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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Mort Daly's vision now being realised

Mort Daly's vision now being realised

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1 Mort Daly's vision now being realised on Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:45 am


I have re-posted the following comment by Gary Thompson from the 'WA Thread' as I think it's a poignant reminder of how far the sport has evolved in SA.

"Starting pro's in S.A. 1968 we had about 20 runners on books running for peanuts,The main Driver was a man who had a Vision for Pro- Athletics,this was Mr Mort Daley, who has now achieved that vision with the SAAL.All he wanted was for the youth in the country to compete with a healthy body and mind.In S.A. we can say thank you to this man who unfortunately has passed without seeing the fruits of his labour.His supporters are still putting in tireless hours as coaches or adminisrators in S.A. for little reward, as they truely believe in Pro-Running."

In the late 1970's I believe the SAAL had less than 100 registered athletes. The VAL by contrast had something like 900 to a 1000 registered athletes. SA would have lagged behind Victoria, Tasmania & even NSW for registered athletes.

A gentleman by the name of Mort Daly felt the SA Athletic League should be providing young people with an incentive to pursue running. So in 1980 Mort Daly very generously donated $115,000 as an investment from which the income was to be the source of funds to encourage SA youth to be involved in athletics.

Mr Daly would have derived some satisfaction from seeing his investment realise prize money made available to the SAAL and help grow the sport. However the growth in juniors was never really to a level that had a huge impact on the overall athletic population which was fundamentally ageing.

On page 134 of the "100 Bay Sheffields" book it says:

"This growth is particularly evident in areas of junior athletes and this notation will be a constant reminder to Administrators of the SA Athletic League, that it is in this area, junior athletes from 15 to 18 years that the Founder (Mort Daly) showed most concern."

In the last four years the SAAL under the leadership of Brendan Golden, has introduced under 17 and under 14 races and the success of these events and the impact it's had on the SAAL has been spectacular.

Tomorrow, over 100 junior athletes will compete in the three under age races at Henley.

The SAAL currently has the most registered athletes of any Athletic League in the country.

I don't know what the rego numbers are at Athletics SA but looking at the number of competitors in the track events (180) at SANTOS last Saturday I reckon the SAAL would have similar if not more registered athletes. This is not to criticise ASA but to emphasise how far the SAAL has evolved as a legitimate athletic force in the last decade.

As GT says Mort Daly would be an extremely proud man if he could see his vision & legacy played out in today's SAAL pro running circuit.

It might have taken 30 years, but today Mort Daly's vision has never been more prominent & enlightened.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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