The 27th International Athletics Championship was held in Kuantan, Malaysia with part of the tour also taking place in Kuala Lumpur in July. It was a unique opportunity for the Under 14 and 15 athletes as well as age group change affected Under 16 athletes. All medal winners from the 2019 Combined Event Championships and LAWA State Track and Field Championships were elegible to be part of this fantastic team.
2019 KUANTAN & KUALA LUMPUR TOUR REPORTS
Team Leader – Rachel Trent
On Your Marks…..
I was very excited and extremely thankful to receive an email confirming the amazing opportunity to be one of five team leaders on the 2019 LAWA International tour to Malaysia. This was going to be an amazing experience for all involved.
Leading up to the departure date we had training sessions, bonding activities and a presentation ceremony all of which the athletes’ participation level was 100%. This was a great opportunity to meet the wonderful and equally excited, parents and families of the delegation plus to get to know the athletes in our teams and letting them get to know us.
It was lovely to see the pride in the parents and families at the presentation ceremony but also to see the pride the athletes had in themselves. The team leaders (Teresa, Jake, Fiona, Shane and myself…. Rebecca) have a vast amount of experience and knowledge and it was great to re-assure the parents that they were in good hands.
And just like that, Sunday the 7th of July was upon us and we were flying out for Kuantan. The flight was full of chatter from the athletes due to excitement but also nerves. As we were pulling up to the amazing Kuantan hotel the athletes spotted Starbucks – I am sure Starbucks has not had a profit spike like that since we left!
Acclimatisation, track familiarisation and hydration were the most important factors over the first few days as the humidity hit you like a tonne of bricks. The athletes were quick to get over this hurdle and adapted very well (and were probably sick and tired of us nagging them to hydrate ALL the time)! The competition saw the athletes face some strong competition from Singapore and Malaysia, but they came away with a huge amount of success, not only on the track but off as well. This group of athletes never quit – they never gave up and they were super supportive of their fellow athletes all cheering and congratulating each other. The friendships that were formed was great to see – not only amongst athletes but also the team leaders! One of the highlights for me was seeing our athletes integrate with the athletes from Singapore and Malaysia and doing what kids do…. talk, dance and swap social media profiles! With all the uniform swapping it brought the two-day competition to a close with fatigue starting to set it – the athletes were exhausted as well!
The second part of the trip saw the delegation fly to Kuala Lumpur and experience adventures they never have but will remember forever with the Royal Selangor Pewter and Batu Caves, Aquaria KLCC, Petronas Towers, Berjaya Times Square Theme Park, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Genting Highlands, Snow World (which was a welcomed change from the humidity), Ripley’s Believe it or not, Petronas Towers Discovery Centre, more Starbucks and Shopping! Some of the athletes will make it big in the business world with their negotiation skills – some showed their competitive streak when it came to bartering! I am not sure how some were not charged excess baggage charges on the way home.
It was great to see everyone embrace the culture and the new experiences along the way and to get to know the athletes as themselves, not in competition mode! There were so many laughs to be had along the way – I do recall at least 4 times I was doubled over, laughing for different reasons. I look forward to not only hearing about these athletes’ future success but seeing them compete at future state events and picking up where we left off. I wish them all the very best for the future! Thankyou again to LAWA for giving me this amazing experience and many great memories!
Athletes – Skye Bowron and Emma-Lee Grundy U14
We were so excited to hear the news that we had been selected to represent Western Australia in Malaysia at the International Athletics Competition.
Before we left we had some training sessions as well as some activities to get to know the other Athletes we would be travelling with. We knew some of them from Zones and States but this way, we made friendships before we even left Perth. We went to bootcamp, kayaking and some training sessions at the Stadium.
Our plane left Perth after midnight and we landed in Malaysia first thing in the morning – the views were breathtaking.
The Athletics Competition was an experience of a lifetime. We raced against athletes from Singapore and Malaysia and by the end of the Comp we were all friends and were swapping shirts and souveniers. We enjoyed the relays the most, we were so proud to be representing our State.
After the Comp we did a lot of shopping and sightseeing. The shopping was amazing, it was so different to what we have in Perth. During the day we stayed in groups and by the end of the trip we were all great friends. We tried a lot of Malaysian food, some of it was quite spicy but we didn’t mind. The weather was very different to Perth, we left in the middle of winter and arrived to a very humid, warm 36 degree climate. It was certainly a shock for us!
