Q. What does an age manager do?
A. An age manager coordinates children's participation in a number of events each evening of competition. Age managers collect their age clipboard from the equipment shed and meet their group in the centre of the field. When instructed to do so age managers take their group to the first and subsequent events. Age managers direct helpers to measure distances, spike the ground where athletes or objects thrown land, reset apparatus and other tasks. Age managers also assist children to develop technique. Age manager’s are required to advise the Program Manager of their progress through events.
Q. How do I find the age manager?
A. Age managers are provided with a yellow vest to wear over their clothing. The words 'Age Manager' are written on the back. The age manager will meet athletes from the age group in the assembly area in the centre of the field prior to 6pm before setting off to the first event. The Program Manager will be able to assist in locating age managers.
Q. Why should I help the age manager?
A. Age managers are volunteers and cannot possibly perform all of the tasks required to make the night flow smoothly. The less helpers there are, the slower your child/children will progress through the events. If there are insufficient helpers the event cannot possibly be run and your child will miss out.
Q. Can I be forced to assist?
A. No, but we ask you to sign a form at registration acknowledging that you are prepared to assist. We cannot enforce this document but if you refuse to assist your child may be barred from competition. This is a drastic step to take and will not be taken lightly but you cannot expect other parents to do all the work while you sit back and watch.
Q. I am thinking about becoming an age manager but I don't know anything about the events. It all looks too hard?
A. You probably felt this way when you learned to drive or new tasks at work but like anything else the skills you need to be an age manager are not too difficult to acquire. All you need to do is ask. Age managers need the basic ability to coordinate children's movement through each event using a set program. They also need to be able to ask other parents to assist with a variety of tasks. As for skills in each of the athletic disciplines these are easily learned as you go. We have qualified coaches who can provide you with advice and guidance, there are event instructions on the LAANSW website and the age manager board and you are welcome to attend training on Monday or Wednesday nights to learn the finer points of technique and the rules. Each season there are also basic event instruction courses, official’s instruction nights and examinations for those who want to receive official qualifications or just want to know more about the rules. If you are not quite ready a season helping an age manager and/or our coaches may give you confidence and experience.
Q. As an age manager occasionally midway through a field event (discus, shot put, high jump, long jump etc) I am asked to take the children to a track event. Why does this happen?
A. In athletics the smooth running of track events (running) is paramount to the smooth running of the entire competition. Track events take precedent and as such when called you should promptly follow the instructions of the program manager. If you do not you may find that the children miss their track event altogether or may have to wait until the very end of the competition to compete in the event. You can always return to the field event afterward.
Q. When I am instructed to leave a field event for a track event does my age group lose its place at the field event.
A. You may leave the age group’s basket at the field event to signify that your age group has not completed the event. If another age group starts the event in your absence they are required to move aside on your return. Before asserting your right (diplomatically) to the event assess whether you need to complete all three rounds. Two rounds are sufficient before moving on to the next event (particularly if another group is waiting and competition is running behind schedule. If you are already part way through the third round, in fairness to all of your athletes you should complete the round.
Q. Why do we have to follow the program? There are quicker ways to get my age group through the events.
A. There may be quicker ways to get your group through events but if every age group attempted to make their own program there would be chaos. The program is designed so that all age groups can move through events in the smoothest possible fashion. Priority is given to getting the younger age groups through so that they can get home to bed earlier. Some times the program manager will have to make changes on the run to keep the night flowing as smooth as possible unfortunately quicker moving groups do have to wait. Some age managers develop games or activities that their age groups can do while waiting or sitting in queues.