THE forecast heatwave has forced Victorian little athletics officials to revamp the program for the state multi-event championships in Bendigo this weekend.
More than 750 athletes aged eight to 16 from across the state have entered the two-day carnival, with the mercury tipped to top 40-degrees on both Saturday and Sunday.
Little Athletics Victoria chief executive officer Dean Paulin has issued a memo outlining changes to the schedule, stressing the welfare of competitors, officials and volunteers was paramount.
"We are concerned about the high temperatures predicted for the two days of
competition and have reviewed possible event changes without much good fortune, due to
existing commitments with both dates and venues," Paulin wrote.
The program of events will now start half an hour earlier, at 8am on both Saturday and Sunday, and will run until noon or when the temperature reaches 38 degrees.
It will then resume at 5.30pm on both days.
The under-15 and under-16 age groups will not begin until the evening session on Saturday but will continue from 8am the following day.
During the afternoon break, athletes and their families will be offered free entry to the Bendigo Aquatic Centre and exclusive use of the diving pool, waterslide and a shaded area during specified times to help them beat the heat.
"Understanding the difficult circumstances associated with competing and/or participating this
weekend, we trust that this will alleviate some of the anxiety and apprehension," Paulin said.
If the temperature does not reach forecast levels, the carnival will run straight through as originally planned.
Young athletes will compete in a range of events including sprints, hurdles, distance run, jumps and throws, with points awarded on a sliding scale according to their performance.
For more details and live results throughout the weekend, visit www.lavic.com.au