FLYING HIGH: Ipswich’s Rory Smith will join hundreds of competitors in today’s Ipswich Little Athletics Twilight Carnival at Bill Paterson Oval.
FLYING HIGH: Ipswich’s Rory Smith will join hundreds of competitors in today’s Ipswich Little Athletics Twilight Carnival at Bill Paterson Oval. David Nielsen

Little athletes to compete under lights

A THRONG of little runners, throwers and jumpers will swarm to Bill Patterson Oval today for the biggest Ipswich Little Athletics Twilight Carnival.

A record 497 athletes aged five to 16 have registered to compete in what will be their final chance to perform before the regional championships next month.

Thirty five centres will be represented, including those from South Burnett, Mudgeeraba, Gympie and Tweed Heads.

Toowoomba South centre in particular will have a large number of athletes competing, with 32 competitors making the trip down the Warrego Hwy.

"We're quite proud of the fact the carnival is growing each year," Ipswich Little Athletics Centre (ILAC) secretary Ann Bell said.

"It takes months of planning and preparation to host a carnival of this size, so to reach a record figure of athletes is a great achievement for the local centre."

Bell said competitors would be keen to put their best foot forward.

"With regional competitions happening all across Queensland in two weeks, this will be a good warm-up to see how the athletes are performing," she said.

"They also get the chance to compete under lights, which is something many of them don't get to do often."

Ipswich will be strongly represented with about 180 competitors taking part in all events, including 60m hurdles, 80m hurdles, 90m hurdles, 70m, 100, 200m and 800m, high jump, long jump, shot put and discus.

Bell felt today's Ipswich City Council-sponsored event would lay the foundations for what should be a promising representative campaign for Ipswich's little athletes.

"Ipswich has performed well over the years at regional and state championships," she said.

"They're all highly motivated to do well, especially because the Twilight Carnival still counts towards the centre's end of season awards."

ILAC's next major competition after today's Twilight Carnival is regionals at Bill Paterson Oval, which will be hosted by Souths Little Athletics from February 20-21.



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