As the days get shorter and colder, it means that the winter season is now properly upon us.
Firstly I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the Sydney10, held at SOPAC on Saturday 5 May. Under beautiful blue skies we had not only the highest participant numbers in the history of the event, but also, in my opinion, the organisation of the races and the day itself reached a new benchmark. Click here for further details of the results and if you missed the race in 2018 for whatever reason, pencil in the first week in May for 2019.
The Sydney10 is one of the Waratah Series events which goes towards the winter Club point score. The Waratah Series kicked off in late April with the St George Classic and this weekend we see the running of one of the most enjoyable events of the year: the Waratah Series Relays at Miranda Park. This really is an event build on being part of a team, so grab your mates and get involved. All the details are here (and actually if you do just want to come for a run on your own, that’s fine too).
Please also be aware that for those who wish to maintain the track and field rage over the colder months, in 2018 Athletics NSW is introducing a calendar of winter meets. These are aimed at providing training/competition opportunities for athletes and the focus is on ANSW assisting Members Clubs with the administration of these meets. They aim to be relatively informal and we would welcome feedback from participants and even suggestions as to what events can be incorporated into these meets. Got a school carnival or Masters event coming up? Consider a tune up at an ANSW winter Track and Field meet, the calendar is here.
While the winter season is in full swing, we are already well into the preparation for summer 2018/19. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a bit of insight into what the process is for setting the calendar, as it is a crucial component of how athletes and coaches prepare for the months ahead. Firstly the ANSW Competitions Advisory Panel met on 26 March for a preliminary conversation aimed at reviewing the 2017/18 summer, including the satisfaction survey results. Topics discussed included:
- The potential for further OneSport events within the summer calendar
- The need to possibly extend the program for both Masters and Country Championships
- Whether it is feasible/desirable to look at combining NSW Open and Junior Championships (following the system being used in Victoria)
- What is the best format for Club Championships
The preliminary recommendations from the CAP were taken to a broader Members meeting, which aimed to ensure that the voices of all relevant stakeholder groups (athletes, both high performance and community, coaches, officials, Clubs, Masters, Little Athletics) were heard. Additional telephone calls were placed to make sure that feedback was thorough and representative. From there, the Competitions Advisory Panel reconvened on 7 May and produced a recommendations paper which was considered and approved in principle by the ANSW Board at its meeting last week. Overlaid against these conversations are, of course, ongoing negotiations with Athletics Australia around the championships component of the summer. It is impossible to give everyone what they want all of the time, however, I believe that is important that athletes be aware of how much work goes into these decisions. We look forward to sharing the draft calendar with you in the coming weeks. Finally, if you have an interest in competitions scheduling and policy, please contact our Competitions Manager, Ben Offereins, to get involved.
One strategic piece which I would like to quickly update you on. Although it is quietly happening in the background, we keep working towards the delivery of the objectives of the OneSport Strategic Plan. An important policy document in this regard was finalised recently – for those who are interested, please take this opportunity to review the OneSport Participation Growth Strategy on the ANSW website. If you have any thoughts on this strategy please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, congratulations to all those who were celebrated and recognised at the NSW Annual Awards Dinner. It was an emotional night for many reasons and overall a fantastic recognition of a great year for athletics in our state. It was a pleasure to be involved, and it was fantastic to see so many of our Commonwealth Games team (athletes and officials) in attendance.
Even more finally, I regret to advise that our much loved Membership Analyst, Jessica Drake, will be leaving ANSW at the end of the month. An AFL fanatic, Jess couldn’t resist an opportunity to take up a role with the Sydney Swans. I am grateful for what Jess has contributed over the past couple of seasons and proud that we have been able to help be a part of what will doubtless be a great career in sports administration. All the best, Jess!
As we move into the depths of winter, remember to stretch!