I recently had the chance to chat with Elise from the Sandy Bay Harriers Club. Having done little Athletics from when I was 5 right through it was great to find out what the “big kids” get up to!
How long have Sandy Bay Harriers been around?
We are extremely proud of our rich history. We are actually the oldest athletics club in Tasmania and some of our past and present members have achieved great sporting success including athletes like Dave Chettle, Randal Markey, Kent Raynar, Ryan Foster, Tristan Thomas and Donna MacFarlane. More recently we’ve seen some amazing sprinting success from Jesse Usoalii and Russel Taib.
Our most prestigious trophies in our cabinet are the men’s & women’s 400m handicap trophies. The list of winners doesn’t just include club legends but also dedicated club members who had a go and achieved a PB. The men’s trophy is particularly interesting to look at as it was first presented in 1939. We will have this on display at the expo with some other historical items.
What athletic events do your athletes participate in?
Over summer we compete in Athletics South’s track & field competition. Participants can choose to compete in any of the standard events from sprinting, to throws and pole vault.
In winter we compete in Athletics South’s cross-country competition. The locations vary from week to week, with 2 distance options: short <5k or long <10k and you can walk or run in either event.
Athletes can choose to participate in both seasons, or just one.
What ages do you cater for?
As long as you are over the age of 10 you can compete. Little Athletics in Tasmania is fantastic and we encourage any youngsters to check out their stand at the expo.
There are excellent discounts for Masters aged athletes (>35 yo). You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen an 80 year old athlete competing in high jump (don’t believe us have a look at the Tasmanian Masters Records! – very inspiring!).
Does someone have to have done Little Athletics already to be involved?
Not at all. It does help because all of the Little Athletics Clubs hold events at the Domain so the kids have a chance to become familiar with the track and equipment. However, if you let us know you are coming we will happily give you an induction and help you sign up for your events.
The hardest part for anyone starting athletics is the first day. People quickly realise what a friendly and supportive community it is and that you don’t have to be an ‘elite athlete’ to participate. Just show up and look a little lost, and we promise that someone will ask if you need a hand!
If someone was keen to check it out what can they do?
We are at the Domain Athletics Centre most Saturday’s through summer so you can drop in for some more information (12:30pm is a good time if you are hoping to compete that day). For the winter season we recommend you contact us first to confirm the location of the cross-country event. In both summer and winter you can try out the competition for two weeks before you’ll need to join a club.
Cross-country is a great way to start in the sport. It is a little bit more relaxed, the community atmosphere is fantastic and it’s an excellent way to get fit. There are some 200+ participants each week from the super fast to those who just enjoy a morning stroll and the free tea & coffee!
What’s your number one Health & Fitness tip?
Stay hydrated… and then give athletics a go! It’s a fantastic sport for improving your strength, coordination and fitness which can serve you well in life and compliments many other sports.
It’s also a great sport for those just starting out because it’s much cheaper than a gym membership, you don’t need any expensive equipment and you can start with just a relaxing cross-country walk!
Be sure to say hi to the Sandy Bay Harriers Team at the expo along with the Tasmanian Little Athletics!