Age Managers (and Assistants)
Age Managers (and their assistants) play a very important role in Little Athletics. These are relatively ‘permanent’ parent roles (meaning ideally the same persons fill these roles each week) – responsible for accompanying the athletes through their events. Prior to the commencement of each season, we will call for nominations from parents to take up an Age Manager position.
The key roles of Age Managers include:
- Collect the Age Group folder (containing the evening’s program & field event recording sheets)
- Take attendance as the children arrive
- Leading the Age Group from one Event to the next
- Call the ‘next’ Athlete who is to perform the Event
- Read & record results achieved at Field Events (or ‘participation’ for Tiny Tots)
- Alert qualified Judge(s) or the Officer for Officials where an athlete is on the verge of setting a Ground Record in a Field Event, so that a Judge can be present. [A Judge must be present if a throw or jump is to be recognised as a Ground Record.]
- Otherwise assist at each event (eg. working with the Track Marshall or Starter to place the younger children onto the start line for each race, etc.)
- Encourage the children
- Return results sheets to the Recorder at the conclusion of the group’s events for the evening.
The Age Manager has one of the most important roles in Little Athletics. An athlete’s enjoyment of the sport will depend on their experience at the local Centre, and as an Age Manager you have a great opportunity to contribute positively to every athlete’s experience.
The Basics for Being a Good Age Manager
- Make it Fun! This is our most important advice.
- Arrive early (7:45am). Be organised. Be familiar with the program and where you need to go. Keep the athletes engaged.
- Focus on athlete effort and individual performances rather than the overall outcome of the event. In Little Athletics, a personal best is more important than first place.
- Give all athletes equal time and attention. Praise all achievements.
- Be fair, considerate, honest and a positive role model.
Tips for Effective Supervision
- Learn the names of the children in the group.
- Keep all children within sight/hearing. Larger groups will have more than one Age Manager.
- Don’t leave the group unattended, nor allow an athlete to wander off without speaking with you first.
- Younger children should not be leaving the group alone. Consider assigning a buddy (eg. for a toilet visit).
- Move about with ‘purpose’. Be mobile, visible and involved.
- Acknowledge good behaviour (individual or group) with positive messages.
- In the case of misbehaviour, an effective verbal reprimand showing a ‘no nonsense’ approach may be all that is needed. Be clear, calm, firm, not harsh or a put down.
Finally – please note that the Age Manager(s) are the only parents who move around with the athlete Age Group. Other parents will be performing other duties or spectating at an appropriate distance if not performing a duty that week. The only persons permitted on the main oval (inside the fence) during competition are Club Officials, Age Managers and Parent Helpers carrying out a duty on the Track.
LANSW Event Fact Sheets can be found HERE