13 May 2022 • Junior Track & Field

Junior Prize Giving Recipients

27 April 2022 • Events

Sports Shoes for Schools Initiative

5 April 2022 • Announcement

Auckland Junior Prize Giving

17 March 2022 • General

Thermoregulation Study

10 March 2022 • Announcement

NZ Track and Field Championships

18 February 2022 • Announcement

Halberg Games 2022

10 February 2022 • Announcement

Auckland Track & Field Championships

23 December 2021 • Events

U16 & U18 North Island Interprovincials

22 December 2021 • Announcement

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from AAI

13 December 2021 • Announcement

Introducing Get Set Go at Home with Athletics NZ

7 December 2021 • Announcement

2022 Colgate Games to Go Ahead

22 November 2021 • Announcement

NCAA Div 1, Cross Country Championship Final

19 November 2021 • Announcement

McKinnon Shield 1

15 November 2021 • Announcement

Upcoming Officials Seminars

11 November 2021 • Announcement

Auckland 5000m Championships

8 November 2021 • Announcement

McKinnon Shield to start on Saturday 20th November

8 November 2021 • Announcement

Club Night and Centre Training Days

28 October 2021 • Events

2022 Colgate Games

25 October 2021 • Announcement

McKinnon Shield Event Grid 2021/22

7 October 2021 • Announcement

Mt Smart Stadium Re-Open for Training

6 October 2021 • Announcement

Auckland Road Championships Cancelled

4 October 2021 • Announcement

Event Update – 4th October 2021

17 September 2021 • Announcement

Auckland Race Walker Alana Barber Retires

3 September 2021 • Announcement

Covid 19 Lockdown Auckland

23 August 2021 • Announcement

A Guide to the Paralympics

23 August 2021 • Announcement

ACA Relays – A Covid-19 Exposure Site

10 August 2021 • Events

NZ Cross Country Championships – Dunedin

22 July 2021 • Coaching

Aspire Winter Track & Field Academy

14 July 2021 • General

Track & Field Officials of the Year

14 July 2021 • Coaching

Athletics NZ Coach The Coach Workshops

13 July 2021 • General

McKinnon Shield Presentation

12 July 2021 • Announcement

Athletics NZ weekly round up

15 June 2021 • General

GP 3 Incorporating Auckland Teams Race

3 June 2021 • Uncategorized

For an update on upcoming Coaching Courses

31 May 2021 • Announcement

Ronan Lee storms home to win #XC2021 Round 2

31 May 2021 • Announcement

Samoan Language Week

17 May 2021 • Announcement

Athletics Auckland Grand Prix Race Results

15 March 2021 • Announcement

Colgate Games 2022

5 March 2021 • Announcement

Athletics Auckland Junior Championships 2021

5 March 2021 • Announcement

McKinnon Shield 9 – Competition update

2 March 2021 • Announcement

Nationals update from Athletics New Zealand

28 February 2021 • Announcement

Athletics Auckland Weekly Review – 1st March 2021

27 February 2021 • Announcement

Athletics NZ Track & Field Championships – Postponed

27 February 2021 • Events

World Athletics Continental Tour – Auckland

22 February 2021 • Announcement

Athletics NZ Child Safety and Member Welfare Update

18 February 2021 • Announcement

Auckland Stadiums Alert Level 2 Guidelines

16 February 2021 • Announcement

Auckland Grade 7-14yrs Championships Postponed

12 February 2021 • Announcement

Porritt Classic 2021

2 February 2021 • General

Officials C Track Seminar

29 January 2021 • Events

Cooks Classic

29 January 2021 • Events

North Island U16 & U18 Interprovincials

28 January 2021 • Coaching

Sprint Relay Session at Mt Smart #2 Arena

26 January 2021 • Events

Auckland Team to NZ Track & Field Champs

25 January 2021 • Announcement

Athletics Auckland Championships – Entries closing

24 January 2021 • Announcement

Auckland Results – McKinnon Shield & Potts Classic

23 January 2021 • Announcement

Alana Barber sets new records at the Potts Classic

18 January 2021 • Announcement

Zoe Hobbs Record Breaking Run!

