Program Information

Next Athletics classes utilise a wide range of age-appropriate equipment including items such as hoops, cones, mini-hurdles, balls (in a range of sizes), skipping ropes, agility poles and ladders, bean bags, as well as safety discus, shot put, and javelin for specialised activities in the upper levels of the program.

Next Athletics takes a research and evidence based, best practice, approach to skill acquisition and development. The focus for sport and physical activity for children should be around the holistic development of physical literacy, which includes physical, social, psychological, and cognitive domains. Research shows that children are motivated by learning and developing skills while interacting socially with their peers, and developing fitness, through game play rather than participating in formal competition. Traditional track and field activities (e.g. javelin, shot put) are complex skills that are best developed following the establishment of fundamental movement skills (e.g. running, jumping, throwing).

Athletics is also what’s known as a late maturation sport, meaning that participants will be at their best in a range of athletics events later in life. Performances at a young age often do not predict future success. Developing foundation skills and having fun is what’s most important for children – not how fast a child can run, how high they can jump or how far they can throw.

The program fee covers the costs of conducting the classes including items such as payment of coaches, equipment, insurance, venue fees, digital platforms, program promotion, and staffing. There are no additional mandatory costs for participants in the program.

The Next Athletics program is divided in to four levels which cater to children aged between 3 and 12 years. These levels are broken down as Level 1 (3-5 years), Level 2 (5 – 8 years), Level 3 (8 – 10), Level 4 (10 - 12 years). The program levels are designed in a progressive way so that they are age-appropriate and build upon the skills and activities in the previous levels. Learn more

Absolutely. While the four levels are both developmental and age-specific by design, the game-based framework and group activities provide an opportunity for all children at all levels to participate and develop skills at their own rate in a supportive and fun environment. The nature of the activities mean that they can also easily cater for children who are at different stages of skills development.

Next Athletics’ flexible programming and activities allows for inclusive participation for all abilities. Experienced coaches are able to modify programs and sessions to suit the needs of individuals and the group . This includes options to modify the space, task, equipment, and people (groupings) to provide an engaging and safe environment for all to participate. To help our coaches cater for individual needs, we encourage you to provide additional information when registering for the program.

Next Athletics coaches undergo a variety of training and background checks. All coaches undertake Athletics Australia’s specially designed Next Athletics training program, as well as training in child safeguarding and first aid. Coaches also have experience in delivering athletics and other multi-sport programs. All coaches are required to hold a valid Working with Children Check and operate under Athletics Australia’s child safeguarding policy.

See the Athletics Australia Child Safeguarding Policy for further information here.

Next Athletics acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which we play, learn, and grow. We pay our respects to First Nations elders both past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.