Seeing the sights of Malaysia was very memorable for us. We went to the Petronas Towers, the Batu Caves, the Genting Highlands (the cable cars were so cool), the Aquaria, Snow World, the Royal Selangar Pewter Factory where we made a souvenier to take home with us, Sunway Lagoon and so many other places.
Travelling to Malaysia with LAWA was an awesome opportunity for us. We had so many new experiences and we did everything together as a Team. The views in Malaysia were fabulous, the food was delicious and we will never forget our time over there. We made so many new friends from other Centres in WA and we still keep in contact now, even months after we got back, we can’t wait to see them again at State Relays!
2018 SINGAPORE TOUR REPORT
MELISSA LEWIS – TEAM LEADER
Singapore… the “Lion City”, it seems a fitting name to be accompanying 62 teenagers overseas, as I was preparing myself to be a lion tamer during the trip. On Monday 9th July, 62 athletes and 7 team leaders embarked on a trip to Singapore. All were excited, maybe a bit nervous about what lied ahead. This wasn’t just limited to the athletes, as I know for sure I was extremely nervous when we were waiting for that plane, mainly because I remembered the mischief that I got up to when I went as an athlete.
It wasn’t long before competition arrived and what an amazing two days of competition we had. The heat was immense and the Singaporean and Malaysian athletes provided a high level of competition. Some athletes celebrated triumphs, some disappointments but one thing every athlete had in common is they left nothing behind. They gave it their all and they can all hold their heads up high. It was very inspiring to watch their grit and determination. At the end of the competition, injuries weren’t limited to the athletes, as I managed to get a blister on my hand from constantly using the spray bottles. In addition to this Bec Ellis, lost her voice as she was cheering so loud. Her voice didn’t come back for days. We like to think it showed we truly earnt our spot on the team.
Once competition was done, it time to relax and enjoy what Singapore had to offer and it certainly delivered. We went to Singapore Zoo, Bugis street, SEA Aquarium, Adventure Cove Water Park, Skyline Luge iFly and Universal Studios. As I am not a rollercoaster person at all, I would like to thank Callum Fare for his words of wisdom before getting on the Battlestar Galatica Rollercoaster.
At Skyline Luge the team leaders are too competitive for their own good, we decided to have a race. The race favourite was Jake as he is a huge motorsport fan. Needless to say, the expertise he has of motorsport did not help him as he finished in last place (twice). Apparently it was the luge’s fault?
The best part of this trip was the wonderful athletes and their families that I got to meet. They always made me laugh and made the trip an absolute joy. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been part of this experience. Maybe in 10 years’ time, some of these athletes will return to be a team leader. I encourage every athlete to be part of this team. It is not just about athletics, so many other skills are enhanced because of the experience.
BROOKE HORNER – UNDER 15 ATHLETE
On July 9th I flew out on one of the most amazing trips of my life to Singapore for an International Athletics competition where we, U/14 & U/15 LAWA Athletes, competed against Singapore and Malaysia!
On this trip I experienced and learnt things that I never thought I would ever be able to do or achieve! As a team we all went out at competition to strive to achieve as high as we could, whether that was to win a medal or just get a PB. Throughout competition the support and encouragement from other team mates was amazing and started the formation of life long friendships. After competition we did some incredible activities all around Singapore. We went to the Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios, Sea Aquarium, Sentosa Island and more. Not only were all the activities (like indoor skydiving!!) heaps of fun but they allowed us all to build on our friendships with people that we never thought we would meet!
We also had the chance to experience and learn about Singaporean culture whilst we went to the Bugis Street markets, Chinatown and tried some local cuisine. Although all of these activities were brilliant, some of my favourite moments were when we were walking to places or on the bus just laughing all the way!
It was truly a privilege to be able to go on this LAWA trip and an honour to wear the WA uniform. I am very thankful to my family who helped me get there, to my coach who prepared me so well, to the team leaders and Jake for keeping us in line and for all the new friendships I have made!
Everyone who does Little Aths should really set a goal to go on one of these International trips!!