Athletes take on Australia’s best

Lucy Veenvliet, Heidi Connor, Evan Bainbridge and Tannah Hildebrand are off to the Australian Little Athletics Championships in Adelaide. (Ivan Kemp) 402904_01

A team of young athletes has headed to Adelaide this week to represent Victoria at Little Athletics’ biggest competition.

Evan Bainbridge (under 15 300m hurdles), Heidi Connor (under 14 javelin), Tannah Hildebrand (under 13 200m and 4x100m), Xander Mitchell (under 13 javelin) and Lucy Veenvliet (under 14 80m hurdles) make up the Geelong contingent of little athletes competing at the 2024 Coles Australian Little Athletics Championships.

The annual track and field meet, which begins today and runs till Sunday (April 28) at SA Athletics Stadium in Adelaide, will bring together around 1000 young sportspeople who will both compete for individual honours and contribute to the score of their state or territory team.

Heidi, a member of Peninsula Little Athletics, said she was “really happy” to be representing her state and club at the national competition.

Having managed to progress from the regional level to the Victorian championships despite an injured ankle, Heidi managed to throw a personal best 35 metres at states to qualify for the nationals.

She said she was “100 per cent” looking forward to competing on the national stage.

“(It’s about) the experience and meeting the other people from all the different states,” Heidi said.

“You get to see so many different people. They’re so good at what they do, it’s really good to watch.”

Heidi said she was not too concerned over results but just wanted to “get out there and do the best I can”.

“I’m not too worried about how I throw, because I’ve made it there already,” she said.

“So whatever I do, it’s just going to be good. But I’m definitely aiming for over 30 (metres).”