December 2023 Newsletter

Published Tue 12 Dec 2023

It's Steeplechase Week

We only do it twice a year: it's Steeplechase week!  This Wednesday we will hold all the record events, as well as a fun 800m 'Steeplesplash' for all ages and abilities.  Bring a change of shoes and a towel - and get ready for some fun!

Note that the main driveway entry to Beaton Park is currently closed on account of the tennis court works.  To access the Leisure Centre you'll need to enter via the alternate driveway on Gipps Street.  You can then either park on that side of creek and use the pedestrian walkbridge, or drive across the causeway and park in the regular area.


Christmas Special

While a free BBQ for members and their supporters is always welcome, the real star of our Christmas Special on December 20th is the Athletics Wollongong Gift.  This is a handicapped 100m race, with slower runners receiving a headstart such that everyone should be crossing the finish line at almost the same time.

The handicaps are based on sprint performances we have recorded but, given that we don't track weather conditions, effort levels, how athletes are feeling - and so on - they're never going to be exactly correct.  Instead, we just hope to have heats and a final where we can't determine who the winner might be until well into the race: the last metre or two would be ideal!

As it's handicapped, everyone has a chance to win!  Thanks must go to our returning sponsor Trueflow Plumbing who are putting up the prize purse of $150.  $100 goes to the winner, with $30 going to second, and $20 to third.

To participate in The Gift, there will be a signup sheet on the noticeboard that night.  Tick your name prior to kick-off at 5:30pm and you'll be in the field. 

Note: if you haven't had a sprint performance recorded then we won't be able to supply a handicap.  While you're welcome to participate in the heats, we'd just be guessing at an appropriate mark so it would be unfair if you were then allowed to progress through to the final.  (Last chance to get a time on the board this Wednesday!).  Marks will be advertised in the days prior to the event.

Last Christmas we debuted a Chocolate Santa 4x400m relay event that proved surprisingly popular; it'll also be making a return.  In the field, we'll catch up on any missed jumps and throws events. 

Following the Christmas Special we'll be off for the next two Wednesdays over the holiday period.


ANSW Office Closure

Athletics Wollongong won't be the only ones on hiatus, with the ANSW Office closed from 2pm on Friday, 22nd December until re-opening on Monday, 8th January. 


New Year Return

Athletics Wollongong will return for the second half of our season on January 10th.

Remember that for many, a new year means a new age group.  As we align with Athletics NSW rules (which in turn align with National and International ones) a Junior or Open participant's age is determined as at 31st December in the year of competition.  With a new year - 2024 - there is a new age calculation. 

For example, someone who turned 13 in 2023 (and thus has been in the U14 age group at AW's meets so far) will turn 14 at some point in 2024.  It doesn't matter when; their age is considered to be 14 for the entirety of the year (and so they will move up to the U16 age group at AW's meets). 

Everyone born in an even-numbered year - and under 30 years of age - will be in a new age group after the break.

Masters - those of 30 years of age or older - are different, of course.  Their age is based on that on the day of competition.  This is also a rule of their world governing body and basically because of the 5 or 10-year age groupings that they use: you don't want someone breaking a 50-54 year old record who isn't even 50 yet, for example.


NSW Country Championships

The best event on the calendar is returning to Wollongong!  The NSW Country Championships will be held January 19th-21st.  As it's in 2024, entries likely won't open until the year ticks over (or at least until after the last event of 2023) otherwise people may get entered in the wrong age group. 

The last time Country was held in Wollongong was 2018, so don't miss this opportunity to experience a rare, home event!

Part of the price of a home field advantage is that local clubs will be required to assist with set-up, pack-up, and helping out in the field throughout.  In the New Year we'll be looking to have a roster of helpers so that the burden might be shared as equally as possible.  Prepare to donate at least a couple of hours of your labour and just consider it a part of the entry cost. 



The new younger age membership categories were a bit of a surprise this season, along with the extra competitive opportunities that they afforded.  In fact, that all happened after we had already put in our uniform order.  There has been a heartening take up of our athletic offering but this has also meant that our stock of smaller-sized uniforms is now exhausted.  We've since put in a new order but have been warned that there may be delays.

While we'll seek alternative options with ANSW for upcoming events, we encourage members to share/borrow if/when the opportunity presents.  If you're yet to purchase a uniform and will require one, we recommend getting in early!


Australia Day Aquathon

With the New Year approaching, it means that the Australia Day Aquathon also can't be far off.  The club is a long-time supporter of the event, with the event coordinator Rob Battocchio being a former member of AW.  He graciously donates some money to AW, for us providing some volunteer labour at the event.  While we will predominantly be involved with athlete check-in once again, there may be other roles available in course marshalling and such.

It's a fun couple of hours with a great team, helping positive and excited participants.  If you'd like to help out, you can now submit your name to  We anticipate most roles being required from 6:15am to around 10:00am.  More info will be supplied as it becomes available.

This opportunity may be of particular interest to those intending on participating at the National Championships.  The club can provide financial support to representative athletes, but only do so if they have assisted at a club fundraising event.  With the Splash 'n' Dash on hiatus in 2024 and no Bunnings BBQ held this season - this is likely to be your only chance.  While we like the idea of the athletes themselves "earning" their assistance, we're happy to take parents or other representatives. 

Note that we'll need around 15 helpers, so even if you're not intending to apply for financial assistance, then we'll have a space for you.

National All Schools Results

The Australian All Schools Athletics Championships were held in Perth last weekend.  While the far-off venue may have meant we were shorter on numbers than usual, our members were certainly not short on quality performances.

Bringing home two medals was Chelsy Wayne, with a gold in the U17 discus and a silver in the shot put.  Joining her as a National Champion was Tayissa Buchanan in the U18 800m. 

Keegan Whitten soared through the 2m barrier and claiming a silver medal in the U18 High Jump.  While William Willis won a bronze in the U17 Discus.

It was an unlucky break for our 4th placegetters, with Peter Schippers on the wrong side of a countback in the U17 High Jump, and Fred Hamblin just missing out on the dais in both the U16 400m and as part of the NSW U16 Mixed 4x400m team.


Regional Championships

New to the calendar this season were the Regional Championships.  It was a fun introduction to the event and a great taster for the upcoming Country Championships.  Full results of our members are available HERE.

For those 7-12, it was an opportunity to qualify for the NSW Youth Championships.  Those who either missed a spot or the event itself, will still be able to qualify.  See the qualification process in the 'Entry Regulations' document here:, it includes the Country Champs as another opportunity. 

While it hasn't been officially announced, it seemed pretty clear that Athletics Wollongong was the Champion club of the event.  We soon hope to hear that many of our members also took out the Age Champion categories.


Coming Dates

  • 13th December, Athletics Wollongoing Pointscore, Round 9

  • 16th December, Treloar Shield Final, SOPAC

  • 20th December, Athletics Wollongoing Christmas Special incl. Trueflow Athletics Wollongong Gift

  • 23rd December, NSW Milers, Bankstwon

  • 23rd December, High Velocity #2, Campbelltown

  • 6th January, High Velocity, Illawong

  • 10th January, Athletics Wollongong Pointscore, Round 11

  • 13th January, Illawarra Track Challenge, Beaton Park

  • 17th January, Athletics Wollongong Pointscore, Round 12

  • 19th -21st January, NSW Country Championships, Beaton Park

  • 24th January, Athletics Wollongong Pointscore, Round 13

  • 26th January, Australia Day Aquathon

  • 27th-28th January, NSW Combined Events Championships, SOPAC

  • 31st January, Athletics Wollongong Pointscore, Round 14


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