TAMWORTH Little Athletics Club is lacing up for a big weekend.
The club will host the zone championships next weekend and is expecting around 200 competitors to take to the track and the field.
Almost a third of those will be representing Tamworth.
“Tamworth has got a team of 69 athletes competing,” Tamworth Little Athletics publicity officer Kerry Fensbo said.
The zone championships are the first step to higher honours with the top three in the U8s through to U17s qualifying to compete at the regionals at Lismore on February 1 and 2.
There will also be competition for the U7s but they don’t go on any further.
Fensbo said there would be athletes from across the New England and North West attending, including Inverell, Moree, Gunnedah, Glen Innes and Narrabri.
The Tamworth contingent competing includes Abby Schmiedel.
It’ll be her last zone carnival.
“She’s competed every year since she was seven,” Fensbo said.
“She’s our first to go from beginning to end.”
She’s also gone on to compete at the state championships every year since the U9s.
Fensbo said they have some good medal hopes.
“Some of the boys in the U8s are very good,” she said.
“Even in the U7s we’ve got some very quick new young kids.”
The club has about 200 athletes registered.
That’s about the same as last year, Fensbo said, but this year the spread is more balanced.
They’ve got more in the older age groups, which is where they usually struggle.
The championships will run today and tomorrow and cover events from the sprints to 1500m, to hurdles, triple jump, long jump, high jump, discus, javelin and shot put.