Moe athletics duo’s national recognition

Going great guns: Elly Fleming of Moe Little Athletics was named one of 13 Little Athletes of the Year for 2021/22. photographs supplied


MOE Little Athletics duo Miles Verschuur and Elly Fleming have been named two of 13 national Coles Little Athletes of the Year for season 2021/22.
The Lavalla Catholic College students were chosen from more than 110 nominations across the country in the award that recognises athletes’ sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork and health.
The 16-year-olds were each rewarded with a $500 Coles gift card and an opportunity to participate in a virtual mentoring session with Olympian and Australian pole vault record holder Nina Kennedy and dual Paralympian and three-time medallist at Tokyo 2020, Jaryd Clifford.
Verschuur and Fleming were recognised for their outstanding leadership at Moe Little Athletics, where they have competed for 10 years.
Moe Little Athletics secretary Julie Rosato said the pair were great role models for all little athletes at the centre.
“Miles and Elly are exceptional leaders at our club, and we couldn’t be prouder that they’ve been recognised as Coles Little Athletes of the Year,” she said.
“Miles established our centre’s cross country program in 2021 and even created and constructed the different cross country courses for our athletes.
“Throughout the summer season, he’s always involved in set up and pack up, especially of the hurdles and conducts our warm-ups with Elly.”
“Elly also assists with weekly relay training and is always smiling. She shows sportsmanship by encouraging and congratulating athletes and helping them to aim for their best.
“Her positive behaviour is contagious.”
Verschuur said he was humbled and honoured to receive the award and paid tribute to his family and Moe Little Athletics for their support.
“I was so surprised when I found out I had won the award, given the many little athletes across Australia who contribute so much to their clubs,” he said.
“This award is not just a recognition of myself, but a reflection of the opportunities which Moe Little Athletics provides for all their athletes.
“I’m very grateful for the entire Moe committee for their remarkable hard work to ensure that every week us athletes can participate in the sport we love.”
Fleming was also surprised to have won the award and hopes her legacy at the club will be carried on by other aspiring athletes.
“Little Athletics is a special sport in that although it is technically an ‘individual’ sport, the Little Athletics club always feels like one big team and family,” she said.
“I was lucky to have begun athletics at a very young age and be able to look up to the older athletes who helped me along the way, and I love that the younger athletes of today can now look up to me and I can make them smile by encouraging them and helping them to love the sport in the same way that I do.”

Top honour: Moe Little Athletics member Miles
Verschuur featured on the list of star achievers.

Coles Little Athletics Australia president Sherrie Boulter said the Coles Little Athlete of the Year awards are a great way to recognise the achievements of young athletes off the track.
“Little Athletics is not about winning but rather getting kids to be the best athlete and person they can be on and off the track,” she said.
“That’s why our motto is ‘be your best’ and it’s great to have an award that recognises sportsmanship, leadership, health and teamwork like the Coles Little Athlete of the Year.”
In addition to supporting the Coles Little Athlete of the Year award, Coles has donated more than 3.7 million bananas and distributed over $2 million in sports equipment grants to Little Athletics centres across Australia since 2017.