Unable to host any fundraising events in 2020, the Edgeworth and District Little Athletics Centre (E&DLAC) relied on a parent volunteer to create a makeshift portable discus cage for its junior athletes.
The temporary structure was designed just to make it through the season, allowing the club’s youngest participants to attempt the throwing event.
For Westlakes Little Athletics Club it was much the same, the club had been relying on make-do measures when transporting their hurdles from the shed to the track and back.
Thankfully, Coles has helped both junior sports organisations to purchase new equipment this season, by offering grants totalling $7,200.
The money is part of the latest round of the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund, which has seen more than $2 million dispersed in the past three years.
This year’s grants were funded from the sale of Coles’ reusable community bags designed by Aussie kids and the sale of bananas sold at Coles’ supermarkets on National Banana Day1 in May.
Edgeworth and District Little Athletics Centre will use its cash boost to purchase a new portable discus cage and marquee while Westlakes Little Athletics will buy a new hurdles trolley to make life easier for their dedicated volunteers.
E&DLAC president Amanda Hall said the funding would help the centre to survive and thrive through challenging times.
“We are extremely reliant on our parent volunteers, fundraisers and sponsorship support to run our club,” she said.
“Our current portable discus cage which is used by our tots and under six age groups was made by a parent volunteer using steel poles and fly screen and we’ve been raising funds to replace it with a proper portable cage through trivia nights, club carnivals and food drives.
“However, with COVID-19 affecting our season last year we were not able to hold these fundraising events meaning we still haven’t been able to purchase a new discus cage.
“This grant from Coles will allow us to finally replace the makeshift discus cage with a properly manufactured one which will be much safer for all our athletes.”
Coles Little Athletics Australia president Andrew Pryor said the grants will help Little Athletics centres to develop the next generation of Olympians as the sport builds towards Brisbane 2032.
“We are entering a very exciting period for Little Athletics following the success of Tokyo 2020 and as we set our sights on Brisbane 2032,” he said.
“Around 75 per cent of the Australian track and field team who competed in the Tokyo Olympics and a further 23% of para-athletes in the Paralympics, had their start in Little Athletics – that’s why support like this from Coles is so important.”
“The grants will help ensure little athletes of today have all the resources they need to develop into Olympians of the future, if that is the pathway they choose.”
For every kilogram of bananas sold at Coles supermarkets on National Banana Day in May, Coles donated 10 cents to the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund.
Coles acting state general manager Mark Dubock said Coles was extremely proud of its partnership with Little Athletics Australia and its grassroots clubs and centres in NSW.
“We’re delighted to continue to support Little Athletics centres in NSW through the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund,” he said.
“Little Athletics centres and their dedicated volunteers play such a vital role in the local community to help kids keep active and healthy.
“We want to be better together with the community and we’re proud to play our part by providing nearly $650,000 in sports equipment grants to Little Athletics centres in NSW over the past three years.”
For more information about Little Athletics in NSW visit www.lansw.com.au.
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