It felt like Christmas all over again for Cardiff and Districts Little Athletics Centre members when in January they were gifted new equipment thanks to a $4400 grant from the Coles Little Athletics Community Fund.
Ian Cowling, president of the Macquarie Hill-based athletics centre, said the new hurdles purchased with the grant funds has made a big difference as their athletes prepare for tournaments, including last weekend's regional championship held in Glendale.
"Our hurdles were over twenty years old and extremely dated," Cowling said. "The new hurdles are much safer for our athletes and easier for our parent volunteers to set up and reset during competition nights."
Cardiff and Districts Little Athletics Centre is one of 316 centres across Australia to share in over $1.1 million in sports equipment grants from funds raised through the sale of Coles' Community Chiller Bags.
Funds for the grants are raised through the sale of specially-marked chiller bags designed by Lachie Macdonald, 9, from Victoria and Charlie De Bruyn, 12, 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 Ivan Slunjski said Coles was delighted to provide grants to help the Little Athletics centres in locations such as Cardiff.
"Thanks to our customers who have bought our range of chiller bags at Coles stores, we have provided nearly $10,000 in sports equipment grants to Little Athletics centres in the Lake Macquarie," he said.
"The Cardiff and District Little Athletics Centre told us they would like to receive a grant to buy hurdles and we were delighted to help because we know these are an essential part of Little Athletics to support young budding athletes."
The Cardiff Little Athletics centre is now preparing to host the 2020 Cardiff Challenge Cup. The action kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, February 15.
The challenge is open to all age groups across a range of athletics disciplines from a 50 metre run to discus, shot put and 400m sprint.
Entry is open to any registered NSW Little Athletics member.
To enter, download an entry form at cardifflittleathletics.org.au and register by February 12.