Vote now to bring back team medals for relays at Victoria Little Athletics
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Relays is the only team event in athletics, so is a great event for young children.
In September this year (just before the start of the season), Little Athletics Victoria documented changes to their competition regulations. Previously, all members of a team where eligible to receive a medal if the team was successful. Now, they will only award 4 medals. If a child runs as part of the team in a qualifying race, but doesn't run in the final, they are NO LONGER ABLE TO RECEIVE A MEDAL.
This year, the State Relay Carnival will be held on December 15
Under their Competition Regulations, the CEO Anthony McIntosh has the capacity to provide dispensation from application of the rules. Signing this petition will provide support in asking Anthony to take action to consider the impact on young athletes and grant dispensation from the recent rule change.
Talking about children, a recent communication from a Little Athletics affiliated Centre wrote - it’s child first, rules second.
Communication has already been sent to members of the Competition Committee at Little Athletics Victoria and Anthony to highlight the impact on children, but they have at this point declined to make any change for the upcoming State event. This petition is the last chance to create change!
Due to the way that little Athletics has chosen to program their event, many events are run with qualifying races (heats), and a final. The result is that you can have children as young as 8 running up to 5 races in one day! Given the length of the program, experienced coaches will have more than just 4 members in a team. This is necessary to reduce the workload on young athletes and also allows more athletes to enjoy the team experience. Previously, any athlete who ran in a qualifying race could know they have contributed to the team but not feel that they would miss out if the team was successful; as they also received a medal.
This recent rule change has many implications.
1. How can a coach tell a child that they are valued as part of a team but ISN'T ELIGIBLE to get the same reward as the rest of the team if it is successful?
2. A coach has a duty of care to athletes. The coach is now forced to choose between having extra members in the team to reduce the physical workload (due to event programming) or only have 4 members to avoid emotional distress?
3. No one wants to miss out, and this especially applies to children. If a child has an injury or may not be physically feeling well; do you honestly think that they are going to tell their coach? No, they don't want to miss out on the possibility of being rewarded for being part of a team. The recent change will only exacerbate a situation such as this an potentially put the welfare of children at risk.
What is needed is an exemption (dispensation from the rules) for the upcoming State Relay event, while the recent changes to the competition regulations can be reassessed for their full impact.
Please urgently sign this petition to provide your support
Any other support you are able to provide such as contacting Little Athletics Victoria, and speaking with either Anthony McIntosh or members of the competition committee is greatly appreciated.
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