VLAA – A BRIEF HISTORY

October 1963, three boys turned up at an athletics meet in Geelong ready to compete. On approaching an official they were told that they were too young to take part. That official was Trevor Billingham.

Their disappointment left a marked impression and several months later at a coaching clinic designed for secondary school students, he noted the majority of children were primary school age. Reminded of his earlier experience, Trevor had an idea. The answer to the need expressed in the children would be a simple Saturday morning competition.

October 1964, he met with a small group of children on a Geelong oval where they took part in a short program of running events. From that simple beginning, athletics for under 12 boys and girls developed at a phenomenal rate. Little Athletics created tremendous interest and in 1967 the Victorian Little Athletics Association (VLAA) was formed.

Within a few years other states also held competitions and the Australian Little Athletics (ALA) was formed. Over the years Little Aths age groups have expanded, and from Season 2007-08, cater for U6 - U16 athletes.
Victoria now boasts over 100 Centre’s and more than 23,000 registered athletes.

Victoria is divided into eight Regions, four country and four metropolitan. Season 2009-10 saw a realignment of some Region boundaries to balance Centre numbers within, and Southern Metropolitan Region (SMR) was reduced in size from 19 Centres to 14. SMR Centres currently include: Brighton, Caulfield, Chelsea, Dandenong, Frankston, Mentone, Moorabbin, Mornington, Oakleigh, Sandringham, Seaford, Southern Peninsula, Springvale and Westernport.

SPLAC – A BRIEF HISTORY

1974 - public meeting held resulting in Dromana, Rosebud, Tootgarook, Rye and Sorrento Clubs forming under the banner of Southern Peninsula Little Athletic Centre (SPLAC).
First local meet held on Village Green, Rosebud, but site soon became too small for the 300 competitors.
Moved to Lawson Cres Park for one year, then Olympic Park, Rosebud.
1983 - moved to Truemans Road Reserve, Tootgarook, (home ground)
1989 - hosted (now discontinued) Divisional C, State T&F Elimination Heats
1989 - hosted VLAA State Conference
1999 - Clubs merged to operate as a Centre only
2000 VLAA State Conference - awarded Victorian Heart Foundation Healthiest Centre Award
2000 VLAA State Conference - President, Katherine Cooper, awarded VLAA Volunteer of the Year
2001 VLAA State Conference - SPLAC awarded State Most Responsible Centre Award

Many State medalists have come from SPLAC with a couple of special athletes going on to enjoy amazing success in their chosen sport. They include:

ROHAN ROBINSON
Rohan commenced in U7’s joining Tootgarook Club. First State competition in U9’s attained Bronze 200m, Gold 400m, then represented Tootgarook Primary and Rosebud Secondary College many times competing in the 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles. He set new State records, competed nationally and at the Pacific School Games.

Rohan competed internationally for 12 yrs representing Australia 20 times and set new Australian records at senior level 6 times. Rohan’s resume for the 400m Hurdles includes:
  • World Junior Champion 1990
  • World Athletic Championships 1991, 1993 (semi finalist), 1995, 1997
  • Commonwealth Games 1990, 1994 - 5th, 1998 - silver medal
  • Olympic Games Atlanta U.S. 1996, 5th Sydney Australia 2000
  • National Champion 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000
  • National Champion Runner Up 1994, 1999
  • Current Australian Record Holder 400m Hurdles 48.28sec (set 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta)

Rohan donated a perpetual trophy Season 2000-01 for Hurdling Excellence presented each T&F season. He also donated his Kuala Lumpur, 1998, Commonwealth Games Track Suit displayed in the Club Rooms.

REBECCA NEILSEN
Rebecca joined Rosebud Club in U10’s. She excelled in Discus and Shot Put, and then added Hammer to her repertoire. Rebecca’s career highlights include:

1998/99 Athletics Victoria (AV) State Championships: Shot Put Gold, Discus Bronze, Hammer Bronze
1999/00 AV National Championships: Shot Put Bronze, Victorian Team Vice Captain
Pacific Games: Hammer Bronze, Shot Put 5th (PB), Discus 6th (PB)
Edwin Flack International Games for U19’s: Discus Gold, Shot Put Gold
2000/01 AV National Championships: U20 Shot Put Gold
2001/02 AV National Championships: U20: Shot Put Silver, Hammer Bronze, Open Shot Put 4th
Australian All Schools: U20 Shot Put Gold
2002/03 AV National Championships: Open Shot Put Gold
Victorian Throw Relay Team Open Women: Gold

Rebecca donated a perpetual trophy Season 2002-03 for Throwing Excellence presented each T&F season.

JESSICA WAY
Jessica competed with Rye Club for 5 seasons during the ‘90s and still holds records in a number of events.
Her achievements include:

State Championships: Little Aths – Olympic Park: 1991, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96
Primary Schools – Olympic Park: 1991, 92
Secondary Schools – Olympic Park: 1993, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98
Victoria All Schools – Olympic Park: 1994, 95, 96, 97, 98
State medals: Little Aths: 14 Gold, 4 Silver, 2 Bronze. Events - 100m, 200m, 400m, LJ, TJ, Hurdles, Relays
Schools: 25 Gold, 5 Silver, 6 Bronze. Events - 100m, 200m, 400m, LJ, TJ, Hurdles, Relays
State Under Age (AV): 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze

National Championships: Victoria Primary Schools Team – Canberra: 1991
Little Athletics – Adelaide: 1993
Athletics Victoria Under Age – Adelaide: 1995
Victorian All Schools – Sydney: 1995
AV State Under Age – Melbourne: 1996
National medals: Little Athletics: 2 Bronze
All Schools: 1 Gold and 1 Bronze
National Under Age: 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze

International Competitions: Victoria Team, Pacific School Games – Darwin: 1992
Victoria Team, Pacific School Games – Perth: 1996
International medals: Pacific School Games Darwin 1992, Gold Medal 200m

State Records: LJ U10, 400m U11, LJ U13, TJ U13, 100m U13, 200m U14 & 200m U15
National Records: 200m U11 27.2 seconds
National Rankings: 200m U14, number 1

Awards: Rye Sports Person of the Year: 1991, 92, 94, 95
Inducted into RSSC Hall of Fame: 1996

Jessica donated a perpetual trophy Season 2007-08 for Sprinting Excellence presented each T&F season.



The SPLAC Committee would like to thank Rohan, Rebecca and Jessica for their valued support.