September 2023 Newsletter

Published Tue 19 Sep 2023

Club Membership

Our parent organisation Athletics NSW has announced some changes to how memberships will work from now on.  Rather than registering for a particular season, memberships will instead last for 365 days.  This makes sense for those who join late in a season, for example: they will now get full value out of their registration.

New members can sign up with Athletics Wollongong NOW(NB - A "new member" is someone who hasn't joined an ANSW-affiliated club the past five seasons).

Existing members will have to wait until their current membership lapses, before they will be able to join up under this new means of operating.  ANSW have announced that registrations will be open for everyone from October 4th.  (EDIT: regos are open NOW)

While there have been some changes to the categories of membership, the means to register with Athletics Wollongong remains the same: just do it through the club website!  There are no competition numbers to collect, nor birth certificates to present, and you only need a uniform if you're representing AW away from our own Wednesday meets.


Red Book/Membership Guide

The 2023/24 Season Red Book - Athletics Wollongong's Membership Guide - is now available.  This handy resource tells you everything you need to know about the club and your membership.  It's always accessible via the Registration or Competition pages on the club website, and a link to it will also be included in your Welcome email upon registration.

New members who have already joined up: check out the latest version and see which club records are your target!


Athletics Wollongong's 2023/24 Summer Season Start-date!

We had previously advertised Wednesday, October 11th as the start-date of AW's Summer Season of weekly Wednesday meets.  Unfortunately, we were subsequently informed by Beaton Park that the track will be closed for cleaning that week.  This is something that needs to be done periodically to prolong the life of the track, using specialised equipment with limited availability. 

It's bad luck that it will impact our start-date, but it's work that needs to be peformed ahead of some big meets later in the season (including the Regional Youth Championships and the NSW Country Championships!).

Our NEW 2023/24 Summer Season start date will be October 4th - BUT note that it will not be a typical 'Warm-up Week' that will be kicking us off. 

As this is the same day that registrations are scheduled to open for returning members, we won't be able to know for certain whether we can even hold a meet, until that very day, in case of any delays or errors.  It's also a tough task to ask everyone to sign up in the few hours between registrations opening and our start time of 5:30pm (the need to hold a membership - even if only a Trialling one - is still a requirement of all participants). 

October 4th - at the track from 5:30pm - will instead be presented as a Meet 'n' Greet/Club Info Session/Intro to Events night.  Returning members are welcome to attend and ease themselves back on track under their own steam, pick up a uniform, or just say g'day to some other AW folk.  It'll probably be of more utility though to new members, who may be unsure about how 'it' all works. 

We'll be able to discuss membership and competition options, how AW meets operate, even how to safely participate and conduct events.  While this won't be the only opportunity for these types of discussions, having a chance to do so ahead of our first pointscore meet - on Wednesday, October 18th - means that that night will likely run a little smoother.


Tennis Club Social Dinner

Since the track is planned to be inaccessible on October 11th, members are invited to instead grab a social bite together from 6pm at The Wollongong Tennis Club - our neighbours in the Beaton Park Sporting Precinct and a sponsor of our club.  No bookings required.  If you feel like showing up: come along!

AW earns a percentage of the money spent at the bar by Tennis Club members who are our affiliates!

Tennis Club memberships start from as little as $10 for 1 year and $5 for age pensioners. To join up, complete your membership form - either available at the venue or online here: - noting 'Athletics Wollongong' as your club affiliation.  If you're an existing Tennis club member, ask them to affiliate your membership with us.  Submit your form and enjoy the savings!



As noted above, AW's Pointscore competition will commence on October 18th.  For those new to the club, this refers to the weekly fun and social meets held on a Wednesday evening.  To encourage participation throughout the season, athletes gain points for their age group finishing position in each event.  At Club Presentation, we then award trophies and prizes to those who finish atop the leaderboard.  (Everyone receives a Season Bests Certificate of their Wednesday performances, along with other categories being awarded; see last year's winners for an idea).

