March 2024 Newsletter

Published Fri 29 Mar 2024

ANSW and LANSW announce partnership

Big news this week with Athletics NSW and Little Athletics NSW announcing a partnership next season.  While it doesn't quite go into the nitty gritty of how it will all work, there is some broad info available here:

For an independent view - and some background regarding why this partnership has been pursued - Inside Athletics has an article (and links to other related ones written over the last couple of months) here:

While lacking detail, the implication from what info has been released is that Athletics Wollongong's Wednesday meets will remain relatively unchanged: competition will continue to be offered to those who are presently participating with us. 

There may be some alterations necessary to how the club operates however and we anticipate this to become clearer as we approach the next track and field season.  We will communicate this to members once it becomes known.

At this stage, it appears that there will be little immediate change to our core operations, nor for the majority of our members.  With a longer-term view, there is cause for optimism regarding our chosen sport.  Success or otherwise in this approach will only be able to be determined in the fullness of time.


Summer Season Wrap-up

Athletics Wollongong's Summer Series of weekly Wednesday meets have concluded for Season 2023/24. 

All members who participated will receive a certificate with their best performances attained at club, while those who made the minimum attendance requirement will also be up for a pointscore award.  Other Wednesday-specific awards include those for: broken records, 'Best Performance on a Wednesday' (judged by multi-event scoring and age scaling), and Most Improved (two categories: new members and returning athletes).  These will be among the prizes distributed at our Club Presentation Night; see the next article for more information on that.

Though there were a few sub-optimal nights weather-wise, only one was impacted enough by thunderstorms that no events were able to be held.  Thanks to those who came along during Season 2023/24 and sampled track and field, Athletics Wollongong-style. 

It's quite an undertaking putting an event on each week so cheers to everyone who picked up a rake, returned a discus, or wielded a pencil this season.  A particular shout-out to those who took on more than their fair share: Linus Sivills, Barry McClelland, Howard McGarry, Ron Perry and Ros Perry.

Our End of Season Special was the perfect farewell to the season, with the highlight being the running of the 60m Skins Champion of Champions.  With thanks to Anthony Howlett and his friends at FitTech Studios, a prize purse of $300 was for up-for-grabs in this test of fitness.  To qualify for the money round, participants had to survive five handicapped 60m races with low recovery; in each of these, the last across the line were knocked out from the remaining runs.  Taking the cash from those who qualified for the one-and-done handicapped final was James Tebbutt ($150), Larissa Murray-Allen ($100) and Casey Taylor ($50).



The Club Presentation Night will be held on May 4th at Wollongong Tennis Club, from 6pm.  It's an opportunity to say farewell to the season we have shared together and congratulate your clubmates on their achievements (and they on yours!). 

To see what awards you are eligible to receive, check THIS LIST.  Note that the list doesn't include all awards!  Those attending the Junior and Open National Championships will receive a small keepsake and some other winners will remain a secret until the night: nominees for major awards will be announced in the lead-up to add to the buzz, while 'Best Performance on a Wednesday' and 'Club Spirit' award winners will be saved up as a surprise.

It's a fun and light-hearted evening and to further sweeten the deal: everyone who attends is up for a lucky door prize!  We aim to be long gone by 8pm - breaking for some light refreshments midway through to keep our energy levels high. 

To aid with catering, we're asking for RSVPs.  You can indicate your attendance at Presentation now!  Go to the club website event listing, click the RSVP button and enter your name and how many people in your family will be coming along.  There's no need to log in (that just pre-fills the data fields) and if there are multiple club members in your family, then just one RSVP covering everyone is fine.  (NB - Please let us know if you indicate you're coming and you subsequently can't make it; we're charged per head for the food). 

Finally, we don't hold the club's Annual General Meeting at our Presentation; that'll be in June/July (exact date still to be determined).  So no fear that we'll sign you up on the night while you're merry and your defenses are down, though we may ask you to give it some thought.


Tennis Club Membership

As per above, the venue of our Presentation Night is the Tennis Club - our neighbour in the Beaton Park sporting precinct.  The T.C. is a sponsor of Athletics Wollongong.  One leg of our deal is that we are reimbursed a percentage of purchases made across the bar and bistro by Tennis Club members who have noted an affiliation with our club.

We strongly encourage our members to also join - and patronise - the Tennis Club.  WIth a one year membership there costing only $10 ($5 for student or pensioners), you'll be most of the way to earning your money back in savings just at Presentation.

Membership forms are HERE and can be submitted anytime at the Tennis Club bar, or their reception during office hours.  Remember to note 'Athletics Wollongong' in the Sponsorship Group section.


Winter Program

Our track and field meets are on hiatus for the next six months, but our Winter program is just about to kick off!  Note that there have been a few changes to seasons' past.  While we will continue to integerate our pointscore with parkrun, we have now nominated a specific venue for each round.  This encourages participants to experience each of the local courses (Sandon Point, North Wollongong, and Killalea) as well as providing more of a 'club' experience than an individual one. 

The program will also integrate better with the ANSW calendar, with Championship weekends not having a corresponding parkrun round.  We hope that this encourages even greater club representation at these events, particularly those to be held locally: the NSW Short Course Cross Country Championships (Dapto) and the NSW Cross Country Championships (Nowra).  ANSW have recently released their Championship program, which you can view HERE.

