fundamental changes to the way in which our program runs to comply with LAVic Protocols. It is important that all athletes, parents, and guardians understand these changes prior to registering.
The biggest COVID change this season is that athletes can only train and compete in groups of 10. To make this work, male and female athletes will be grouped together in most age groups. Our Track Marshall will ensure that events are conducted appropriately, to avoid any ‘pacing’ advantage.
There will be staggered arrival times, to allow each group of 10 athletes to “get in, compete, get out”. For age groups with large numbers, athletes will be assigned to clusters (A, B, C) with a staggered start time, to move through events smoothly and avoid people standing around.
Every athlete will be required to have a supervising parent/guardian with them at every event. No exceptions. This applies to all age groups, even our Seniors in U16. We appreciate that there will be practical issues for families with more than one child competing, but this will be managed sensibly.
The Event Officials will call upon supervising parents/guardians to assist with running each event (i.e. measuring and recording results, disinfecting equipment, hand sanitising before and after each event/attempt). Supervising parents will also play a key role in ensuring that there is no contact between athletes, 1.5m physical distancing is strictly observed along with good hygiene practices.
There will be a single point of entry to the track, with a COVID-Safe registration process for all attendees. Spectators are discouraged from attending whilst COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.
Athletes must bring along their own water bottles and bags to secure their personal belongings. The water bubbler will not be operational. We will not be running a BBQ in the early part of the season, but the canteen will be open to purchase water, sports drinks and icy poles and there will be fresh fruit donated by Coles.
You will find all of the information that you need for the season ahead under the "Registration", "Season Calendar" and "COVID-Safe Program" tabs. We appreciate that the modified program is a compromise, and many athletes will be disappointed that High Jump is not running, and other events run just once in the 5-week program cycle. Getting a COVID-Safe program up and running for all athletes to get back to the track, under difficult circumstances, is what matters most.
During the season break, we have been working on a new program, based on a 5-week rotation, which gives our Intermediate and Senior athletes more opportunities to compete in High Jump and Javelin events, as well as 400m, 800m, and 1500m track distances. Hopefully, as COVID restrictions ease, we will have the opportunity to implement this new program and make up for the scaled-back events in our COVID modified program. Details can be found under the "Season Program" tab.
We thank you for your support in making this season work.
Donovan Jacka, President