LITTLE Athletics clubs around the region provide youngsters with a chance to shine on the track and in the field but Armidale takes that to another level.
In addition to its junior section, Armidale Little Athletics, the Armidale Athletics Club also supports senior and even masters age athletes.
That makes its annual gala day at Harris Park an event for all ages and on Sunday it meant plenty of outstanding performances from both junior and senior athletes.
Gala day competitors came from all over the region and from the coast and ranged from the under 6s right up to Neville McIntyre, from Glen Innes.
At the age of 70, McIntyre was the oldest competitor but pushed some of the younger runners all the way in the sprints.
In the senior ranks it was a day of records in the hammer throw.
Glen Innes’s Ian Hope smashed the men’s hammer throw record while in the masters, Woolgoolga visitors Rodney Watson and Kellie Watson also broke hammer throw records.
Rodney Watson then went on to post a new mark in the javelin as well.
But the best on ground award went to Glen Innes local Wendy Peters who not only beat the shot put record but also threw the javelin almost 8m further than anyone has before in her open women’s division.
In the juniors, Armidale local N’Dea Rumble smashed the girls’ under 13s 800m record by five seconds in two minutes, 28 seconds.
Among the other standout performances on the day were the efforts of Maddison Sadler in the 1500m walk and Caleb Hope in the under 8s discus.
At the end of the day medals were presented to the top three in each age group and the Armidale club announced its athletes of the year.
Rumble picked up the Roberts and Morrow Junior Athlete of the Year while Pan Pacific Masters Games gold medallist Jay Stone was named senior athlete of the year.