You can email us at email@example.com. You can post to our facebook page. You can mail things to us at PO Box 7153, Gwynneville, NSW, 2500. Else, there are phone numbers of some members of the Club Committee noted on the Committee page (reminder: Athletics Wollongong is a volunteer-run organisation; those on the Committee are volunteering their time when able - don't necessarily expect someone to be available 24/7).
Firstly, note that we have members that cover the range from total novice to elite international athlete. We strive for a warm and encouraging environment throughout our operations, where everyone is treated equally. If you're slower than you'd prefer or jiggle more than you'd like, rest assured that there are other people in the Club just like you, stoked that you're thinking of joining with us and not at all disappointed that you aren't Usain Bolt. To see if we're a good fit for each other, Athletics Wollongong offers a free 2-week trial period. You just need to fill in a Trialling Athlete form each week (available on the Registration page) and hand it into the office - this is for insurance purposes.
Register online. If you're unsure about which membership, talk to our Registrar or follow this brief guide: only interested in competing on a Wednesday? Community Athlete is the way to go. Want to compete anywhere and everywhere? It's Open, Junior, Youth or Age Concession for you (depending on your age). Have several people in your family who want to compete anywhere and everywhere? Do the math and see if a Family Rego works out cheaper. Already a member of a Little Athletics Centre and want Dual membership? You don't have to do anything extra, it all happened during your Little Athletics registration - we'll be in contact once we're made aware of your selection.
There are a number of accredited coaches affiliated with the Club who are available at a variety of times and in most disciplines. You can find their contact details on the Coaching page. In our experience, members prefer this arrangement over a set, Club-wide training time.
For at least the first time the event is run for an age group each season, the intent is to have someone there to give tips and direction to competitors and officials (i.e. parents/helpers). Outside of this time there will be experienced athletes doing the event alongside you and - as our competition is relaxed and quite social - they will likely be more than happy to give you some tips. The IAAF gives a brief rundown of each Olympic event here. There are plenty of other resources on the web which go into greater detail, for example TeachPE. The best resource we have to offer though are our coaches. For a full understanding of an event, join them for a few sessions.
Our local meets on a Wednesday are quite relaxed. You don't need to enter beforehand, just be at each event as it is occuring. Note that you do have to pay an entry fee to use the Beaton Park facility at the front desk, but otherwise there is no charge to contest our events. The evening is divided into periods with each age group scheduled to do different events. You don't have to go in events you're not interested in. You don't have to compete solely within your age group: in running events you can compete alongside friends/family or people of the same/greater ability, in field events you can participate in events not programmed for your group (so long as you don't negatively impact the people whose group is actually programmed to do the event). Note that you can only break Club records, set season bests and so on, in the events that are programmed for your group. The schedule of events can be viewed on the Summer Season page, with the actual event order posted on facebook on the Sunday prior to competition.
If there's lightning nearby we suspend competition with regard to the 30-30 rule: i.e., if there's 30 seconds or less between the flash of lightning and the crack of thunder, we stop. We resume once 30 minutes has passed since the last observed lightning. If it's raining (or the infield is closed) we continue participating, though perhaps with some changes to the program for safety reasons - we may shelter briefly if conditions are particularly uncomfortable, but will continue as soon as it passes.
The intent is to start at 5:30pm with some brief Club news and announcements regarding the competition, before commencing the first event. Athletes should therefore arrive well before then, having allowed enough time to warm up and prepare. Though the finish time may vary depending on what events have been programmed, we endeavour to be through by 7:30pm.
If you're a member of another ANSW-affiliated Club and are thus covered by insurance at our meets, you are welcome to participate. If you wish to maintain membership of your Club but also be eligible to set AW records, qualify for prizes/awards/trophies and so on, you can pay the Athletics Wollongong Club portion of the rego fee (see the Registrar, this cannot be done online). If you're an U12-U17 Little A's member and specified AW as your senior Club, you already have a Dual Registration that allows you to compete with us. If you're a Little A's member in a younger category than U12s, then sadly - for insurance purposes - you'll need to take out an additional membership so that you're covered at our events. The cheapest is a Community Membership.
Athletics Wollongong is a senior club. It's not our expectation that everyone comes each and every week; only as they feel fit, motivated and when their "regular life" allows. Consequently we can't demand parents/helpers are in attendance on any given evening and hence, there is no volunteer roster. There are rules, however. Every member under the age of 16 must have a parent in attendance. We are not the babysitter; we have no qualifications in childcare; we are near-total strangers, with your child, in an environment where there are weapons flying through the air. Be there. We can forbid children from competing if they've no parental supervision but we'd rather common sense was the driving factor in you being there. Each event must have at least two adults helping. This is a child protection requirement by law. If we don't have an appropriate number of helpers, that particular event will be abandoned. You don't have to be at every event (though I'm sure your child would love your interest and enthusiasm). If need be, take turns with other parents/helpers in attendance. Rotate jobs to keep it entertaining. Form some kind of working relationship with the other people who will be directly responsible for your child's safety and enjoyment. Note that we expect parents who themselves compete to also assist with their child's events - they will have to forgo some of their own occasionally.
The first question to ask: do you really need one? If you're only competing at our local Club meets on a Wednesday night, it's unnecessary. If you're representing Athletics Wollongong elsewhere, then you do indeed need one. Tops are available for sale at our Wednesday meets (most helpfully for us would be 5-5:30pm). If you can't make it on a Wednesday, contact us and we will try to come to some arrangement. Given the wide variety of styles and cuts of bottoms, members are responsible for sourcing these themselves. They should be plain-coloured and - officially - royal blue (though black has been accepted for quite some time).
If you have a Community registration then numbers are unnecessary (as you don't need to wear them at our Club meets), so we don't hand them out. If you are a Dual-registered athlete you will receive your rego numbers from your Little A's Centre's Registrar. For all others, the Athletics Wollongong Registrar must attribute a number from our stock to each athlete after they register. Once this occurs you can collect your number from the Registrar, usually on a Wednesday night. If you can't make it then, contact us and we will try and come to some other arrangement. (Note that whatever arrangement this is, it will take time - don't leave your registration and event entry to the very last minute).
The most informative reading material regarding Athletics Wollongong is the annual membership guide, The Red Book (accessible on the Summer Season page). Otherwise talk to Committee members on a Club night, or contact us via any of the aforementioned means.