Age Managers are relatively ‘permanent’ parent roles (meaning the same persons fill these roles each week) – responsible for leading a group of athletes through their events. Prior to the commencement of each season, we call for nominations from parents to take up Age Manager positions.
Roles of Age Managers
- Collect the Age Group folder (containing the evening’s program & field event recording sheets)
- Take attendance (“sign-in”) as the children arrive/ meet parents.
- Lead the Age Group from one Event to the next
- Call the ‘next’ Athlete who is to perform
- Judge the ‘legality’ of each throw & jump and call fouls as appropriate (unless we have assigned an official)
- Read & Record the result at Field Events
- Advise an Official or alert the Officer for Officials where an athlete is on the verge of setting a Ground Record in a Field Event, so that an Official can be present. [An Official must be present if a throw or jump is to be recognised as a Ground Record.]
- Assist at events as requried (eg. working with the Track Marshall or Starter to place younger children onto the start line for each race, etc.)
- Encourage the children
- Return Age Group folder with filled-in results sheets 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 at least 15mins prior to your group’s start time. 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 celebrated than first place.
- Encourage all athletes equally. Your own child should be treated as just one of the group. Give all athletes equal time and attention. Praise all achievements.
- Know the key rules for your Age Group’s Events (see the video training course below, & the video resources & Event Fact Sheets here: Parent Helper Resources )
- 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.
- Organise your team – larger & younger groups will have an Age Manager + Deputy Age Manger + 1 or 2 parent helpers (via Signup).
- 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 or asking a parent helper to accompany the child (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) & their team 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 picket fence) during competition are Club Officials, Age Managers/their Assistants & Parent Helpers carrying out a duty on the Track.
Video Training Course
Here is a set of seven short & informative videos (with an accompanying manual) which provide much of the Athletics Event knowledge needed to support the athletes who would be in your care on our competition evenings. This is mandatory viewing for Age Managers/Deputies: Age Manager Online Video Training
How to Apply
To apply for the roles of Age Manager &/or Deputy Age Manager, fill out this short Application: Apply for Age Manager/Deputy Role
Parents who are not filling the role of Age Manager have many other opportunities to contribute and to fulfil their obligation to assist in the running of the Little Athletics program. These roles are listed each week on our ‘Sign-up’ system. For more information see: Parent Helpers