Well the smell of liniment is in the air and getting stronger, so that means the summer component of our athletics calendar is underway. Let me first thank the Bankstown club for hosting the first Allcomers last weekend as well as the ANSW 10,000 metre state championships. The teamwork between the Bankstown club, ANSW staff, and ANSW officials, ensured a well-run event and it was a great start to our summer season.
We have exciting times ahead as the first Treloar Shield begins this coming Saturday at Blacktown. I’m particularly looking forward to the New South Wales State Relays, they are always a fun and competitive event and this year they are looking like they will be the biggest Relays that we have run to date.
We have a very busy calendar on track and field for the remainder of this year and going into 2019, including the NSW Country Championships being held in Newcastle along with Hunter Track Classic. This promises to be a memorable event because it also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Glendale facility. There will be investment by the Glendale Sports Complex, as well as the local council in making this a stellar event for the community and also athletics.
But of course, we are more than track and field. I promised you in previous messages and also stated at the ANSW AGM that there was an exciting announcement about a new running event in Western Sydney. I can now confirm that Run West will occur at the end of March 2019, and my vision is that this event will one-day rival the City 2 Surf in terms of numbers and also cultural impact.
RunWest is a joint-venture between Athletics Australia and Athletics NSW South Wales. We have already enlisted a number of key partners and external sponsors. Some of those include Rooty Hill RSL which now trades as a West HQ, WSFM, Channel 7, the NSW Government, NSW Rugby League, GWS Giants, Western Sydney Wanderers, and we are also in the final stages of appointing a major naming rights sponsor for the event.
RunWest is more than a recreational run. It is indeed, a festival. There are two runs; the first begins at Eastern Creek on the Sydney Motor Sports Track, where participants will run around the track then leave the facility and run through the new Western Sydney Zoo that will be opening in February next year. Once leaving the zoo, runners will then proceed through Western Sydney Parklands and following that run along Eastern Road to West HQ which will be the finish line. The length for this race will be 12 km. At the finish there will be access to number of different facilities such as the on-location massage therapists, bowling alley, food trucks, sporting stars, petting zoos, jumping castles, the PCYC, and sponsors tents. The location at the finish will be a festival atmosphere which will be an event of itself.
In addition, there will be a shorter race of 4km which will begin at the Blacktown International Sports Centre and again finish at West HQ.
RunWest has all the makings of a hallmark event. It supports our strategy for ANSW to shape all aspects of the sport of athletics. I sincerely believe that this will, in fact, be the equivalent of the City to Surf in Sydney’s west. There will be more details about this exciting landmark event as we get closer to the date.
I look forward to seeing you at a track, field, road, or park, somewhere soon.
Dr Peter Higgins
Chair - Athletics NSW
Pictured L-R Anna Fitzgerald (Director, Athletics NSW), Jane Swinhoe (Vice President, Athletics Australia), Peter Higgins (Chair, Athletics NSW), James Matthews (General Manager, RunWest), Kerry O'Keefe (Director, Athletics NSW).