New equipment for Urunga Bellinger Valley Little Athletics Centre

Samantha Little, Imogen Webb, Charlie Phillips and seated is Ashlee Little
Samantha Little, Imogen Webb, Charlie Phillips and seated is Ashlee Little

Urunga Bellinger Valley Little Athletics Centre has received a $3900 grant from Coles to buy new sports gear.

President Di Knobloch said the grant would make a big difference to the centre, which caters for more than 50 kids from tiny tots to Under 17s.

With the grant, they've purchased new javelins plus a special timing device with an accompanying laptop.

"We're moving ourselves into the electronic age," Di said.

"Instead of just using a stopwatch, we're going computerised. It takes all the hard work out of doing the basic timekeeping."

The older age groups have new javelins, and the younger kids have new Turbo javelins.

"They are more plastic and less like a spear so they can learn how to grip it and throw it safely," Di said.

Tossing the new javelins

Tossing the new javelins

The other new item for the young athletes is bunting to use as a safety barrier.

"We received 75m of bunting to stop the kids running across the track when there's a race on. Especially the little tiny tots when they get excited."

Funds for the Coles grants are raised through the sale of specially-marked chiller bags designed by eight-year-old Lachie Macdonald from Victoria and 11 year-old Charlie De Bruyn from Western Australia. For every bag sold, 25 cents is directed to the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund to provide sport equipment grants.

Coles State General Manager Reagan Lauder said Coles was delighted to provide grants to help the Little Athletics centres in locations such as Urunga.

"Thanks to our customers who have bought our range of chiller bags at Coles stores, we have been able to provide over $800,000 in grants for Little Athletics centres around Australia to help them purchase equipment to support activities such as High Jump, Discus, Hurdles and the various running events.

In addition to the chiller bags, Coles sells Community Bags which help to raise funds for SecondBite, Guide Dogs Australia and Clean Up Australia. All Community Bags were designed by school children as part of a bag design competition."

Olympian Brandon Starc and young athletes with the Coles Community Bags

Olympian Brandon Starc and young athletes with the Coles Community Bags