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ACT Throwers Club

History of the ACT Throwers Club

My name is Les Bottles, an Elite Performance Throws Coach with the Australian Track & Field Coaches Association. I started the ACT Throwers Club in approximately 1982, originally I was based at the AIS Throwing Field and in 2000 I decided to look for a more amenable  situation, due to restraints put on my athletes e.g.: entry fees, locked gates plus many other issues I decided to move, along with some other members of the Throwers Club I approached the Department of Sport and Recreation and pleaded my case for the need of another throwing field in the ACT, and I was given a number of grounds, classed as non managed grounds to look at, and Warramanga Oval was the ground chosen.

We immediately started fund raising through sponsorship and along with help from Sport & Recreation Warramanga became a reality in 2001. We firstly had the cages complete with circles erected along with the Shot Putt area but due to problems with materials and bad workmanship the first Javelin Runway fell apart after three years, by this time I was by myself as all committee members were either retired from Athletics or just not interested, so I again approached Sport & Recreation and after a lot more fund raising along with sponsorship, plus I was told of a community assistance programme being run by the Quambi Detention Centre, that allowed detainees to put something back into the community, so I approached the centre and with the help a number of the inmates, the Javelin Runway was laid with concrete donated by Boral Country Concrete & Quarries, then the new rubber Javelin Runway was laid over the top, the Throwers Club has and continues to help young and old athletes that do not have a Coach.

I have a proud record of achievements since I began the club all those years ago, many nationally ranked athletes have come from this club and many other promising athletes continue to do so, I have included some information regarding the results of past and present athletes, I am very proud to state that the ACT Throwers Club has some of the best throwers in the ACT, as the enclosed information shows there has been at least one No. 1 Nationally Ranked athlete for the best part of the life of this club, the club has also produced along with Paralympian Murray Goldfinch who attainted World Champion status in both Discus and Shot Putt at the 2005 INAS-FID World Cup Championships help in Canberra, Murray went on to defend and retain the Shot Putt title but unfortunately lost the Discus title at the INAS-FID World Championships help in Brazil in 2007, another Paralympian by the name of Michael Dowling an above the knee left leg amputee represented Australia at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics in Discus.

One athlete Greg Mace toured Great Britain, Lisbon and Portugal as a member of the 1994 Australian Junior Team, then in 1993 Amanda Butler toured Japan in 1989, she was also chosen as part of an Australian Junior Team, they both acquitted themselves admirably , the 2000 Australian Olympic Hammer representative Mr Stuart Rendell began his career as a Discus Thrower with me and was highly ranked as an U16, 60 metre plus thrower, he later changed to Hammer.

Greg Mace, Amanda Butler and Terry Martin another throwers club athlete still hold records in the ACT. Amanda also qualified to compete at the 1989 Commonwealth Games Trials held in Sydney she performed well but unfortunately did not reach the standard required.

In February 2018 I had the pleasure of meeting and coaching a beautiful lady by the name of Brigid Baker, Brigid held the rank of Major in the Australian Armed Forces she served in Afghanistan as well as other deployments throughout her military career. She came to me as a member of the  Australian team to compete at the Prince Harry inspired Invictus Games for wounded, injured and ill service personnel, to be held in Sydney Australia in October 2018.

Brigid’s Army career was cut short due to health problems acquired due to her Military Service; these health problems saw her medically discharged with PTSD among other things.

We only had 8 months prior to the Invictus Games to train but she was only too happy to put in the hard work. I devised a training plan and we got to work, Brigid’s events were Shot Putt and Discus plus Power Lifting, (the Power Lifting was Coached by a Power Lifting Coach).

Brigid won the Women’s Shot Putt with a throw of 13.57 giving her the first Gold Medal, she followed this with a first place in the Women’s Discus and her second Gold Medal, and Brigid also competed in the Women’s Heavyweight Power Lifting where she received a Bronze Medal.

Brigid is now in training to compete in Tampa Bay Florida USA in June 2019 at the Warrior Games, then back home and back into training for the 2020 Invictus Games to be held in The Hague Netherlands in 2020 where she will defend her 2018 victories.

I have been so proud to be able to help one of Australia’s Service Personnel in her quest for victory, I was so happy to be able in a small way to say thank you for your service.

Another of my athletes to reach National ranking was Ruan Hennig, he won Gold in the U14 Hammer with a throw of 55.18 using a 3kg Hammer and a PB at the Australian All Schools Championships help in Cairns in December 2018 ranking him No. 1 Australian U14 Champion, then in April 2019 Ruan achieved a third place ranking at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships held in Sydney where he threw a 50.19 PB in the U15 Hammer throw with a 4kg Hammer ranking him No. 3 Australian U15 Bronze Medallist.

This is only a brief insight into the past 37 years, there are many more very fine performances not included here, although it is only a brief look at the ACT Throwers club, it is something that I am very proud of, especially the many young and exciting people I have worked with in the pasdt and continue to work with today.

The Throwers club primarily caters to athletes from 14 years onwards, but I do offer assistance to younger athletes and have done so from day one, I also have a close relationship with the Masters Athletics club, my aim is to build a strong and sound base of throwers in the ACT and surrounds, I have also actively worked with local Schools, Colleges and Universities with their athletics programmes over the years, mainly coaching throwers as well as teaching the University PE students the Basics of throwing.

Les Bottles


ACT Throwers Club

7th June 2019

Coaching Times

Mondays  to Friday:  3.30pm to 5pm.     Sundays 9am to 11am

These times and days can be flexible, for all enquiries, please call Les Bottles on 0401520767.


Phone:        +61 (02) 6253 4420
Fax:           +61 (02) 6253 4417

ABN:  51 215 120 626