Roma Little Athletics team at their recent December coaching clinic.
Roma Little Athletics team at their recent December coaching clinic.

‘No athletics without them’: club thanks their dedicated volunteers

ATHLETICS: The season is now over for Roma’s Little Athletics, but there may not have been one at all without one local family, who got behind the club in its hour of need.

Roma’s McCoy family – mum Lyndel, along with teenage sons Patrick and Tom – are among the team’s oldest members, and in recent months have been its driving force, with Lyndel taking charge of the committee and her boys stepping up to train their younger counterparts.

For the newer members, like Nicole Southee and her three-year-old son Jack, the McCoys make an incredible difference in the club.

“Every Saturday they get there earlier than everyone else thanks to mum, get all the equipment out, and take the smaller kids for their warm up,” she said.

“They run all of the events without help from an adult, and then pack everything up again; I don’t think they have ever been asked to do any of it.

“I do think that without Patrick and Tom, and the whole McCoy family, Little Athletics in Roma would not exist.”

Southee said the club is on the small side right now, and most of its members are very young, like her son.

The older athletes have become role models to the children, who adore them, and parents like Southee hold them in high esteem.

“They are so appreciated, because they have built up that relationship with the younger kids – the little ones are happy to go off with them, because they trust them,” she said.

“We only started with the club in term four last year, and Jack idolises these boys; they are so patient with him, and all of the smaller members. I feel that they definitely need to be recognised for their efforts every week.”

The boys, 17 and 16, have been competing in athletics for 11 years with the Roma club; Tom is a keen runner, while Patrick has a preference for throwing events.

Patrick & Tom's first day of Little Athletics 10.10.2009
Patrick & Tom's first day of Little Athletics 10.10.2009

Their other siblings Emma and Dan also compete and are part of the club

The eldest brothers said they knew this season was time to share their skills with their younger counterparts.

“We stepped in to help out when most of the committee stepped down at the end of last season and mum needed help to run Little A’s,” Patrick said.

“Previous seasons we were still competing, but like most sporting clubs we can’t run without volunteers.”

Through the family’s efforts, the club has succeeded this season, and things are only looking up.

“The Roma Little Athletics Club has been established since the 1980s, so we didn’t want to see it go into caretaker mode after the previous committee stood down – it would be too hard to get it going again,” Mrs McCoy said.

“LAQ advised us to keep going with a smaller group.

“This last season we went to Chinchilla to a coaching clinic, and also had specialist coaching in Roma; we applied for an Active Clubs Grant and were successful in that, so we can purchase new equipment for next season.”

Little Athletics will return for the 2020-21 season in October.


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