Athletics NZ has launched its Athletics for Every Body nationwide campaign to encourage kiwi kids to join their local athletics club this summer and give the sport a go.
The grassroots campaign hopes to get more tamariki active and to embrace the joy of running, jumping and throwing.
With a rich variety of disciplines to choose from there is an event for everyone in athletics regardless of ability, size and shape.
The skills learned also provide the foundation for all sports with the likes of rugby stars Sonny Bill Williams and Portia Woodman both enthusiastic athletics club members in their formative days.
New Zealand high jump record-holder and Tokyo Olympian Hamish Kerr said he has many fond memories of his time as a junior athlete, giving all the events a go at his local athletics club.
A former sprinter and hurdler, it was only later in his athletics development that he discovered as a “tall, skinny kid” his stature was a “natural fit” for high jump.
“I never feel athletics is limiting,” he explains. “You might first start the sport and be suited to one event before your body shape changes over time. The beauty of athletics means because there is such a large range of events there is always an option to switch events.
“The cool thing about athletics is there is an opportunity for everyone.”
New Zealand Paralympic javelin F46 champion Holly Robinson also would encourage all kids to give the sport of athletics a go.
Starting out at Greymouth Athletics Club, Holly developed into a thrower later specialising in javelin and adds: “Athletics is a super fun sport where you can participate in so many exciting events.
“Although athletics is an individual sport the athletics community is very supporting and encouraging. I’ve met and formed friendships with many amazing people which is what I love about athletics.”
Athletics club nights and events are managed by volunteers and cater to kids of all ages. The 2021 summer season runs through until March/April 2022.
There are more than 170 clubs up and down the country to find your local athletics club go here