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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Finish looms for Tassie carnivals starter

Finish looms for Tassie carnivals starter

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1 Finish looms for Tassie carnivals starter on Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:01 pm

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http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/154467/finish-looms-for-carnivals-starter/

Finish looms for carnivals starter

GRENVILLE Bellchambers is set to pull the trigger on his 34-year role as official starter for the Tasmanian Athletic League.

The 68-year-old former Coastal running star said yesterday he was confident he had finally found suitable replacements for the job he started on his own in the 1980-81 season.

While he has flagged his intention to step down from the role in previous seasons, Bellchambers and the TAL have struck difficulty in finding committed people to take over the role.

Bellchambers has since spent time training Launceston's Michael Foster and Scott Cranfield, of Hobart, and hopes between the two of them, they will give him a much needed spell from the starting duties of the running events.

"I certainly hope to take a back seat from now on," Bellchambers said yesterday.

"Ideally, the TAL would like to put together a panel of starters, so it is not left to just one or two people."

Clearly not one to throw in the towel, Bellchambers spent 13 years on the track as a professional runner himself.

His best season saw him take out eight 400m titles before travelling to Lavington in NSW to also take out the 400m title there.

He also took on a role as boundary umpire in the NWFU for well over 20 years and ran the boundary in 10 grand finals.

He names Olympians Cathy Freeman and Jana Pittman as among the most memorable athletes he has set on their way in his starter's role, along with two-time Burnie Gift winner Josh Ross and Dean Capobianco, while Steve Brimacombe "was the best runner I've seen".

He has fired over 25,000 rounds during his 34 years in the role.

"And I haven't shot anyone yet," he said with a laugh.

Bellchambers said many of his highlights were set between 1980 and 2000.

"During those days there were 100 or more runners competing for the Burnie Gift and it would take me over an hour just to get through the heats," he said.

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