The competition program is available on the club website, with the order of events to be contested each week posted to the AW Facebook group the Sunday prior.


Track News

With an influx of athletes anticipated at Beaton Park over the next few weeks, the Leisure Centre has asked us to distribute some information to our members and associates:

  • Only athletes and helpers/officials are allowed on the inside of the track.  Spectators are to remain outside the perimeter fencing.  Note that AW requires parental assistance to run their children's field events.  If you want the best view: pick up a clipboard, a rake, or return a discus at the event!
  • Spikes are to be a maximum of 7mm on the track (9mm on the Long Jump and Pole Vault runways, and High Jump apron).  No needle spikes either.  If you are unsure on which ones to use, Beaton Park sell appropriate spikes from their front counter, at cost.


New Equipment!

In addition to the previously announced new throws equipment and the race clock for our distance runners - we are also getting some new starting blocks! 

These will be of the same type used at Sydney Olympic Park, giving our members valuable experience ahead of the major Championship events.  We anticipate them being available ahead of our first pointscore meet on October 18th.


NSW All Schools Championships

The NEW series of All Schools Championships start this week.  As previously reported, the All Schools are now split across three separate events:

Best of luck to all members participating!  We'll have daily threads in the club Facebook group so that we can track everyone's performances and lend our support.


Australian Cross Country Championships

Eight Athletics Wollongong members contested the recent Australian Cross Country Championships in the ACT.  This is the largest representation the club has had at this event for many years.

Bronze team medals went to Kaja Wolter (U14), Olivia Sivills (U20) and Danielle Szakacs (Open), as they were among the first six NSW competitors to cross the finish line. 

An individual gold medal went to Xavier Wilson, who contested the School Sport Australia 11 Boys Para division.

Full results are available HERE.


NSW Half Marathon Championships/ANSW Winter Premiership

It was no surprise to see Em O’Sullivan continue her dominance of the 40-49 division, taking out first place in the NSW Half Marathon Championships.

This was also the final event in the ANSW Winter Premiership, where competitors attained points through contesting various road and cross country events.  As an indication of how classy and prolific a competitor Em is: she finished 7th.  In the Open Women's division!

Athletics Wollongong came 29th overall in the club competition: let's aim for even higher next Winter season!


AW Winter Distance Pointscore

Athletics Wollongong's own Winter Pointscore competition has been finalised for 2023.  Held as part of the parkrun series of events, participants had their six best age-graded percentages across the comp window, averaged to determine the winners.

The winner of the Open category was Em O’Sullivan with an average of 85.23%.  Closely grouped behind her were Peter Kidd with 71.92%, Rob Bongiono with 71.01%, Scott Bazley with 70.62% and Anthony Howlett with 70.33%.

Also in the Open category, 'Greatest Number of parkruns Completed', went to Life Member Des Comer.  The Most Improved winner was Scott Bazley who went from 65.60% last year to 70.62% in 2023.  The lucky draw prize (with number of entries determined by numbers of parkrun attendances) was won by Olivia Sivills.

In the Juniors, the winner was Seattle Bazley with 69.51% and The Encouragement Award went to E.J. McHenry.  There were some impressive individual performances amongst the juniors, but not meeting the minimum attendance requirement meant that they didn't feature in the final results.

Cheers to outgoing Winter Competition Coordinator Ronald Perry, who has administered this pointscore from the outset.  He'll be handing over the reins to Geoff Stalker for next year.


Active Kids Vouchers

There have been some changes to the Active Kids vouchers this season.  Remaining the same is eligibility (school-enrolled children) and the procedure to use them (applying for a voucher on the Service NSW website and then entering the code during your online Athletics Wollongong registration).  Where it now differs is the amount ($50, down from $100) and how long the vouchers can last: there are still two available per year, but the first expired on June 30th, rather than it being able to be applied for the remainder of the year.

You can use your Active Kids Voucher to assist in purchasing your Athletics Wollongong membership.  Note that it has to be applied at the time of registration - it's not something that can be applied retrospectively.


Coming Dates


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