While winter can be seen as an ‘off-season’ for athletics, nothing could be further from the truth as there are a variety of events currently taking place across the spectrum of our sport.
At the pinnacle, the Para and World Athletics Championships in London give our elite athletes the opportunity to take on the best in the world. In the case of James Turner (200m, 400m & 800m) and Scott Reardon and Evan O’Hanlon, they have already conquered the best competition to take away gold. We have also seen medals for Erin Cleaver, Angie Ballard and Guy Henly.
For the full reports please check the ANSW website.
The action in London continues on 4 August with 17 NSW athletes competing in the World Championships. We wish all those competing for Australia the best of luck.
At Club level the Waratah series continues its strong season. Most recently we saw 485 athletes at the XC Street Relays at Ourimbah (compared with 459 athletes last year). This followed a fantastic day at the XCC Short Course where we saw traditional ANSW age groups combined for the first time at Rydalmere with the Little Athletics NSW Cross Country Championships. In my mind these aligned ‘OneSport’ events go from strength to strength and I thank the Little A’s community for the added dimension that they are bringing. Looking to the future, the first weekend in September sees the running of the Sydney Half Marathon at Sydney Olympic Park, so get training. Please remember that your full membership of ANSW entitles you to free entry in any of the races offered as a part of the Sydney Half program. Click here to register.
It has also been a busy time for our walkers. Congratulations to Jay Felton and Cheryl Webb in particular for their victories in the NSW Long Walks Championships.
This year also sees the introduction of a Hunter Winter Hit Out series. ANSW is committed to improving the value proposition for members in the Hunter and a winter track and field series provides some new opportunities for athletes based north of Sydney. I congratulate Bron White and all involved in getting this initiative off the ground. We will also be strengthening the ANSW presence in the Hunter within the summer track and field program, including the hosting of the state 10km Championships at the newly re-laid Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre in Newcastle.
Speaking of the summer, ANSW has released a provisional summer calendar available here. While one or two further changes may be necessary, this provisional calendar will hopefully provide assistance for athletes and coaches looking to prepare their programs. We look forward to releasing event grid details shortly. This summer will also see a continuation of the Duals program pioneered this time last year. This program aims to connect every age eligible Little Athletics member with their local ANSW Club, and to build lifelong pathways within the sport of athletics. This is an ambitious goal which will take time and a lot of hard work. I am greatly encouraged though, when I read things like the below, from the Annual report of one of our Members:
It is always easier to do ‘what we did last time’. I thank all of our Clubs for embracing the challenges involved in trying to build a stronger future for the sport.
Finally, within the office we are saying goodbye to two senior members of the team. After 6 years at ANSW our Competitions Manager Brent Hayward is taking his young family back home to New Zealand. Also moving away is our Participation Manager, James Matthews, in his case to take up a national role with Athletics Australia. It’s exciting to see James develop his career within the sport and we look forward to following his progress. I thank both Brent and James for their contribution to ANSW over many years. We are currently in the process of recruiting for both roles. There are big shoes to fill and transitioning staff always presents challenges, however I can say that the calibre of applications is exceptionally high and I look forward to hopefully being able to confirm some new arrivals in next month’s note.
I look forward to seeing you at an ANSW event in the near future,