Club’s exciting next generation preparing for national level

GROUP TO WATCH:  Regional competitors Joshua Carrick, Casey Bell, Breeanna Betzold (at front), and Erin Wright, Hayley Wright, Rochelle Vidler and Tori Langton (back row) are off to national championships.  Absent athletes:  Rhys Carr, Zac Caterson and Tara Chaplin.


SEEING dedicated athletes like Larissa Chambers and Miriam Peni excelling at international level provides immense satisfaction for regional coaches like Vic Pascoe.

Chambers has represented Australia at the Oceania titles and World Junior Championships with Peni impressing at the Commonwealth Youth Games and Pacific Games this year.

The duo has proudly represented Ipswich, improving and gaining valuable encouragement being part of the Ipswich and District Athletic Club.

However, Pascoe is just as excited about a new generation of teenagers continuing the Bill Paterson Oval-based club’s fine development traditions.

Ten athletes with immense promise are preparing to represent their schools, club, city and state at two major events next month.

Erin Wright and Joshua Carrick have qualified for the Australian Primary Schools Championships in Canberra from December 4-6.

Breeanna Betzold, Casey Bell, Hayley Wright, Rochelle Vidler, Tara Chaplin, Tori Langton, Zac Caterson and Rhys Carr are Ipswich club competitors heading to Melbourne for the Australian Secondary All Schools Championships over the same three days.

For Pascoe who has coached since 1980, watching the kids improve and progress is what coaching is all about.

“It’s amazing seeing some of the kids coming through,” Pascoe said.

“You never never know how good they can possibly be.

“I think they get a bit of inspiration from some of the girls like Larissa and Miriam doing so well internationally;  (they think) ‘hey we can make it also’.

“They just have to believe in themselves and do the best they possibly can.”

The Ipswich and District Athletic Club has also had a strong relationship with regional schools, supporting kids wanting to compete at club and school events.

Sprint coach Pascoe is thrilled when teachers encourage the children.

He’s also full of praise for his club coaching staff, which has some of Queensland’s most experienced mentors in Mick Moore, Theresa Stolberg, Ted Ruben and Andrew Wheeler.  They regularly coach young people in a range of disciplines.

The Ipswich club has welcomed a new coach in Brynn Williams.

That augurs well for the development of the next generation of regional athletes.

“It’s very pleasing and with other coaches being involved too,” Pascoe said.

“It’s not just the running side of it.  It’s the throws, the jumps and the walks.”

Among the exciting future prospects Pascoe is working with are Wright sisters Hayley and Erin.

Ever-supportive Pascoe is pleased with the girls who are moving into higher level competition after impressing at the Ipswich Little Athletics Centre.

“It’s amazing just having two from the one family so good at hurdling,” Pascoe said.

Hayley has qualified for the under 16 90m hurdles and is in the Queensland 4x100m relay squad for the nationals.

Erin, 12, is preparing for the multi-event tetrathlon (shot put, long jump, 100m and 800m) event in Canberra.

Other athletes to have come through Ipswich’s award-winning Ipswich Little Athletics Centre include Tori, Breeanna and Tara.

Tori has been a standout in junior ranks for a number of years, winning a bronze medal in discus at last year’s nationals.

Club newcomer Breanna is focusing on the 3000m walk.

Sprinter Tara has worked with Pascoe for the past six months, having overcome a number of challenges.

Pascoe has been pleased with the progress of all the national qualifiers, including “veteran” of the current representative team Vidler.

Although only 14, Rochelle continues to set records and impress against older athletes in her discus, hammer and pole vault competition.

“They are all good athletes,” he said.  “It’s a very good crop of athletes coming through this year.”


Satisfying work

IT’S not only seeing his athletes set personal bests and win medals that gives highly respected Ipswich coach Pascoe satisfaction.  It’s helping young people overcome challenges.

Pascoe cites 200m primary school runner Josh Carrick as an example.

“He is doing very very well,” Pascoe said.  “He’s a young fellow who had lots of problems running this year, being gangly so to speak, and he’s worked so hard over the past six months.

“He’s got himself up to running at nationals.

“It’s absolutely fantastic.”


Promising futures

Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitors preparing for national titles from December 4-6.

  • Australian Primary Schools Championships in Canberra:  Erin Wright (12yrs multi event ― tetrathlon),
    Joshua Carrick (12yrs 200m).
  • Australian Secondary All Schools Championships in Melbourne:  Breeanna Betzold (U/14 3000m walk);
    Casey Bell (U/14 long jump and triple jump);
    Hayley Wright (U/16 90m hurdles and 4 x 100m relay squad);
    Rochelle Vidler (U/14 discus, hammer and pole vault);
    Tara Chaplin (U/16 200m, 4 x 100m relay and Swedish Relay squad);
    Tori Langton (U/18 discus);
    Zac Caterson (U/14 discus, shot put and javelin);
    Rhys Carr (U/16 hammer throw).