History

Background

Little Athletics evolved, like most voluntary community organisations, through the mind and conscience of one man. Trevor Billingham followed the pattern set by many pioneers in the field of community service. He recognised a need and introduced an idea designed to meet that need.

On an October day in 1963 three boys turned up at an athletics meeting in Geelong. They were ready to compete. On approaching an official they were told that they were too young to take part. That official was Trevor Billingham.The disappointment, evident in the boys, left a marked impression on his mind.

The thought was forgotten; it came alive again several months later. At a coaching clinic designed for secondary school students it was noted that the majority of children were of primary school age.Reminded of his earlier experience, Trevor Billingham had an idea. The answer to the need expressed in the children would be a simple Saturday morning competition.

On the first Saturday of October 1964, he met with a small group of children on a Geelong oval. They took part in a short program of running events. From that simple beginning, athletics for under 12 boys and girls developed at a phenomenal rate. Little Athletics created tremendous interest; by 1967 the Victorian Little Athletics Association was formed.

Australian Little Athletics Union was formed in Perth on the 31 March 1972.Victoria, New South Wales, Northern Territory & Western Australia were the founding members.

Tasmania

Competition commenced in Tasmania in Launceston, 1973.

  • August 1973 saw the inaugural meeting of Little Athletics in Launceston and the executive for the Launceston Little Athletic Centre was announced under the guidance of Mr. Les Capes, from Western Australia who had been involved in Little Athletics in that State.
  • In the following month – 27thSeptember 1973, an Annual General Meeting was held at the National Fitness Council Rooms and the first ‘Committee of Management’ for Little Athletics in Tasmania was elected.
  • That first committee included many people who are still involved in athletics in the North of the State, Andrew Willis who is a continuing patron of Little Athletics.
  • Registration for 1973/74 : 394
Launceston Little Athletic Centre

Committee of Management : 1973/74

President Mr. L. Capes
Secretary Mrs. W. Gooding
Treasurer/Registrar Mr. E. Holloway
Track and Field Mr. L. Capes
Technical and Equipment Mr. H. Llewellyn
Publicity Mr. F. Nott
Organiser of Officials Mr. K. French
Records and Ranking Mr. J. James
Championships & Special Meetings Mrs. B. Watts
Coaching Mr. A. Willis
Cross Country Miss J. Hodgson
Clubs Liaison Mr. M. Simmons
Arena Manager Mr. L. Capes
Chief Track Referee Mr. A. Willis
Chief Field Referee Mr. F. Nott
Chief Track Marshall Mr. E. Holloway
Chief Field Marshall Mr. M. Simmons

 An extract from the Examiner Newspaper – 1973