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President’s Report - August

Friday, 7 August 2015 | EO.AACT



President’s Report – August 2015

A warm welcome is extended to all Athletes, Coaches, Officials, Volunteers, and Administrators throughout Canberra and our surrounding NSW regional centres…

The focus in this report is on a very important item, the planned resurgence of our Clubs…read on for more information on this and other activities in the ACT athletics community…

1. Leadership

(i) Future of our Clubs – at the recent Board Meeting on 29 July members had the opportunity to discuss the future of our ‘club scene’ with the Presidents of our four ‘city’ clubs, North Canberra-Gungahlin, South Canberra-Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Queanbeyan.  This very valuable and constructive forum resulted in the following outcomes:

  • The Board reinforced its full support for the continued operation of all 4 ‘city’ clubs;
  • As from 1 October 2016 members will no longer have an option to register with Athletics ACT – members, including dual registered athletes, must join an affiliated AACT club;

·         Clubs will be required to provide a list of ‘club services’ which will be published on a new ‘Clubs’ page on the AACT website;

  • In order to boost membership numbers Clubs should consider approaching ‘training groups’ to join their club and approaching coaches to conduct formal training sessions for their club members; and
  • During the 2015-16 Summer T&F Series six (6) meets will be advertised as ‘club pointscore meets’ where specific events will be identified where athletes can score points. The Competition Committee will follow-up with the details for this item.

While the Board agreed that it was too soon to remove the option for athletes to register with Athletics ACT for the coming 2015-16 membership year, commencing 1 October, there was unanimous agreement that all clubs (both city and regional) need to be proactive in promoting their services and, in particular, developing key partnerships with Little Athletics Centres in their feeder area to ensure that junior athletes can identify a smooth pathway as they transition into senior athletics.


(ii) Vacant Positions

(a) Technical Manager we are still looking for someone to take on this absolutely key role following the retirement of Chris Timpson.  The role has been changed by removing the physical set-up work (now being done by the Equipment Officer and Event Officials) to enable the incoming officer to focus on the technical and maintenance aspects of the position.  If you would like to chat about the role please contact me at


(b) Transition Committee Memberthe Transition Committee has been operating for just over a year and doing great things in improving the pathway for our young athletes to progress from Little Athletics to Seniors.  A second AACT representative is sought to join Ingrid Takken and Brian Duval (LAACT) and Kirsten Verburg (AACT) working under the direction of our PDO, Mary Schumacher.  If you would like to chat about the role please contact me at



2. Participation

(i) Coach Forum – thanks to the efforts of Mary Schumacher and Ben Offereins 30 local coaches attended a very successful half-day ‘Coach Forum’ on Saturday 11 July.  Athletics Australia acknowledged the importance of this initial forum in Canberra with Simon Nathan, Craig Hilliard, and Jill Taylor all attending and providing excellent presentations.  The main objective of the forum was to seek input and commitment from ACT coaches for the 2015-16 Local Target Talent Program (LTTP).  Feedback has been very positive and it’s highly likely that this will be an annual event with a view to extending the forum to a full day in order to include educational workshop sessions for coaches.


(ii) Local Target Talent Program (LTTP) - the AACT Selection Committee has now agreed with the selected list of athletes for the 2015-16 program and invitations will be sent out by cob Monday 10 August.  Expressions of interest have already been sought to fill the four (4) ‘State Coach’ positions to cover the events groups of Sprints and Hurdles; Endurance & Walks; Jumps; and Throws.  Should you have any queries regarding the LTTP please contact our Participation and Development Officer, Mary Schumacher, at



3. Development

Participation & Development Officer (PDO) Update – here is short summary of Mary’s key recent/current activities:

  • Worked with Ben in conducting AACT’s first ‘Coach Forum’ on 11 July;
  • Working with the Transition Committee in following-up actions from the recent AACT/LAACT Transition Forum;
  • Actions being undertaken to finalise the Dual Membership review;
  • Finalising arrangements for the 2015-16 Local Talent Target Program (LTTP) where approximately 35 athletes will receive invitations; and
  • Working with Ben to promote athletics (both LAACT and AACT) at the up-coming Zone Primary and Secondary Schools carnivals.


Members are reminded that thanks to the efforts of Mary and the members of the Transition Committee a joint AACT/LAACT annual calendar, a key outcome from last year’s Transition Forum, is now available at



4. Competition

(i) 2015 World Athletics Championships – on behalf of all AACT members we send our very best wishes to Lauren Wells (400m Hurdles), Melissa Breen (100m) and Kelsey-Lee Roberts (Javelin) as they represent Australia against the world’s best athletes in Beijing from 22-30 August.


(ii) AACT Winter Running Series – the 6th and final event in our new ‘RunACT’ winter series takes place on Saturday 15 August, commencing near the Boat House Restaurant, Grevillia Park, Menindee Drive.  This is a joint event with the YMCA Canberra Runners Club and there will be three (3) races – 2/5/10km, the first race commencing at 12:45pm.  This series has been very well received and the last event at Dunrossil Drive, also conducted jointly with the CRC, attracted just under 100 runners.

Note: This series has received excellent support from Nick Walshe at ‘The Runners Shop’ – Nick has been a very loyal and long-standing sponsor of Athletics ACT and members are reminded that Nick now has a new outlet in the Gungahlin Town Centre.


(iii) Winter ‘High Noon’ T&F Series – our popular winter track and field meets continue this Sunday, 9 August, at the AIS.  Training for Officials in Starting, Photo Finish and Track is also being conducted on Sunday commencing at 8:45am.  Dates/venues for the 2 remaining meets are as follows:

  • 6 September at Woden Park and 20 September at the AIS



5. Promotion and Partnerships

(i) Affiliation Updates

  • ACTVAC - discussions are well underway for the ACT Veterans Athletics Club (ACTVAC) to become an affiliated club of Athletics ACT.  Vets members are now considering the proposal and a decision will be made by 31 August; and
  • Ginninderra Tigers – positive discussions are also underway for the re-emergence of a senior club from the West Belconnen area.  The affiliation proposal is expected to be put to members in September.


(ii) Woden Park Update

  • 2015 Australian Primary Schools Championships - School Sport Australia has confirmed Woden Park as the venue for the championships to be held from        4-7 December.  ACT Government is providing funding for shade covering of existing seating, plus additional seating, and negotiations are continuing regarding road closures, parking, and warm-up areas;
  • Athletics Storage Shed Extension - the new shed, to double the size of the existing shed, is scheduled for construction during the week commencing 10 August.  This timing coincides well with the relocation of the LAACT Office from Hackett to Woden Park on Friday 7 August; and
  • 2015-16 Summer Bookings – Phil Alchin has kindly offered to coordinate the summer bookings for competition and training with ACT Sport & Recreation on behalf of Woden LAC, AACT and ACTVAC given usage of Woden Park will ramp-up considerably during the up-coming track and field season.



In conclusion let me extend an invitation to all AACT members to provide feedback and comments on any of the material in this report, or any other matter affecting our sport.



Neil Boden


Athletics ACT

7 August 2015


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