Kelly Proper of Ireland competes in the Long Jump qualifications (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Athletics club revived through Little Athletics - EUROPE

The North Cork Athletics Club has recently come alive through Athletics Ireland’s Little Athletics Agility Challenge. Encouraging youth participation is a cornerstone of the Athletics’ World Plan and North Cork’s activities are an inspiration to us.

A fun McDonalds Little Athletics Agility Challenge took place at North Cork AC this past October. The club has just recently got up and running again and is having big numbers attend its Little Athletics sessions and has numerous enthusiastic coaches/parents helping out. North Cork coach Michael Herlihy was delighted with the Little Athletics programmes in the club and the big attendance at all training sessions. Athletics in North Cork is looking bright again for the future.

Little Athletics is a programme designed to address the specific physical requirements of children in the 5 - 10 year old age bracket. It focuses on introducing the fundamentals of athletic movement to children in a fun, exciting and non-competitive environment.

Athletics Ireland is encouraging clubs to establish a Little Athletics programme within their clubs. This consists of a one hour slot in a sports hall environment where children in the 5-10 yr old age bracket can develop athletic fundamentals - agility, balance and co-ordination - in a fun and non competitive atmosphere.

The Little Athletics programme is delivered by Athletics Leaders - adults trained by Athletics Ireland through the Athletic Leader coaching qualification, the first step on Athletic Irelands Coach Education Programme. The course is designed for people who hope to work with children at this stage of development. No previous athletic or coaching experience is required and this qualification presents an ideal opportunity for parents and young adults to become more actively involved in their club.
This is a great example of a programme that promotes athletics as a principal mean of health and fitness to kids. Has your organisation created a similar programme? How have you been able to bring athletics to kids under the age of 10? If you want to share some of your own experiences please contact us at with a short summary, and a member of our editorial team will contact you. Together, we can share in the spirit of the Athletics’ World Plan.