Finally, for the first time in a very long time, Athletics Wollongong will hold our own cross country event, with a mid-Winter get-together scheduled for Cordeaux Dam on June 29th.  This former venue of the NSW Road Relay Championships is also a great place for a picnic and we'll be sure to put the BBQs there to good use.

More details on AW's Winter Distance Pointscore is available HERE, while the calendar for the season is available HERE.


National Championships

Nine of our Masters clubmates are currently in Tasmania, contesting the first of the National Championships.  They'll be flying the NSW flag across the Easter weekend, with our remaining members aiming to match their feats in Adelaide, April 11th through 19th.

You can cheer them on and keep abreast of all the results in the respective posts in the AW Facebook group.  At the conclusion of each event we'll update the Results page on the club website.


National Teams

While the Paris Olympic Games may be the highest representative opportunity for athletes this year, they aren't the only chance for our members to represent Australia.  Nominations are closing on April 5th for the Oceania U18 & Open Championships teams, to be held in Fiji this June, along with the U20 World Championships in Peru this August.

Several of our members are in the running for the latter, with the club preparing to hold a fundraising event for those who make the team.  Prepare for more details once our Aussie reps have been announced, likely within a month or so.


State Champs - Masters Results

The first NSW Championships of the season were held for the Masters age divisions (i.e. 30+).  Athletics Wollongong had 22 representatives, who collectively brought home 16 gold medals, 18 silver, and 18 bronze.  Our 2024 Champions are:

  • Aaron De Jager (40-44 110m Hurdles, 400m Hurdles)
  • Anthony Howlett (55-59 400m Hurdles, High Jump, Javelin)
  • Emma O’Sullivan (45-49 1500m, 5000m)
  • Iain Macfarlane (40-44 400m)
  • Justin Miller (35-39 100m, 400m)
  • Justin Rejske (45-49 Steeplechase)
  • Montse Ros (45-49 Pole Vault)
  • Natalie Heywood (45-49 Javelin)
  • Peter Kidd (60-64 300m Hurdles)
  • Rebekah Power (45-49 400m), and
  • Scott Bazley (55-59 5000m)

Full results from all of our AW members are available HERE.


State Champs Junior Results

Next up were our Juniors.  There were an incredible 47 AW reps, collecting 13 gold medals, 11 silver, and 7 bronze.  Our 2024 Champions are:

  • Delta Amidzovski (U20 100m Hurdles, LJ)
  • Chase Grant (U18 400m)
  • Chelsy Wayne (U18 Discus, Shot Put)
  • Maiya Hewitt (U16 LJ, TJ)
  • Savannah Wiki (U14 Shot Put)
  • Sidney Bartle (U14 Discus, Hammer)
  • Xavier Wilson (U15 Para Discus)
  • Zach Gillett (U15 LJ), and
  • Zoe Daniels (U20 Discus)

Full results from our Junior members are available HERE.


State Champs Open Results

12 AW members took on the tough NSW Open Championships, with a surprising number of medallists:

  • Chelsy Wayne - Discus - Gold (defending her title)
  • Olivia Sivills - 3000m Steeplechase - Bronze
  • Tierney Dunne - 400m - Bronze

Full results from our Open members are available HERE.


State Champs Youth Results

For the first time, ANSW held State Championships for those in the U8 to U12 age divisions.  Unlike for the other Championship events, participants had to qualify for the event via a top-two placing at the Region Championships or hold the next best performances on record.  17 AW members made the cut, together collecting 5 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze. 

Those gold were claimed by Jarrah Flack (U10s: 100m, 200m and Long Jump) and Harlow Pate (U10s 100m and 400m).

Full results from our Youth members are available HERE.


NSW/Australian Mountain Running Championships

The State (and National) Mountain Running Championships were held last weekend as part of the Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge in Orange.  The full course extends over 11km, with plenty of ascending and descending along the way.  Taking out 4th place in the Open Women's race was Em O'Sullivan. 

The inaugural Junior race, held over a shorter 5.5km course, featured AW's Robert Shannon, who brought home a silver medal.


Sydney Track Classic

The Track Classic season completed with the Sydney edition last weekend.  Athletics Wollongong had our highest number of representatives at this event, which once again proved to be a great showcase of our sport:

  • Charlize Colwell - 100m Para Ambulant
  • Delta Amidzovksi - 100m Hurdles
  • Tayissa Buchanan - 800m
  • Tierney Dunne - 400m

Results are available HERE.


Stawell Gift

Australia's richest footrace is on this Easter weekend at Stawell in Victoria. 

Over $155k is up for grabs, with the lion's share of that in the Men's & Women's handicapped 120m races: each of those winners will take home $40,000!

All three days of the Stawell Gift carnival will be broadcast on 7plus, with Easter Monday finals live and free on Seven (from 11:30am). 7Plus schedule:

  • Easter Saturday: 9.25am - 4.30pm
  • Easter Sunday: 9.25am - 6pm
  • Easter Monday: 9.35am - 4.30pm

A few of our clubmates have thrown their hat into the ring: Maya Francis, Michael Doodson, Mitchell O'Neill and Reece Gibbins.  Best of luck - and don't forget us once you're rich and famous!


World Leading Age Time

A feature race was held at Athletics Wollongong earlier this month with an attempt to top the fastest 300m time on record.  AW's Harlow Pate is now the holder of the 9 year's girls' mark, with 43.25s!


Coming Dates


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