Wauchope’s Ian Adams has been honoured with a Distinguished Long Service Award, Presented by The Hon Stuart Ayres MP, NSW Minister for Sport, at the NSW Community Sports Awards at Parliament House, Sydney. Chrissy Jones spoke with Ian about the award and his involvement with Little Athletics.
The community sports awards celebrate the vital role that volunteers play in ensuring that sport operates efficiently across the state.
Ian, you recently were presented with a community sports award, recognising your commitment to Little Athletics; what does this mean to you?
Firstly, I was shocked and felt humbled, as I believed there were many people who deserved the recognition. But, in answer to your question, it means a lot to me that my contribution over the years to the sport of Little Athletics was recognised and appreciated by the sporting body.
You have held many positions in Little A’s over the years; tell us about your involvement.
I first became involved with Little Athletics in 1984 at the Campbelltown Centre, where I served as President. The centre was hosting the-then largest annual track and field event in the Southern Hemisphere, the NSW state relays.
After I moved to Wauchope, I took the role of zone coordinator and hosted numerous Little Athletics championships, conferences, workshops, clinics and courses.
I spent around 14 or so years on the Board of Directors for NSW Little Athletics, where I held the position of Director of Finance and Director of Marketing and was actually the first country representative elected to the State Board.
During that time, I established the headquarters for the state body, organised several long-standing major sponsorships and led the way for television marketing for junior sport across the state.
At the time, it was lots of hands-on work. After retiring from board level, I took up the local position as the Zone Coordinator.
You have been involved with Little A’s for over 30 years and were instrumental in the formation of Wauchope Little Athletics in the early 1990s. What changes have you seen in that time?
I’ve seen many changes over my time, but I suppose the latest change, the One Sport Policy (that is the proposed coming together under one umbrella of all the athletic sporting organisations such as Little A’s and Athletics NSW, etc) is possibly the biggest change; whether that be good or bad (Little A’s losing its own identity) only time will tell.
What is Little Athletics?
Little Athletics is a nationwide sporting organisation for children aged between U/5 to 17 years based on athletics (track and field) modified to suit the ages and abilities of children. Its motto is Family, Fun and Fitness, embracing running, walking, jumping and throwing through athletic events. Little Athletics is the foundation for all sports.
How do you think Little Athletics helps children?
Little Athletics assists children in developing skills through the games and athletic events. For the children under five, games and activities are designed to develop gross motor skills.
Little Athletics is a stepping block for a child’s future sporting aspirations, whether a child stays with senior athletics or other sporting codes such as football, netball etc.
It is quite surprising the number of former little athletes who have reached the highest levels of their chosen professional sporting careers. As children progress and age, the organisation provides specialist coaching and skills clinics, as well as specialist coaching camps and programs.
What are the benefits?
As a community-orientated organisation, Little A’s is more than a sport, as it enables the entire family to do something together. Parents are involved in the program as voluntary helpers or officials. They share many experiences with the children.
All children like and need fun. The weekly competition provides fun through the participation in sport with friends in the same age group.
People are becoming increasingly aware of the value of physical fitness, particularly in the battle against obesity.
Why have you remained loyal and involved with the sport?
I suppose that in the beginning, it was because my children were participating. From there, I became more involved and believed I had skills to help the sport grow. In carrying out the many roles I performed both as a State Director and, in the past 10 years or so as a Zone Coordinator, I have made many lifelong friends, which I believe is the main reason for being loyal and staying involved with the sport. I have recently handed over the reins to a very capable replacement, and I have joined the ranks of the “golden oldies”, helping out when and if required.
How do readers find out more about Little A’s locally, and how can they get their kids involved?
Between Gloucester and Stuarts Point we have 10 clubs. Locally here in the Hastings we have Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Camden Haven.
People just need to go online to find the contact person – www.lansw.com.au
I assume you would love to see more parents involved too; how can they help?
Little A’s just can’t operate without the help of parents, and that’s where the “Family” comes in.
It really is an all-embracing sport, enabling the entire family to do something together. It’s so much better fun being out with your children than sitting on the sidelines; plus, who knows where that will stop. Many a parent has gone on to become a coach, picking up skills that can be utilised in many other sports. Here on the Mid North Coast, we encourage parents to develop their skills and attend track and field workshops or coaching workshops.