Merry Christmas everyone.
Although we are not yet half way through the Summer season, there have already been some outstanding performances by Auckland athletes. We saw many successes at the recent National Secondary Schools Championships. Some of the outstanding performances include,
- Tanya Murray winning the Javelin with a throw of almost 49m,
- Connor Bell adding 4 metres to the record and breaking a 27-year-old record in the discus,
- Olivia McTaggart surpassing the World Junior Qualifying height in Pole Vault and adding 20cm to break the previous record,
- Anthony Nobilo winning the senior boys hammer and throwing over 75m,
- Maddison Wesche creating history in the senior girl’s shot put by winning her fifth consecutive schools title in a single event
These performances won the athletes their respective events, however several other athletes had wins and placings in many other events. The future looks very promising for these athletes. I would also like to congratulate the athletes who competed in the heats and may not have made the finals or placed. We need you - we need and want these athletes as much as we need those who are winning today.
Not all athletes develop at the same rate and some athletes may not yet have found the event they will excel in later on.
Last weekend we held the highly successful Northern Regional Championships. This is an event we would like to continue hosting and is one that I look forward to having more Auckland athletes competing in. In this respect I was disappointed that the Auckland and Counties Manukau Trans-Tasman athletes were training elsewhere in Auckland while the Championships were being held. We need to be more unified and supportive of our own events and I would hope that in future years Team coaches will use such events as the Northern Region Championships as competition events for athletes.
Today has seen Olympian Alana Barber win the Women’s 20,000 Metre Race Walk Invitation Open event in Melbourne in a time of 93:36.
These events, the competitions, the performances by all athletes, the sight of athletes coming back from injury – these are all wonderful performances and personal achievements. Let’s see more of these in the New Year.
After Christmas and in the New Year, we will see many more performances and competitions, starting with the North Island Colgate Games, then the Trans-Tasman Carnival and the Inter-Provincials, all being held in Auckland in January. Other events include the Oceania Masters Track & Field Championships, the Athletics NZ Classic series of meetings and International events, followed by the Australian Championships, our own Auckland Championships and the Athletics NZ National Championships, before the main event, the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
There are a lot of competitions and events to come in the second half of the summer season. It would be wonderful to see more performances like those I have mentioned. Use the Christmas break to continue your training and preparation for your events … so that means you can eat plenty of Christmas cake, hams and turkey and ice-cream at Christmas!
To all athletes, coaches, officials, club administrators, mums and dads, please have a jolly and blessed Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. On behalf of the Athletics Auckland Board and Staff, I look forward to welcoming you all back and seeing you all in the New year.
The office will re-open on Monday 8th January 2018
On behalf of the board and staff