Sunshine Little Athletic Centre
"LITTLE ATHLETICS CENTRE HERE!"
That’s how the local newspapers headlined its feature of the day. “The most exciting thing to happen for primary school children” was initiated on Thursday the 14th September 1967 at the Sunshine Town Hall.
The meeting was convened by the Sunshine Jaycees and included some well known sports stars as guest speakers:
Gary Holdsworth - Australian sprinter who unofficially equaled the world 100m record at Landy Field, Geelong in March 1967
Ted Whitten - VFL/AFL Legend and Bulldogs Captain at the time
Ron Clark - Australian Athletics Superstar and World Record holder over middle and long distance events
Pam Kilborn - Australian Athletics Superstar and World Record Hurdler.
The meeting was attended by several hundred parents, teachers and youth leaders.
The initial structure of the centre comprised of 9 teams: -
Braybrook, Deer Park, Maidstone, North Sunshine, Our Lady’s, St. Albans, Sunshine, Sunshine East and Sunvale.
On the 7th October 1967 the Sunshine Little Athletics Centre (11) commenced competition. Girls competed in the 70m, 80m, 100m and 60m hurdles on the track while the boys competed in the 100m, 200m 400m 800m and 60m hurdles. Both boys and girls were able to compete in the High Jump, Long Jump, Discus and Shot Put. Registration costs at the time were 65 cents to join and a weekly 10 cents fee to compete. There were 4 club coaches.
In 1968-69 an estimated number of 600 children were registered with the centre.
In 1968 the Albion Athletics Club commenced at the Centre.
The Deer Park Club and St. Albans Club left to establish the St. Albans Little Athletics Centre in 1974.
By 1986/87 there were only 3 clubs remaining - Albion, North Sunshine and West Sunshine.
During the 1988/1989 season North Sunshine Little Athletics Club celebrated it’s 21st Anniversary as a club.
The beginning of the 1992/1993 season the centre celebrated its 25th Season of competition.
In 1998 the Albion Little Athletic Club celebrated its 30th Anniversary as a club in the Centre. Later that year the final 3 clubs amalgamated to run under the banner of the Sunshine Little Athletics Centre.