PORT Macquarie Little Athletics Club will send their first-ever senior boys relay team to the state titles after a strong showing at the country championships on February 3 and 4.
In Tamworth, the Mid North Coast zone came together with the Northern Rivers and North West zones to form the carnival, where there were hundreds of kids vying for state positions.
The club’s relay team consisting of Jaidyn Rossiter, Damon Rhook. Jordan Thompson and Kyle Davis made it through to the next stage after winning the event in a time of 49 seconds.
Alex Lister unfortunately had to pull out due to a foot injury where the Port Macquarie club walked away from the weekend with a swag of medals and regional records.
Out of those athletes, Flynn Daly in the under-8 boys broke two records in the 70m and 100m sprints.
Trent Alley set new records in the under-9 boys 60m hurdles while Cooper West in the under-11 boys did the same in the long jump and Sam Edmonds in the under-15 boys high jump.
As a result the club will send 27 athletes across 63 events as they aim to continue an ever-increasing level of success at Sydney Olympic Park from March 23-25.
Club vice-president and head coach Gavin Thompson said it was encouraging to see more athletes progressing to the next level.
“We're getting more numbers to training and that shows the kids want to improve,” he said.
“They’re putting in the effort at training because you can’t just expect results.”
Thompson has been labelled “the candy man” by the club’s athletes after he added a fun element to their training.
“I bring lollies to training if the kids work hard and I know if it isn’t fun you don’t learn,” he said.
“I did 30 years in athletics myself and found you have to introduce the basics.”
Thompson said the successful results have been due to a continued training effort in the off-season.
“When the kids do that, it makes it easier on them when they return in the new year.”
With the state championships looming, Thompson said athletes would continue to train hard in order to give themselves the best possible results at the carnival.
“We hope to walk away with personal bests and hopefully some more medals,” he said.