Parent Helper Roles
Supervising a Little Athletics meet requires a great deal of adult participation. Our Friday evening ‘meets’ at St George might typically involve anywhere up to 350 young athletes across 18 or so Age/Gender groupings performing from 4 to 6 events each in the evening. It is quite impossible for the Committee (all volunteers) to fulfil the large number of roles involved, and so most of the tasks involved in supervising athletics competitions fall to parents. For this reason, registering children in the sport comes with an obligation to assist in the delivery of the program.
Parent Helpers are needed to perform roles such as:
- Setting up facilities & equipment prior to the Meet
- Canteen Servers / BBQ Cooks
- Supervising Track (running) Events
- Supervising Field (throwing & jumping) Events
- Leading groups of athletes through their event program
These tasks typically utilise in excess of 100 parents at each meet. Consequently, on average, each family can expect to be involved in one of these roles up to once every 2nd meet. It’s typically a little less than that, given some parents generously participate nearly every week! The following provides more information about the various categories of parent participation required:
These roles commence an hour or two prior to the meet and will suit parents who can arrive early and especially those whose children are young and will finish their events early. They include tasks such as: spreading/raking/preparing the sand in the Long Jump pits, setting up High Jump mats, distributing the throwing implements to the appropriate location, deploying signage, setting up track facilities including Tents, tables, finish line timing equipment, start line flags & so on.
Canteen / BBQ
These roles include Canteen servers & BBQ cooks who’ll assist our (volunteer) Canteen Manager. We’ve structured the various shifts to match the typical ‘demand’ profile of hungry athletes and parents! [We accept both cash and credit card payments & we use the ‘Square’ system to accept payments.]
Supervising Track Events
These roles include Marshals who organise athletes onto & off the track, and Starters / Recorders who use electronic equipment to start races, capture athlete identity and to capture race results in the race computers. For more detail, see: Parent Helper Resources
Supervising Field Events
Each field Event (eg. Shot Put) utilises 2 or 3 ‘helpers’ to perform tasks such as retrieving the throwing implement, marking its landing position and measuring throws and jumps. For more detail, see: Parent Helper Resources
Age Managers & Helpers
Each Age Group is led from event to event by an Age Group Manager and a small number of parent helpers (the number depending on the age of the athletes and the size of the group).
Filling a Role
For most of the roles above, we use the “Sign-Up” system to enable parents to choose the role (‘duty’) they’ll fulfil for a given Friday evening competition, and to register that choice well before coming to the ground. The Sign-Up duty list is usually published several days prior to each Friday Evening.
For each Age Group, we will appoint an Age Manager (and for larger/younger groups, a deputy also) for the season (through an application process). Their role is more fully described here: Age Manager Role (where you’ll find the application form). One or two additional helpers per Age Group will be recruited each week via Sign-Up. (These roles will be popular – please don’t monopolise them!)
Some parents like to specialise around a particular duty area (which we encourage), while others prefer to vary their duties from one Friday evening to another.
Summary & More Information
We need families to fill a Parent Helper role on a regular basis throughout the season & we will nominate the minimum number of times you’ll need to undertake a duty to fulfill your parent helping obligations. That number depends on the number of families available vs the number of duties required across the season, but it should not exceed once per fortnight.
If at any stage you are unsure how to go about fulfilling this requirement, please contact our Officer for Officials and we’ll assist you.
Here is some general advice from LANSW about parents’ role at Little Athletics.
There’s much more helpful information for parent helpers on the Parent Helper Resources page.
Use this button to Sign-up to a parent duty at our next Friday Night Competition.
[duty list will be available ~4-5 days prior to a Meet]