13 January 2021 • Announcement

Colgate Games Scholarships 2021

21 December 2020 • Announcement

NZ Schools Track & Field Selected Team

21 December 2020 • Announcement

Daikin Night of 5’s – Auckland Women lead the way

17 December 2020 • Announcement

Oceania Area Permit Preview- Night of 5’s

16 December 2020 • Announcement

Athletes Community Award Badge

9 December 2020 • Coaching

Athletics Auckland Junior Festival Meets

4 December 2020 • Announcement

Inter Provincial U16-U18 Auckland Team Named

20 November 2020 • Events

Oceania Athletics One Day Meetings 2020/21

18 November 2020 • General

Getting on with living – Julian Castle

4 November 2020 • Events

Ingrid Frost Completes 300 Marathons

27 October 2020 • Events

NZ Road Race Championships

22 September 2020 • Uncategorized

North Sport Academy Junior Coaching Coordinator Vacancy

14 September 2020 • Announcement

All events cancelled for September

11 September 2020 • Announcement

Mt Smart #2 Arena

4 September 2020 • Announcement

Athletics Auckland Road Relays Cancelled

28 July 2020 • Events

Inter Provincial U16-U18 Newsletter One

26 July 2020 • Announcement

Cross Country & Road

22 July 2020 • General

Keegan Pitcher – Para Athlete

22 July 2020 • General

Anna Steven – Para Athlete T64

1 July 2020 • General

Kaia Tupu-South

26 May 2020 • History

Flashback Thursday – 21st May 2020

14 May 2020 • History

Flashback Thursday – 14th May 2020

8 May 2020 • History

Flashback Thursday – 2nd April 2020

8 May 2020 • History

Flashback Thursday – 7th May 2020

21 April 2020 • Events

2020 Cross Country & Road Season

22 July 2020 • Coaching

Pak Attack - Story provided by Athletics NZ

Pakuranga Athletic Club is one of New Zealand’s largest and most prestigious clubs. We chat to Junior Cross Country/Road Chairperson Rebecca Findlay to find out more about how they navigated lockdown and how the section is thriving under alert level 1.

Historically supporting upwards of 180 children, Pakuranga AC has long boasted a buoyant junior cross country and road section.

During the winter season, the club organises weekly cross country meets out of Lloyd Elsmore Park. Offering a variety of events to ensure the youngsters are fully engaged, the club organises cross country time trials, fun relays, and even orienteering races.

During the course of the season – which runs from April to September – weekly training nights take place on Wednesdays with the option for more regular and prescribed training for the more serious youngsters.

Yet the Covid-19 pandemic and decision in late-March for New Zealand to go into full lockdown, naturally had a significant impact on Pakuranga AC’s plans for the 2020 winter season.

Junior cross country/road chairperson Rebecca Findlay admits the lockdown created its challenges and the club initially went into “survival mode.”

“Just prior to lockdown we had planned some open days (for the new season), which we obviously decided not to go ahead with,” admits Rebecca, whose two daughters – Claire, 12, and Fleur, 9, run for the club. “But during full lockdown we kept engaged with members through email and our Facebook page to encourage them to continue running safely within the guidelines.”

Many of the older children in the section opted to compete in the Athletics NZ Virtual race series. Meanwhile, the club also ran a photo and video competition – the theme of which was what you most loved about lockdown.

“Many people were feeling quite lost during that time,” explains Rebecca. “So it was nice to try and keep some of the normal connections ongoing and keep them engaged.”

After receiving many positive messages from families during alert level 4 and 3, the club reacted quickly to the loosening of the restrictions as soon as the country hit alert level 2.

With groups of ten allowed to gather, Pakuranga AC put in place club coaching groups of nine children and one coach.

As soon as groups of up to 100 people were allowed to meet, this gave the green light for some club competitions to re-start.

“Our first event was a pairs race of athletes on Queen’s Birthday Weekend (in which two athletes run in opposite directions around a cross country course, meet, and then turn around and run back to the start), which I believe attracted around 37 athletes and including parents we had around 60 in total,” explains Rebecca. “The following weekend we ran a mixed-age relay which had 99 kids and parents there on the day.

“During this period the club were great at setting up a clear framework for putting all the guidelines in place. We were lucky in that parents were very helpful. Parents of the older children would drop their child off for the races but would not stick around to watch, so as to limit numbers and enable us to keep within the guidelines.”

As soon as the country hit alert level one it was business as usual for Pakuranga AC. On June 13 the East Auckland club organised a time trial event at Lloyd Elsmore Park, which attracted more than 80 kids – a number which would have been significantly higher had the junior section not loaned out 27 U18 runners for a senior event that day.

Numbers have slowly returned. Despite the delayed start to the season the club still has around 120 members as part of its junior cross country/road section and for Rebecca, the key is to make the experience as relevant and engaging as possible for all the kids – who are aged from four to 18.

“We obviously want to make sure the distances work for everyone,” she explains. “We don’t want to push our little ones too far but we are also aware our older runners want to get in a decent distance. For our younger ones the distance is never more than 1 km and can be as simple as running to the tree and back.

“On our club course the different ages run in different coloured bibs, so they can easily identify their friends. We are also conscious to provide a range of events. For example, last weekend Auckland Centre had an event in Long Bay (on Auckland’s North Shore). We were aware not everyone would want to travel or they may not be that competitive so they would rather have a fun event at the club, which we organised.”

Club cross country events have a strong social element. Post-race hot chips and drinks are available for all and spot prizes are run via a random draw.

Rebecca has been impressed with how quickly membership in the junior cross country/road section has “bounced back” following lockdown and she whole-heartedly supports cross country as an attractive option for kids.

“For me, cross country is not about the kids performing to a high level, it is simply about everyone being involved in a way that they still feel comfortable – even if they are the last one home.

“I love the fact the kids are still outdoors and active, even though sometimes the weather is not quite so amenable. I enjoy the family atmosphere of cross country and how everyone is out there supporting one another regardless of age or ability.”