Golden stars return to grassroots to inspire next gen

Australia’s track and field stars will make a return to grassroots Little Athletics centres over the next two weeks to inspire the next generation of Aussie athletes.

Australian hurdles legend Sally Pearson, dual World Champion Jaryd Clifford, 2018 Commonwealth Games high jump champion Brandon Starc and 2022 Commonwealth Games1 gold medallists, Kelsey-Lee Barber, Matthew Denny and Nina Kennedy, along with Little Athletics ambassadors will visit 45 regional and metro Little Athletics centres across Australia to share their training tips with aspiring athletes.

The appearances are part of Little Athletics Australia’s Coles Community Round where kids and families participate in Coles-inspired activities such as banana relays, shopping basket races and Little Athletics’ version of ‘fashions on the field.’

Coles Ambassador and triple Tokyo Paralympics2 medallist Jaryd Clifford said he was looking forward to visiting local Little Athletics centres for Coles Community Round.

“It didn’t seem that long ago that I was doing Little Athletics myself, and I still remember the Australian athletes who took the time out to visit my centre. It was always so exciting and inspirational, and I hope to be able to provide that same buzz to the little athletes I see this weekend,” he said.

This year’s Coles Community Round coincides with Coles’ commitment to Little Athletics Australia for a further three seasons.

Coles General Manager Corporate Affairs & Indigenous Affairs Sally Fielke said Coles is delighted to continue its support of grassroots sport and provide opportunities for kids to lead healthier, happier lives.

“Little Athletics is at the heart of communities across Australia and inspires kids to keep active and stay healthy. That’s why we’re delighted to extend our support for Little Athletics Australia to 2025,” she said.

“Since our partnership began in 2017, Coles has been extremely proud to have donated more than 3.7 million bananas and distributed over $2.2 million in sports equipment grants to grassroots Little Athletics centres to support young kids and volunteers across Australia.”

“Coles Community Round has become one of the highlights of our partnership and our team members love getting involved in their local community by cooking BBQs, raking long jump pits and helping across the events.”

Coles Little Athletics Australia CEO Myles Forman said Coles Community Round has become a feature of the Little Athletics calendar since it was first introduced two years ago.

“Coles Community Round has been very popular with our centres over the past two years and this season we’ve had over 200 centres pre-register to host an event,” he said.

“The round really brings out the ‘fun’ in our ‘fun, family and fitness’ motto and it’s great to see centres get behind the Coles theme with food, costumes, and different types of activities for the day.”

“We’re also excited to have Coles’ ongoing support of Little Athletics until 2025. We look forward to continuing to partner with Coles to make Little Athletics accessible and enjoyable for kids, volunteers and families across Australia.”

Coles Community Round is held over 14 days from Wednesday, 9 November to Tuesday, 22 November.

The Coles and Little Athletics Australia Ambassadors who will be making appearances at local centres during Coles Community Round are:

Little Athletics Centre

Athlete

Date of appearance

ACT

Calwell

Jaryd Clifford

Saturday, 12 November

Lanyon

Jaryd Clifford

Saturday, 12 November

Corroboree

Emelia Surch

Saturday, 12 November

Woden

Emelia Surch

Saturday, 12 November

New South Wales

Blacktown

Brandon Starc

Friday, 11 November

Cranebrook

Brandon Starc

Friday, 11 November

Ballina inc. Northern Rivers centres

Sally Pearson

Saturday, 12 November

Balmain

Brandon Starc

Saturday, 12 November

Adamstown New Lambton

Brandon Starc

Friday, 18 November

Macquarie Hunter

Brandon Starc

Friday, 18 November

Raymond Terrace

Brandon Starc

Saturday, 19 November

Queensland

Strathpine Spitfires

Matthew Denny

Friday, 11 November

Deception Bay

Matthew Denny

Friday, 11 November

Bribie District

Corey Anderson

Friday, 11 November

Mt Gravatt

Taneille Crase

Saturday, 12 November

Sunnybank

Taneille Crase

Saturday, 12 November

Bracken Ridge

Kelsey-Lee Barber

Friday, 18 November

Redcliffe

Kelsey-Lee Barber

Friday, 18 November

Tweed

Sally Pearson

Saturday, 19 November

Ashmore

Sally Pearson

Saturday, 19 November

South Australia

Strathalbyn & Districts

Corey Anderson

Friday, 18 November

South Coast

Corey Anderson

Friday, 18 November

Woodville

Corey Anderson

Saturday, 19 November

Salisbury

Corey Anderson

Saturday, 19 November

Ingle Farm

Nina Kennedy

Sunday, 20 November

Enfield

Nina Kennedy

Sunday, 20 November

Gawler

Nina Kennedy

Sunday, 20 November

Victoria

Mentone

Jaryd Clifford

Friday, 11 November

Springvale

Richard Colman

Friday, 11 November

Sandringham

Kelsey-Lee Barber

Saturday, 12 November

Mornington (with Frankston)

Kelsey-Lee Barber

Saturday, 12 November

Geelong

Matthew Denny

Saturday, 19 November

Corio

Matthew Denny

Saturday, 19 November

Bacchus Marsh

Matthew Denny

Saturday, 19 November

South Melbourne Districts

Taneille Crase

Sunday, 20 November

Melton City

Taneille Crase

Sunday, 20 November

Tasmania

Clarence

Taneille Crase

Saturday, 19 November

Hobart Districts

Taneille Crase

Saturday, 19 November

Huon Valley

Taneille Crase

Saturday, 19 November

Western Australia

Melville Roar

Nina Kennedy

Saturday, 12 November

Inglewood

Nina Kennedy

Saturday, 12 November

Joondalup

Sophie White

Saturday, 12 November

Ridgewood

Sophie White

Saturday, 12 November

Dale

Sophie White

Saturday, 19 November

Cockburn

Sophie White

Saturday, 19 November

*Athlete appearances are correct as of Thursday, 10 November 2022, however all athlete visits listed are subject to change if affected by weather, COVID, illness or travel.

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