This week’s column is possibly one of the saddest and hardest that I have written over all the years that we have published Track and Field. Our club Illawarra Blue Stars farewelled a former member in Braeden Gibbins, after his life was cut short by a fatal car accident. The response to “farewell” Braeden, by past, former and current members and supporters of the club was in respect of how highly this likeable young man was held. His pleasant nature, ready smile and his great respect of others was the makeup of a young man, who on many occasions at the track, allowed me to call him by his twin brother’s name Reece, especially in recording and if Reece had beaten him over the short sprint.
Thank you to all members who shared Braeden’s farewell, it was a fine gesture not only to Braeden himself but also to the family of Jodie, Cassie, Reece and Isabella. Our club members and supporters pay their respects to the family and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they battle the loss of a delightful young man, who will be remembered by us all.
The club’s 3rd round of winter competition will be held this Sunday at the Kerryn McCann Athletic Centre. The cross country run will commence at 10.00 am. Competitors will meet at the track and then moving over to Wiseman’s Park run for the 2.5km and 5km runs. This run is a little different with varying terrain but a course that will suit the speed runners as well as the long distance competitors. The track meet will then commence at 10.30 a.m. with the following events for all ages: 60m, 150m, javelin, walk, triple and long jumps. Anyone who wants to test themselves outon the track come along and join us this Sunday.
Club cross country runners will then take to the short course cross country titles to be held on the Kembla Joggers’ course at West Dapto on 30 July (entries through athletics NSW).
Sunday 14 August will see IBS Cross Country moved to the beautiful Minnamurra course commencing at 10.00 am. One of the toughest courses it is also one of the best and tests out all members.
Blue Stars will be adding some new events this coming summer season but watch this space for some great events coming up. One that will please master’s athletes is the Pre World Championship meet to be held at Kerryn McCann Athletic Centre on Sunday 9 October. Open to all athletes, the event will cater for all ages but will play an important part for masters’ athletes as they finalise their preparation before heading to Perth for their title event.
Once again the club will host the Illawarra Track Classic in January, an event that has attracted some of the best athletes in the State vying for the State title over the 60m and 1 mile.
ANSW New ideas
New ideas are also floating through from Athletics NSW and our club is prepared to take on the challenge. More details will be announced shortly on registration dates and also Little A’s Dual registration system.
Congratulations to Darrin James, who recently took on the Stadium Stomp at the Cricket Ground in Sydney on Sunday. Carrying a damaged knee, Darrin took on 6,300 stairs with no walking, and survived - a great effort in itself.
Another athlete Julie Steele deserves mention for her challenge of running in Greenland. Julie is preparing herself with trail runs and has done very well in these events, but the challenge in October is going to be her big one. Not only does she have to run, she has to wear an outfit that any army officer would label as heavy. What a challenge in this demanding climate.