Olympian pays a visit
YOUNG members of the Gympie Amateur Athletics Club have the edge on their opponents after a special coaching clinic with three-time Olympian Justin Anlezark earlier this week.
The clinic was held at Albert Park Thursday afternoon and Anlezark, who has retired from athletics this year, was on hand to give expert coaching on discus and shot put.
Anlezark is a respected figure in Australian athletics having represented Australia three times at the Olympic Games for shot put and being a former national champion in discus.
The former Olympian was in Gympie thanks to his sponsors, Amalgamated Pest Control, helping him travel throughout regional areas to inspire the next generation of Australian track and field athletes.
Anlezark said he wanted to give back to the sport.
“I’ve just retired this year and I have been getting out visiting communities as my way of giving back,” he said.
“Other sports such as football send players out to promote the game so I am happy I am able to do something similar to boost the profile of athletics.”
Anlezark said he wanted Gympie’s young athletes to know what was possible if they put their minds to it.
“I lived in a country town growing up and I just want the kids to know there are opportunities out there and they can aspire to do what I have been able to do,” he said.
“Olympians are real people who are not born but created through hard work.”
Anlezark was a big hit with the Gympie athletes as he passed on his knowledge from years of competing.
He said it was crucial young athletes got the technique right early on to maximise their chances of fulfilling their potential.
The national champion said he had plans of returning next year with a follow up clinic to build on the Gympie athletes’ skills.
“I look forward to it,” he said.