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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Glen Chapman recalls how hard it is to make the Albury Gift successful

Glen Chapman recalls how hard it is to make the Albury Gift successful

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Hard to cement Gift as fixture

Border Mail
25 Jan, 2012

ALBURY’S 1986 Stawell Gift winner Glen Chapman is hoping Sunday’s Albury-Wodonga Gift can find its place on the Border’s sporting calendar.

But as one of the main men in charge of organising Albury-Wodonga’s last Gift, in 1991, he’s all too aware of the challenges facing event organiser Tom Burbidge and his team.

“I was in a team of about eight people organising the last Gift and we just weren’t able to get a crowd through the gate,” Chapman said.

“Maybe it didn’t take off because it was a night gift I’m not sure.

“Athletics is not really a spectator sport, it never has been, but I really admire Tom, and everyone else involved, trying to get it back up again.”

Although he believes Burbidge will have his work cut out ensuring the race becomes a permanent fixture, Chapman said his fellow Stawell Gift winner was going about things the right way.

With $26,000 in prizemoney up for grabs including $5000 for the Gift winner, corporate backing and Albury Sports Ground secured as the race venue, Chapman said all that remained was drawing a crowd.

“Hopefully they have the support they need to get numbers through the gate,” Chapman said.

“That’s the biggest challenge they face and what will ultimately determine the success of the race.”

“Stawell can get between 20 or 2500 people, but it has history in its favour.”

The decision to involve Little Athletics on the big day is another factor Chapman said should work in the race’s favour.

“It’s great for the kids to get a bit of exposure and great for mums and dads who get to go and watch and support their kids,” Chapman said.

Regardless of Sunday’s turnout, Chapman said it would be a day to remember for Albury-Wodonga Gift competitors.

“What is it, about $5000 for the winner?” Chapman said.

“(The competitors) are going to be feeling anticipation, excitement and anxiety and they just have to have faith in their ability and the training they’ve done — nerves are just one part of it.

“It’s going to be a very good day for the winner.”

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