Champions In The Making: Toowong Harriers’ Inspiring Little Athletics 2022/23 Season

The Little Athletics 2022/23 season proved to be an extraordinary one for the Toowong Harriers, as they celebrated a remarkable number of outstanding athletes. 

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The club’s Outstanding Athlete award recognises those who achieve exceptional performances across all available events within their respective age groups. Amongst the standout performers were Tara Ryan, representing the under 9 category for girls, and Anton Mugaba, competing in the under 9 boys’ division. 

The recipients of the Most Improved Athlete award for the 2022/23 season in the club are Emma Sheehan in the Under 14 category and Cooper Leske and Lachlan Gordon in the Under 11 category. 

These talented athletes have shown remarkable progress by achieving multiple personal bests throughout the season. Additionally, Sheehan and Leske have also been honoured with the Commitment Award, recognising their dedication and hard work.

About the Toowong Harriers

Photo credit: Toowong Harriers/Facebook

The Toowong Harriers Athletics Club holds the prestigious distinction of being Queensland’s first athletics club, established back in 1894. 

It stands as one of the oldest athletics clubs in Australia, with an illustrious history of producing exceptional athletes who have proudly represented both the state and the nation at various levels of competition.

The 2022/23 Season marks a significant milestone for Toowong Harriers as it celebrates its 40th year of competing as a Little Athletics Centre. 

Photo credit: Darshan Pandya/Google Maps

Little Athletics is a sport specifically tailored for children between the ages of five and seventeen. It encourages participation in various disciplines, including running, jumping, and throwing, with each centre meet offering a well-rounded mix of events. 

This approach prioritises full engagement, enabling young athletes to develop essential skills such as balance, stamina, strength, coordination, and self-control.

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Little Athletics serves as a fantastic platform for children to cultivate their overall fitness in a safe and healthy sport. It encompasses training sessions, warm-ups, coaching clinics, and, importantly, abundant encouragement and guidance from dedicated and nurturing parents.

Published 3-May-2023

Sam Anderson of Toowong Harriers Helped Team Queensland Secure Little Athletics Podium Finish

Sam Anderson of the Toowong Harriers contributed to Team Queensland’s medal haul and podium finish at the Coles Australian Little Athletics Championships held at the Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne. 

Sam placed fifth on countback in the boys Under 13 high jump after clearing 1.60m, just five centimetres away from the podium. His leap helped the Queensland state Little Athletics team nab the second overall in the Under 13 and third in the Under 15 team trophies. 

Overall, the team collected 16 gold, 16 silver and 9 bronze medals over the weekend.

The win comes as Coles launched Banana A-Peel to help local centres like Toowong Harriers, which received a $5,000 grant earlier this season from the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund to buy new timing gates.

Speaking about the grant at the time, Toowong Harriers Little Athletics Centre President Ross Anderson said, “It is a constant challenge to find and retain enough volunteers every week to successfully run the Little A’s meets. These electronic timing and recording solutions will significantly reduce the burden in this space.”

Photo Credit: Supplied

“The timing gates will remove the need to have eight timing volunteers at each meet which adds up to about 500 plus volunteer hours per season. They will also significantly improve the accuracy of data and reduce the administrative burden on recording officials, with automatic data entry into the Results HQ system.”

“The unplanned but added bonus for the new timing gates is a much more COVID-safe way in which we can operate without multiple pens, stopwatches and notepads changing hands throughout the meets.”

What is Coles Banana A-Peel?

Coles Banana A-Peel donates 10 cents from every kilogram of Cavendish bananas sold at its supermarkets. All funds raised will be directed to the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund to provide sports equipment grants for grassroots Little Athletics clubs and centres.

The fund has already provided 417 Little Athletics centres across Australia with more than $2 million in sports equipment grants in just four years.

Coles Little Athletics Australia President Sherrie Boulter said the funds raised from banana sales at Coles this week would help kids to participate and stay in the sport.

Photo Credit: Supplied

“Bananas have become synonymous with Little Athletics since we partnered with Coles in 2017 and Coles stores started donating boxes of bananas to their local Little Athletics centres,” she said.

“It’s incredible to think that in just five years, Coles has donated more than 3.7 million bananas to Little Athletics. The banana donations have played a huge role in helping to embed healthy eating habits among young athletes and at Little Athletics canteens across Australia.”

“We’re so excited that this year bananas will also have a role to play in helping fund our sport, in particular, to help our local clubs and centres buy essential equipment for their volunteers and budding athletes.”

Nina Kennedy Supports Banana-A-Peel

Australian pole vault record holder and Coles ambassador Nina Kennedy encouraged shoppers to buy a bunch of bananas to help grassroots Little Athletics centres across the country.

“Little Athletics played a huge part in helping me become the athlete I am today and any support we can give local clubs and centres to buy new and safe sports equipment is invaluable,” she said.

Photo Credit: Supplied

“Through my role as Coles ambassador, I’ve visited many Little Athletics centres this season and I’ve seen first-hand the benefit that new equipment from the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund provides for kids, volunteers and the club.”

“I hope shoppers across the country can help support our future Aussie track and field stars by buying a bunch of bananas this week.  Not only will you be supporting a great cause, but you’ll be getting a nutritious, healthy snack for your lunchbox.”