Children’s FAQ

Getting into Athletics in Nelson

Can my son or daughter try athletics before I register?

If the registrations have not closed for the season, interested children may come to two sessions before they must register. Registrations close when we are fully subscribed for the season. We expect previously registered athletes to register straight away.

Do I need an Athletics Nelson singlet?
You do not need a singlet for club nights (Thursday nights). You do need a singlet for interclubs. We have a few singlets to loan if you do not want to buy one.
Who can wear spikes?
Athletes aged 10 years and older may wear running shoes with track spikes. Spikes must be 7mm cones/pyramids or Xmas trees. Many children have bare-feet or wear light running shoes.

Club Night

How can I get involved in coaching?
We sometimes run coaching courses for parents. We can also ask experienced coaches to come to club night and work with you on coaching. Let us know if you are interested in coaching. We always need more coaches.
What does an age-group leader do?
One person (or two people alternate weeks) lead an age group e.g. 10 girls. This person takes attendance, guides the group through the programme and helps out at each event. The leader gets to know each athlete and can offer encouragement and motivation. You don’t need any coaching experience to be an age-group leader.
What is Run Jump Throw?
Run Jump Throw is the foundation programme of the Athletics New Zealand Coach Education Programme. Run Jump Throw was developed as part of the Kiwisport education programme which aims at enjoyable participation by all regardless of ability, culture, or sex. Kiwisport is based on the philosophy that skills are the key to participation. At club nights we have an emphasis is on skill development.
What do I do with the personal best booklet?
Each athlete receives a personal best booklet that lasts them from ages 7-9 and then 10-14. You can choose to bring the booklet with you to club night to record your times and measurements. We keep a record of your personal bests on the Athletics Nelson website for you to look at.
What are the Colgate Star Awards?
This is an incentive scheme based on personal improvement with certificates awarded on achieving specified performance levels. The certificate will be awarded at five Levels – 1Star, 2 Star, 3 Star, 4 Star 5 Star – according to the standards achieved in a specified number of events for each age group. For more information see
Is there coaching on other nights?
Older athletes (usually 12 years and over) may be able to join coaching sessions in sprints, high jump or long jump run by various coaches. There is a middle distance academy for college age students (

How can you help?

Why is parent help needed?
Athletics needs a lot of help to run events safely and on time. For example, it takes 4 people to run long jump. On a club night we need over 20 parent helpers.

Competitive athletics

What happens at interclubs?
Interclubs are attended by athletes from Takaka, Motueka, Richmond, Nelson and Marlborough clubs. Usually an athlete competes in 4 events with at least one event being a field event. At interclubs everyone needs to do a crouch start for races 400m or shorter. Clubs compete against each other at the Winstone Cup, Russell Cup and Hester Shield for the top performing club.
What are the Colgate Games?
Every year the Colgate Games are held in January in the North Island and the South Island. It is the biggest athletics event for children with each games attended by about 1000 athletes aged 7-14. Any registered athlete can enter the Colgate Games. You don’t need to be selected or be a top athlete, though medals are awarded for 10-14 year olds in each event. For 7-9 year olds the focus is on participation.
Why do I need to help at an interclub?
Each club runs one event, for example shot put. We require 4 people at a time and usually have 4 shifts of 1.5 hours. This means 16 parents to help at each interclub.
Is there a cost to compete at an interclub?
Your registration covers the cost of interclubs. The exception is Tasman Championships which has a $2 fee per event to cover the cost of ribbons, certificates and medals.
Are there representative teams?
Twelve and thirteen year olds can compete as part of a Tasman team at the Inter-provincials held every Easter. Clubs will nominate athletes. Athletes aged 7-11 years can be selected to represent Tasman in a South Island competition – usually held late March.