Camden Little Athletics Club in Parliament

posted Nov 27, 2012, 7:35 PM by LASP Team   [ updated Nov 27, 2012, 7:36 PM ]

Recently local member, Chris Patterson, spoke about Camden Little Athletics Club in Parliament.
Please see below for the transcript of Chris’s speech.
Lifestyle and Sports Physiotherapy proudly support the Camden Little Athletics Club. Good luck to all the participants for the rest of the season.

“Today I speak about the Camden Athletic Club.  I had the privilege of opening the 2012-3 athletics season on Friday 7 September, and I was amazed at the number of children who attended.  Last year the club was the recipient of $20,000 funding  from the 2011 Community Building Partnerships program, and I am pleased to report  to the House that the works to upgrade  and make the kitchen  in the clubhouse compliant  are due  for completion in a matter of weeks.  Reverend Keith Brodie began the Camden Athletic Club in 1931- at its current location of Onslow Park, which was donated in 1882 by Elizabeth Macarthur-Onslow in memory of her late husband.

The athletics club temporarily closed during World War ll, but after the war the club provided runners for the torch relay for the 1955 Melbourne Olympics between Camden and Picton.  Runners were eligible for the relay only if they could run a six-minute mile, unlike the torch relay for the 2000 Olympics when a former member of this place, the late Dr Liz Kernohan, ran with the torch. I am sure Liz was happy that the six-minute mile restriction had been lifted because she may have pulled up just a little short. Camden Athletic Club also has produced Olympic champions such as Bronwyn Eagles, my wife’s cousin, who has successfully competed in the Olympics and World Championship competitions.  Little Athletics,  as it is known today, was the idea of Trevor Billingham,  which he came up with after  three  young boys  turned up to an athletics meet  in Geelong  in 1-963 only to be told they were  too young  to compete.

Trevor Billingham saw the need for young boys and girls to take part in athletics and in 1964 Little Athletics began. At a phenomenal  rate athletic clubs throughout Australia  took-up  the idea and we now have some  70O competitors  in Camden; It is one of  the biggest  Little Athletics groups  in New South Wales,  and  I can sincerely  say that the  fantastic  committee  that runs this club sets  the standards  for others to aspire  to. Friday nights in Camden is competition night and it is wonderful to see so many children enjoying such a wonderful sport. Little As, as it is affectionately  called, nurtures and encourages children of all ages and enables  them  to compete  in all track and field events and competitions  within  the clubs, with the goal of competing at district,  State and national competition levels. Participation is what sport is all about and Little Athletics certainly encapsulates that aim.

Georgia Mair, Tiarne Waights, Will Grabowski, Brooke Campbell,  Cameron  Lawrence, Olympia Plummer,  Jack Edgington, Claudia Berry, April Bruce, Renee Fassolis, Hanna Wright, Emily Yorkston,  Joshua Azzopardi,  Vincent Hreszczuk, Ryan Johnston, Bethany  Perkins, Matilda Offord,  Nathan  Campbell,  Jessica Elguindy,  Samantha  Kavanagh, lvy Eagles, Emma Houghton, Carly lson, Kristy Jackson, Morgan Kitchener,  Taylah Nasko, Bess Platt, Chantelle Salmon, Brooke Wilkins, Connor Dymond,  Andre Pearce,  Cameron  Powe, Tania Fassolis, Samantha  Jackson,  Tom Paparo, Nathan Rao and Mark Stewart did Camden  Little As proud  by competing  at this year's State  Little Athletics  carnival.

I would like to acknowledge the committee at the Camden Athletic Club who, along with many volunteers, put so much time and effort into the club. The committee comprises:  the president, Shane Perry; the vice-president, Andrew Hreszczuk; the secretary, Frances Perry; the treasurer, Estrella Pearce; and the registrar, Veronique Jackson.  The club's website  and Tiny Tots coordinator  is Katherine Perkins, the equipment  committee member  is Michael Shanahan, the championships  committee member  is Jim Fassolis,  the supervisors  coordinator is Norm Campbell,  and the canteen coordinator  is Amanda  Waights.

Without this hardworking committee and the many volunteers it takes each week to get the competition going, the Camden Athletic Club would not exist. Little As  is vital  to our children  and young athletes who want  to have  fun, make friends and compete and, hopefully,  to see their dream realised  by one day going  to an Olympics  to represent their country. The parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents give up a considerable amount of their time to allow the children to participate in all sports, and I commend the athletes’ families and friends for this invaluable support. Although the kids might not often say it, I know they appreciate the support very much. On behalf of  the Camden  community  I thank  the many  sponsors  of  the club: McDonald's Macarthur,  Lifestyle  and Sports Physiotherapy, McGrath Builders, Cedarwood Homes and the mighty helpful Mitre  10 all contribute time and money  to Little As, and I commend  them  for  their wonderful efforts.

Private Members Statements are given to the NSW Parliament to acknowledge the outstanding efforts and achievements of groups or individuals within our community. Private Members Statements are recorded on the NSW Parliament Hansard. Hansard is the official published report of proceedings of the NSW Parliament.

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