Stalwart Vic Pascoe has been named the Ipswich Citizen of the Year for his services to the athletics community.
ON the back gate of Vic Pascoe’s ute, there is a sticker that reads “I Love Athletics”.
It sums up the man and explains why he was shocked to win the Ipswich Citizen of the Year award at the Ipswich Region Community Church in Flinders View last Friday.
“Was I ever,” Pascoe said.
“I was overwhelmed, really.”
The reason being, Pascoe has never expected nor sought praise for his services to athletics, as coach or administrator.
It has never been a duty or obligation, but a passion.
There is nothing else he would rather be doing.
Pascoe, born and bred in Ipswich, was an elite athlete before he was a coach and competed at Brisbane A grade level until he was 45.
He made national finals in the 400m in 1973-74 and ran second in the qualifying for the 1974 Auckland Commonwealth Games.
The man who beat him ran sixth in the Games final.
It was probably the most disappointing moment of his career but Pascoe shows no hint of regret or disappointment.
Rather, he is a man content with what his sport has given him and is happy to give as much back as he can now as coach and in his role as Ipswich District Athletics Association president.
It is that spirit of giving and sharing that gives Pascoe such pleasure and has endeared him to so many of Ipswich’s finest athletes over the past 30 years.
But the greatest reward Pascoe gets comes from seeing his young athletes achieve personal bests and the enjoyment that brings to both athlete and coach.
“They set little goals,” he said.
“Like when they compete at carnivals and try to get a medal.
“Others want to go that extra bit. If you can get them to state or national level, it’s wonderful to see.
“I don’t care who they are.
“My honest belief is to see that smile on their faces when they achieve and they do their best.
“Nothing is better than seeing a PB at championship level.”
One such athlete inspiring Pascoe at the moment is 15-year-old national sprint finalist Larissa Chambers.
“At the nationals (in December), she set a PB and was fifth in Australia,” Pascoe said.
“You should have seen the look on her face.
“It was great and really makes it worthwhile.
“It’s wonderful to see.”
The key to getting the best out of an athlete, according to Pascoe, is instilling them with self-belief and ensuring training and competition remain fun and relevant.
In that regard, he learnt much of what he knows from his long-time mentor Bill Paterson.
So it meant a lot when the 92-year-old rang Pascoe to congratulate him on his award.
“It was wonderful to get my former coach to ring and say, ‘Well done’,” Pascoe said.
“He seemed to be ahead of his time. A lot of his ideas are still being used today.
“Methods or training and drills, some have been proven scientifically.”
Chances are in future, if not already, the young Ipswich athletes of today will revere Pascoe much as he does Patterson.