World champion athlete Sally Pearson has urged budding athletes to race down to the Benalla Little Athletics track as its season kicks off this month.
And to provide kids with a nutritional boost at training, supermarket chain Coles plans to donate more than 2 million bananas this season to Little Athletics clubs around the country.
During 16 weeks this season, Coles will donate four boxes of bananas each week to Benalla Little Athletics Club as part of its national sponsorship of Little Athletics.
Coles is also signing on Sally Pearson as an ambassador for the next three years to promote Little Athletics, sport, health and wellbeing among young Australians.
Fresh from her win at the world championships in London, Sally Pearson encouraged kids to join Little Athletics this year.
‘‘Little Athletics gave me the start I needed to be successful and fulfil my dreams. I encourage more kids across Australia to create their own story through athletics,’’ Pearson said.
‘‘I hope that the kids understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re not winning when you’re this age, you can always be an Olympic champion if your heart is set on it and you dream big.’’
Sally also welcomed the partnership between Little Athletics and Coles, which would provide necessary funding for local clubs.
‘‘Little Athletics is a very important organisation that adds value to our children’s health and wellbeing. It’s essential to have funding and Coles is the answer to our prayers.
‘‘I was also an ambassador for Coles leading up to the London Olympics and I’ve seen first-hand their passion for a healthy lifestyle and fresh food so I’m glad that I can be a part of that,’’ she said.
Benalla Coles store manager Brett Phillips said he was delighted to be partnering with Little Athletics to help drive participation in Little Athletics in communities like Benalla.
‘‘We are passionate about our fresh food and we want to support health, fun and fitness in the community through our partnership with Little Athletics,’’ Mr Phillips said.
‘‘We also know our customers at Benalla love sport and getting involved with their local club.
‘‘As well as our financial support, we wanted to donate bananas to energise local kids during training sessions.’’
Coles Little Athletics Australia chief executive officer Martin Stillman said he hoped the number of kids joining Little Athletics would continue to grow locally and across Australia.
‘‘Little Athletics is an iconic brand in the Australian sporting landscape and the Coles partnership will mean we can provide more support and resources to centres including Benalla to ensure further growth in the sport.’’
●To join Little Athletics, log on to littleathletics.com.au