Long-standing Trans Tasman Tour to conclude in 2020
One of the longest-running competitions in the Little Athletics NSW calendar will sadly conclude next year, with the 2020 Trans Tasman tour to New Zealand scheduled to be the last.
In January next year, LANSW will fly a team of athletes aged 10-12 to Auckland to compete against local athletes in a series of carnivals – it will be the 22nd and final tour by a NSW team.
The Trans Tasman tour commenced in 1976 after the Children’s Day committee of the New Zealand Amateur Athletics Association contacted Little Athletics New South Wales in the hope of organising a competition.
The inaugural meet was held at the National Fitness Camp Athletics Track in March 1977, with NSW the victors.
New South Wales then travelled to New Zealand in 1978 with a team comprising of 80 Little Athletes, and the hosting rights have alternated every year since.
The Trans Tasman Tour is not only about athletics; it’s also a cultural experience for the children.
During the 12-day visit to New Zealand, our Little Athletes will stay overnight at a Maori Marae, delve into the world renowned Kiwi Hot Pools, visit Rainbow’s End Fun Park and explore the local museum.
When the New Zealand touring squad has visited Australia in past years, they have enjoyed similar cultural exposure for the kids, including visits to the Opera House, Taronga Zoo, and the Blue Mountains.
An excerpt from the July 1989 LANSW newsletter highlights the purpose of the Trans Tasman tour for young athletes:
“The aim of Trans Tasman is to expose the children to the people and customs of another country.
“Most people’s memories are of the marvellous food, the lasting friendships they have formed and the beautiful country; it is so different to ours, with its hot pools, geysers and mountains.
“Athletics, as you can imagine, form only part of the tour – there is a full itinerary of sightseeing and plenty of fun-filled activities.”
No trials are held for the tour, so all Little A’s born between 1 October 2007 and 31 December 2009 are strongly encouraged to nominate, and everyone who applies will be able to enjoy the tour.
Nominations to join the Trans Tasman tour open in September, with the team to be announced in October.