Australians Innovate with Virtual Nationals and Online Awards

After the disappointing cancellation of the Australian Masters Athletics Championships, which were scheduled for Brisbane at Easter, dedicated administrators and athletes were creative in finding a way to participate.

In the case of the National Championships, LOC Co-Convener Toni Ferguson opened up online sign-in via the event?s Facebook page each day and athletes submitted their season best performances in the quest for virtual glory. Athletes took part in some light-hearted banter and results were published daily. Queensland won the virtual medal tally with 87 medals, to NSW 64 and Western Australia 47. The hosting baton for 2021 was handed to Canberra.

Despite not having the normal awards function at the National Championships, as Chair of the Awards Committee and MC for the function, I felt “the show must go on” and made the presentations via a recorded Zoom meeting which was loaded to the AMA YouTube Channel.

There have been over 1500 views!

“It was weird speaking to the camera and not hearing the deserved applause for winners so my heart goes out to the winners at this time.” said Janet Naylon

For the record, winners are for performances in the 2019 calendar year:

  • Sprints/Hurdles – Andrew Wilcox, VIC, M50 – gold medal in the 400m and bronze in the 200m at the World Masters Indoor Championships
  • Middle Distance/Steeplechase – Allan Mayfield, SA, M70 – gold medals in the 800m and 1500m at the World Masters Indoor Championships
  • Distance Award – Lavinia Petrie, VIC, W75 – world record in the 5000m at National Championships
  • Walks – Heather Carr, VIC, W70 – world record in the 3000m walk at Oceania Championships which she lowered a further two times at local meets in Victoria
  • Jumps – Margaret Taylor, ACT, W70 – winner of the high jump, long jump and triple jumps at ACT, National and Oceania Championships
  • Throws – Jayne Hardy, ACT, W55 – winner of the javelin, discus, hammer, weight throw and throws pentathlon at National and Oceania Championships
  • Multi Events/Relays – Paul Jeffery, WA, M45 – world record in the Decathlon
  • Most Outstanding Male Athlete – Colin Heywood, NT, M65 – world record in the 50km road walk
  • Most Outstanding Female Athlete – Miriam Cudmore, SA, W80 – excelled in sprints, jumps and throws with 6 gold medals and 3 championship records at Oceania Championships
  • Most Outstanding Individual Performance – Geoff Gibbons, TAS, M40 – completed the Icosathlon or double decathlon with 11,771 points for the second highest M40 score ever and just shy of the world record
  • Administration Award – Irene Davey, QLD – various administration roles over the last 30 years with Queensland Masters Athletics

As part of the awards presentation, there were two inductees to the Australian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame – Bob Schickert (WA) and posthumously, Royce Foley (VIC). Full transcripts of their outstanding contributions to masters athletics are on the AMA website (click here).

Thanks are extended to Awards Committee members Donna Hiscox (PowerPoint slides) and Judy Farrell (video distribution) who assisted me with this crazy idea. Thanks to, to the network of representatives in each state/territory who are distributing the trophies to winners in Covid19 compliant presentations?

Further information
Janet Naylon, janetnaylon@australianmastersathletics.org.au

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