Di Knobloch has been volunteering for local Little Athletics for more than 10 years. “Basically I do it for the kids, to see the kids enjoying and participating,” says Di.
Like so many local volunteers, Di is one busy person. She owns and operates Raleigh Coffee and Eats with her husband Ben, a business that operates 6 days a week, 7am-7pm. However, in the absence of enough volunteers, Di will continue to forge ahead with Little A’s. “All of our local sporting clubs have suffered due to combined effects of fires, floods and Covid-19. It’s more important than ever to help. Our kids are struggling to adapt, especially the ones that are committed to their sports.”
Di, Ben and their three children relocated to Urunga in 2009. “I wanted to help my children to settle in. Getting involved in a local sporting group seemed the logical step. We heard about Urunga Little Athletics through the school. My youngest Caleb had just started Kindy at Urunga Public. That was his first season with Little A’s and he is now U17 within the club.”
Midway through that first season Di became club Secretary. The following year she was nominated as President, a role she has kept for the past nine years. During this time the Bellingen and Urunga Clubs amalgamated and is now known as the Urunga Bellinger Valley Little Athletics.
Di has seen first hand the benefits of Little A’s for the kids. Despite which school in the Shire the kids attend, they come together in the Club like a family. They find amazing ongoing supportive friendships, especially when we compete away. Everyone involved will come together and support all of our athletes. Proudly I can say that our local Little Athletics Club is about family. My motivation is to keep it as a family environment. Competing is important but it’s also important to set realistic goals for the kids. It’s not about winning but rather each each child reaching for their best. I love the philosophy of Little Athletics,” says Di.
Di has also been Secretary of the Urunga Recreation Management Committee since 2013. This committee manages the Recreation Fields in Urunga and works with the local Sporting Clubs. “As a committee we have worked on many projects and grants, supporting the local clubs with their grants for upgrades of facilities. The combined efforts of this committee and local sporting Clubs has achieved the run up for the long jump for Little A’s and the new cricket nets installed by Urunga Cricket. We have ensured the provision of safe facilities for our younger generation to play and enjoy and have helped to provide the community with facilities for all Sporting Clubs and Fitness groups to utilise. “
Di sees her volunteering roles as an essential community service and would like to encourage others to come forward and help. “As a community we need to help where ever possible. Our sporting grounds, clubs and halls need to be nurtured for future use by the young ones coming through. We need to lead by example. I’ve seen how this works, as some of our younger sports people then go on to volunteer their time. Basically it’s about the younger generation who need the guidance, especially in smaller communities,” says Di.
For more information about Urunga Bellinger Valley Little Athletics CLICK HERE