While the Palmerston North club, which has the benefit of operating from an all-weather surface, was able to start its season at the beginning of October, most clubs in outlying areas are just starting to get into the swing of things.
The Feilding club started last Wednesday with a good turnout of 50 children, with large numbers in under-7s.
If you want any information on the Feilding club, you can contact Kerrin Beatson on 027.4395333 or 06.323.2666.
The Te Kawau club also started on Wednesday night at the Rongotea Domain.
The major meeting for children is the Colgate Games, in Inglewood in early January.
The close proximity of these games is sure to see a good representation of Manawatu athletes wanting to compete.
However, entries must be with your club secretary by November 13, so don't delay.
Vanessa Story and Shaun Popov will be in the clubrooms taking Palmerston North's entries, so you need to see them this week.
No doubt other club secretaries are doing likewise.
To speed things up, you can download the entry form from www.athletics.org.nz/Resource.aspx?ID=15602
Ribbon days are a great way of preparing for the Colgate Games, as it gives children the experience of competing away from their club environment and getting involved in interclub competition.
This Sunday the Levin club are conducting their ribbon day. As the name suggests, athletes receive ribbons for placings in each event.
Organisers usually like to ensure a fair sharing of ribbons amongst athletes by ensuring where there is more than one race in a grade, the ribbon winners from previous events race together and those without ribbons start in another race.
The meeting concludes with relay races, which usually add to the ribbon collection.
The Palmerston North club have agreed to swap the date of their ribbon day to Saturday, December 1 with Wanganui's Carol McNie meeting now on Sunday, December 2.
This swap was necessary because Cooks Gardens is pre-booked for one of their major sponsors' Christmas party, so was unable to hold the athletic meeting that day.
This is yet another example of great co-operation between the two clubs.
■ An event with a difference that should appeal to those interested in the longer runs is the Manawatu Striders' Kahuterawa two-day Classic on November 17 and 18.
An on-road, off-road marathon held in three stages over two days, you can do one, two or all three of the stages.
The event takes you on an interesting and picturesque course in rural Manawatu, with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
There is a great atmosphere at this event and lots of camaraderie as people come together to spend a day or a weekend sharing the common bond they have in their interest in walking or running.
The yummy woolshed lunch on Sunday is becoming legendary and thoroughly enjoyed by participants and visitors alike, giving everyone the chance to swap experiences about the challenges they have faced over the weekend.
■ It was great to see athletics winning the top awards at the Manawatu Secondary Schools Sports Awards last week.
Congratulations to Joshua Baan and Kara Macdermid for well-deserved honours. Looking through the individual sports award winners, the name Matthew Westwood listed as an athletic winner was not one I was familiar with.
However, after making a few inquiries, I learnt his award was for athletes with disabilities and Matthew is one of our leading Special Olympians.
It is great to see these athletes recognised in these awards.
■ Saturday is the second round of the regional teams competition at Cooks Gardens in Wanganui and again the Manawatu team is expected to do well.
The concept is the same as the first round, with athletes needing to know their competition number.
The number will be the same as the first round, so if you do not have a number or have forgotten it, you need to contact George McConachy.
During the week, the Palmerston North club received considerable feedback on how well they ran the first round of the competition.
Among the comments was one from a very well-travelled administrator that it was one of the best meetings they had attended.
Great to get this feedback and I think well deserved.
Well done Palmerston North officials.
What's on. -
November 6: Palmerston North Athletics programme C MCAT 5.45pm
November 7: Feilding Athletics Timona Park. Te Kawau Athletics Rongotea 6pm
November 10: Central Region Teams Wanganui 11.45am
November 11: Levin Athletic Ribbon Day Waiopehu College 10am
November 13: Palmerston North Athletics programme MCAT 5.45pm
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