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Parent Participation

Parent Volunteers

Williamstown has some specialist coaches but the successful running of the weekly meets relies on parent helpers.


Williamstown Little Athletics uses a duty roster such that parents can select from a list of duties when they register their kids for the season. Parents must perform a minimum quota of duties for their children to be eligible for the Centre Championships. It is fine to swap duties with other parents. Please make sure you know what duties you have, and when, so that each weekly program runs smoothly. 

Here is further information regarding helping out at various events.....


Sprints are short running events, from 70 to 400 metres. At the start of a sprint the athletes are placed in a lane one metre behind the line.

The Starter gives three signals:

  1. “On your Marks” – the athlete puts the toes of one foot to the line. The opposite arm is held out in front to help balance

  2. “Set” – the athlete leans forward on the front foot

  3. Gun Sounds – the athlete runs

Under 12 – Under 16 athletes do a crouch start. The runners must stay in their allotted lane for the whole race.


Distance Races

Distance races for Little Athletes are 400m U7 – U8, 800 metres (U9 – U16) and 1500 metres (U11 – U16).

The starter gives only two signals to begin a distance race:

  1. “On your Marks”

  2. Gun Sounds

The athletes can’t use a crouch start and do not have to run in set lanes.

You can help at Sprint and Distance Races by:

  • Marshalling athletes at the beginning of the race and placing them behind the start line.

  • Timing the race using electronic timing.

  • Judging the places

  • Marshalling runners after the race and making sure their times are recorded

  • Fire the gun! Do a starters course and become the race starter



Hurdle races are sprints with obstacles (hurdles) placed in each lane. Hurdle sizes change with the age group of the athletes. They start at 45cm in height and go up to 76cm. Distances range from 60m to 300m. All hurdle races are run in lanes and the starter gives the same signals as for sprints. Your Little Athlete will need some coaching and practice with low, training hurdles before they try the real thing.

You can help by:

  • Doing the same job as sprints

  • Setting up hurdles

  • Picking up hurdles knocked over by athletes or blown down in the wind

  • Adjusting the height of the hurdles as required

Long Jump

A Long Jump venue consists of a run up (synthetic material at Newport Park) and a sand pit. The athletes run along the run up until they reach the take-off mat (U6 – U11) or board (U12 – U16), jumping from one foot into the sand put. The take-off foot must be on or behind the take-off mat / board. Athletes must land in the pit and walk out of the pit forward of the mark they made on landing.

You can help by:

  • Watch the athlete’s foot doesn’t go over the edge of the mat / board

  • Spiking – marking the spot where the jumper landed. Place a spike with a tape measure attached at the edge of the mark in the pit closest to the take-off area.

  • Measure the jump. Hold the other end of the spikers tape pull tightly over the take-off area and read the measurement. When a mat is used the measurement is taken from the front of the imprint made by the take-off foot. If a board is used the measurements is taken from the edge of the board nearest the pit.

  • Raking the pit after each jump to remove the evidence of the last jump and make it safer for the next jumper.

  • Calling athletes and recording performances.


Triple Jump

Triple Jump requires the same venue as long jump, is measured the same way and has the same basic rules. The run up has one metre intervals marked usually from five to nine metres and the athlete chooses which of these lines will be their take off mark. Athletes U9 – U11 use a mat and U12 – U16 take off from a board.

Triple jump has three distinct stages:

  1. HOP - Take off from the mat / board on one foot and land on the same foot.

  2. STEP – Take off from that foot to land on the other food

  3. JUMP – Jump forward and land in the pit

You can help by:

  • Doing the same jobs as Long Jump

  • Moving the mat from one mark to another

  • Check the athlete is actually performing correct sequence of hop, step and jump.


High Jump

High Jump equipment consists of a landing mat, two uprights, a bar and a measuring stick. The athlete must run up, take off from one foot, clear the bar and land on the bag without knocking the bar off the stand. Each athlete usually has three chances to clear a height. If they achieve it on the first or second attempt they wait until the bar is raised before having another jump.

You can help by:

  • Picking up the bar if an athlete knocks it off

  • Raising the bar after all athletes have finished at a particular height

  • Calling athletes and recording the athlete’s performances.


Shot Put

A Shot Put venue consists of a ring and a landing area (sector). The shot is a metal ball. Its weight and size varies according to the age of the athlete.

The athlete stands in the ring with the shot balanced at the base of the fingers and the shot shall touch or be in close proximity to the neck or chin. The Shot is pushed forward so that it lands in the sector. The arm must not be pulled backwards or dropped downwards – this gives an illegal throwing motion. The athlete must wait until the shot has landed before stepping out the back of the ring.

You can help by:

  • Spiking – marking where the shot lands. It must be within the sector lines.

  • Pulling the tape through the Centre of the ring to that the put can be measured

  • Measuring – reading the distance from the inner edge of the ring to the place the shot landed.

  • Retrieving the shot and returning it to the ring

  • Learning how to judge a fair put in order to judge the event

  • Calling athletes and recording the athlete’s performances.



A discus is a rubber, wooden or metal disc which is thrown from a ring and must land inside a marked sector. The discus is thrown and must land inside a marked sector. The discus is usually thrown one handed, using a backward swing to build up momentum before launching it into the sector. For safety reasons the discus ring is surrounded by a cage. All officials and other throwers should be outside the cage when someone is throwing. Common rules apply for the throwing events, however any style can be used when throwing the discus.

You can help by:

Doing the same jobs as shot put.



Athletes start competing in Javelin from Under 11. Javelin requires a run up similar to long jump. The thrower holds the javelin in one hand and runs along the runway towards the line. The athlete pulls the implement back, turns side on and throws the javelin into the sector. The javelin must land tip first but doesn’t have to remain standing. Athletes cannot cross the front run up line. The throw is measured similarly to the other throw events. As the javelin is a dangerous spear like implement. All athletes and officials should keep well away from the runway and the sector.

You can help by:

  • The most important aspect for Javelin is the safety of athletes, officials and spectators.

  • Doing the same jobs as shot put.

  • Watching the athlete doesn’t cross over the run up

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