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New Zealand Development Tour

The New Zealand Development Tour is an exciting opportunity for Little Athletics Queensland (LAQ) athletes in the U14 and U15 age groups. It is an annual tour conducted by LAQ with athletes in the Team spending approximately 10 – 12 days travelling, training and competing together throughout the South Island of New Zealand, against local athletes from all over the Island. For athletes selected to go, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a team environment in a sport where individual performance is normally the focus.

LAQ has successfully conducted this tour for the past 15 years and both parents and athletes who have previously attended speak highly of the benefits of the tour, not just for their athletic development, but also their social and emotional development. Athletes of all skill levels are encouraged to apply, as this tour provides a development opportunity for all athletes, regardless of their skill level.

The Tour takes place in the January school holidays every year.

The Team & Selection

A team of up to 30 athletes will be selected for the Tour. Only LAQ registered athletes in the U14 and U15 age groups are eligible for selection as athletes must be either 13 or 14 years of age (as of the 31st December in the year of nomination) to compete.

The team will be selected solely on those athletes who have nominated. Should nominations exceed 30 athletes, the following selection criteria will be used as a guide. All selections are at the discretion of LAQ.

• Athletes who have displayed exemplary behaviour at Centre, Region and State competitions
• Where possible, an even split of male and female athletes
• Commitment to Little Athletics
• Longevity of service and involvement in Little Athletics
• If the above criteria have been satisfied, priority will be given to U15 athletes due to the U14 athletes being eligible to reapply the following year.

Placing at LAQ sanctioned events or being selected as a member of the LAQ State Team or previous Development Tours does not guarantee selection in this Team.

Experienced LAQ Team Management will accompany the athletes while on tour and will be in complete control of the athletes while they are away. Parents do not travel with the team.

The Competition

The Team takes part in the South Island Colgate Games. These games are run by Athletics New Zealand and are the largest on the New Zealand Children’s Athletics calendar. This competition is held over three days and is conducted under full IAAF Rules – not Little Athletics modified rules.

A full list of events and specifications can be found here.

Where possible, athletes will compete at a second competition while the team is in New Zealand. This competition is dependent on the location of the Colgate Games and the dates of our team travel. Note that a second competition is not feasible each year.


Athletes are required to fully fund themselves if they wish to be part of this Team. The cost is set each year depending on various budgeting factors (flight and accommodation costs, length of the trip, where the competitions are being held etc). Generally, the cost per athlete for the tour will be between $3,500 and $4,000. This amount covers the return airfares from Brisbane to New Zealand, airport and government taxes, airport transfers and ground transportation, travel insurance, 9 night’s accommodation, all meals and food for 10 days, competition fees, uniforms and tours / sightseeing activities.

The only other money that will be required from the athletes is personal spending money and the costs of a passport (if the athlete does not already have one).

2025 Tour

The 2025 Tour will take place from Thursday 9th – Monday 20th January 2025. Athletes will spend 12 days in New Zealand and compete at two competitions – the Lovelock Classic in Timaru and the Colgate Games in Christchurch.

Current U14 and U15 athletes (born 2011 and 2010) are eligible to nominate.

Information and a nomination form for the 2025 Tour will be available online mid-July.

Further Information

If you have any questions, please contact the LAQ Office on (07) 3892 9400 or