January 17, 2022
North Harbour has established a strong network of community partnerships as part of our work with Moreton Bay’s not-for-profit Clubs and volunteer groups.
Our diverse community partner connections include schools, sporting Clubs, environmental organisations and community groups.
Many of these partners are focused upon delivering Burpengary events, offering things to do in North Brisbane for Moreton Bay families and encouraging children to give sport in north Brisbane a try.
Kids love Deception Bay Little Athletics
One of North Harbour’s ongoing community partners is Deception Bay Little Athletics, located around 15 minutes’ drive from North Harbour at Zammit Oval in Deception Bay.
Zammit Oval is an excellent venue for children who want to try athletics. Facilities include a full-sized eight-lane grass running track, long jump pits, circles for discuss and shot putt, and lighting to enable evening sessions.
Little Athletics is a fitness activity designed to improve children’s health and wellbeing through participation in the basic athletic skills of running, jumping and throwing.
The emphasis is on fun so all children, regardless of their ability, are encouraged to improve on their own personal performances at the coaching and friendly competition sessions that take place every week.
Deception Bay Little Athletics Centre Manager, David Armitage
The Centre Manager for Deception Bay Little Athletics is David Armitage. He explained how the Club relies on community support to provide opportunities for children of all ages and sporting abilities.
“We currently have nearly 350 registered children and around 250 who regularly attend our sessions,” David said. “Little Athletics activities are based upon learning the core skills of running, jumping and throwing.
“Deception Bay Little Athletics welcomes children aged three all the way up to 16. They start with our Tiny Tots programme for three and four-year-olds, featuring skill based games that focus on participation and fun.
“Our younger kids usually do four different events while the older children participate in five. Rotating through events exposes them to different skills and experiences so we encourage that instead of specialising in one or two events from an early age.
“The basic jumping, running, accelerating and balancing skills that we teach at Little Athletics all translate well to other sports that these children might try as they get older,” he said.
“Our philosophy is that it is important to improve, rather than to win. We encourage our participants of all ages to learn about doing their best by competing against themselves.”
Volunteers Create a Family Atmosphere
Little Athletics emphasises family, fitness and fun. Family involvement helps to create a welcoming atmosphere, with coaching support offered to volunteers who are keen to get involved alongside their children.
“Having so many kids participating in different events every week means we rely on as many as 80 parents, grandparents and other volunteers to make our sessions work,” says David.
“Athletics training is very labour intensive. Visitors who are new to Little Athletics are often surprised at the number of people we require to help out,” he said.
“For example, a throwing event like the shot putt involves one person to teach the technique while another marks the distance and someone else retrieves the shot. Running events need a starter, a start line checker and a finish line manager.
“We are so fortunate to have a large number committed of committed volunteers who give up their spare time to help these children have fun, stay active and achieve their personal goals.”
Financial and Practical Support from North Harbour
David added that the other vital element of local support for Deception Bay Little Athletics is the funding received from community partner organisations such as North Harbour.
“We are extremely happy about our ongoing relationship with North Harbour,” David said. “Without our sponsors, and North Harbour in particular, it would be very difficult for Deception Bay Little Athletics to keep the lights on!
“While the financial backing we receive is very important to us, we also benefit from the support of the North Harbour team in marketing opportunities and social media exposure.
“With so many active participants we require a lot of equipment, plus we have ongoing costs including grass maintenance, the canteen, our Club amenities and the building itself. Council is supportive but the power bills are very significant.
“Support from North Harbour helps us to ensure that Little Athletics remains affordable for local families,” he said.
New children are always welcome to sign up with Deception Bay Little Athletics. The season runs from August to March with a one-off registration fee.
“In 2021 we experienced a surge in registrations because athletics receives so much TV exposure during an Olympic year.
“The news that Brisbane will host the Olympics also drove interest in Little Athletics, as children currently aged around seven or eight will be close to the peak of their athletic ability when 2032 comes around. It’s a very exciting time to give Little Athletics a go!”