Zack, Hannah and Sophie Roff, with their father David, enjoy the challenge of athletics and will sign up for the Gympie Amateur Athletics Club’s new season this Saturday at Albert Park. The club places an emphasis on family participation and having fun. This year, the club hopes to attract more new members and continue the success of the previous season.
Zack, Hannah and Sophie Roff, with their father David, enjoy the challenge of athletics and will sign up for the Gympie Amateur Athletics Club’s new season this Saturday at Albert Park. The club places an emphasis on family participation and having fun. This year, the club hopes to attract more new members and continue the success of the previous season. Renee Pilcher

Athletics club starts new season

AUSTRALIA’S next Cathy Freeman or Craig Mottram could be discovered on the Albert Park running track when the Gympie Amateur Athletics Club launches into a new season later this month.

Gympie Amateur Athletics Club president Leslie O’Connor said the bar was set high for the season ahead.

“We’re very excited about getting stuck into the new season,” she said.

“Last year was such a big success for the club and we would like to continue growing.”

To continue surging ahead of its competitors, the club will re-introduce graded running to its existing format.

Instead of grouping runners into age categories, graded running groups athletes of a similar standard to compete.

The idea is there will be more competition and opportunity for greater improvement.

O’Connor said graded running was trialled at the end of last season with great success.

“We had graded running seven years ago and trialled it late last season and it went well,” she said.

“It pushes everyone along because it increases the level of competition.

“It’s not all about winning but having this format allows for more personal improvement.”

It’s possible highly talented younger runners will wait for the starter’s gun against older competitors.

“It makes it very interesting,” O’Connor said.

Meanwhile, the Gympie club will hit the ground running in its new season by hosting the Annual Spring Carnival on September 12.

The carnival is the biggest event held by the Gympie club and boasts plenty of pulling power, attracting athletes from all over Queensland, New South Wales and, in the past, even a family from Tasmania.

While a chance for Gympie athletes to showcase their talents on a home track against testing competition, the carnival is also a major jewel in the club’s fundraising crown.

“We rely on the carnival a lot for fundraising, so it’s important,” O’Connor said.

“We do our best every year to make it a great success and we are all full of optimism.

“The athletes look forward to it each year and we’re hoping for strong nominations again.”

O’Connor encouraged existing members to return for another year and threw open the door for new members of all ages.

Two sign-on days will be held at Albert Park. The first will take place this Saturday and the second on August 21. Children new to athletics will have a chance to give it a go, with both sign-on days running from 10am to 2pm.

O’Connor said the aims for the new season were quite simple.

“Family fun and fitness is all part of our focus,” she said.

Anyone with further questions about the Gympie Amateur Athletics Club and the sign-on dates can contact president Leslie O’Connor on 0400 276 552.

Gympie Times


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