Top Ipswich athletes enjoy break before major events

FUN TIME:  Good natured Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitors have fun at their Christmas break-up at Bill Paterson Oval.


THOSE involved with the Ipswich and District Athletic Club have for years prided themselves on improvement and achievement.

This year, club competitors have excelled again with three athletes contesting the World Junior Championships and a spate of state and national level successes.

Larissa Chambers, Cassie Purdon and Filoi Aokuso flew the Ipswich flag proudly on the world stage in America.

Recent medal hauls at national championships in Sydney and Tasmania were backed up by a terrific haul of five gold and seven silver medals at this month’s Queensland relay championships.

The Ipswich club’s winning relay teams were the under-20 girls (4x400m), under 20 boys (4x200m), under 18 girls (discus), and under 14 boys and girls discus.

Silver medals were collected in the open women’s 4×200, 4x100m and long jump;  the under 20 girls long jump;  under 20 boys 4×800;  under 18 girls shotput;  and under 16 girls 4x200m.

However, it’s not all hard work and serious competition at the Bill Paterson Oval-based club.

At the recent Christmas break-up, the athletes had fun games including tug-o-war, tunnel ball and wheelbarrow racing.

Long-serving club president Vic Pascoe was thrilled to see his athletes relaxing as reward for their ongoing efforts.

He encourages his athletes to spend time with their families over Christmas before focusing on some major state and national competitions in the new year.

Those competitions include the Queensland Junior championships in February, the state open titles in March and the Australian Junior Championships, also in March, in Sydney.

The Australian Open championships are in Brisbane from March 26-29.

The Ipswich district club is expected to send strong contingents to each competition.

But while keen to see his athletes enjoy Christmas, Pascoe offered some wise encouragement, especially to the higher level achievers.

He urged them to watch their diet and drink lots of water.

“That’s very important,” the experienced coach said.  “And also sleep.  If they don’t get their rest, recovery is impossible especially if they have any niggling injuries.”

The 2011 Ipswich Citizen of the Year is offering extra training for those who want to keep sharp during the festive season.

“The ones who are really committed to doing well next year will do training over the Christmas break and I will be doing a few training sessions with them,” Pascoe said.

The club’s first group training session for the new year is on January 5.

Another pleasing aspect of this year’s club was how the senior athletes were being role models.

“They know what they’ve got to do.  They are quite prepared to show the younger ones,” Pascoe said.

“It’s wonderful to see some of the new ones coming in and look up to the likes of Filoi and Larissa doing their thing and going on to bigger and better things.”

Among those preparing for major new year events are recent achievers Rochelle Vidler, Casey Bell, Rhys Carr, Tori Langton, Hayley Wright and Miriam Peni.


New year focus

Some of the major championships Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitors are preparing for after the Christmas break.

  • February 19-22:  Queensland Junior Track and Field Championships (Brisbane).
  • March 5-8:  Queensland Open Track and Field Championships (Brisbane).
  • March 11-15:  Australian Junior Championships (Sydney).
  • March 26-29:  Australian Track and Field Championships and Combined Event Championships (Brisbane).