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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Westcott withdraws from World Champs

Westcott withdraws from World Champs

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1 Westcott withdraws from World Champs on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:34 am



Westcott withdraws from worlds

Newcastle Herald
June 25, 2013

AUSTRALIAN marathon champion Scott Westcott said he was putting the needs of his young family before a swansong international run by withdrawing from the world championships team.

The Aberglasslyn father of three, who works as a development officer for Athletics NSW, qualified for August's world titles in Moscow when he won the national championship last October.

But the 37-year-old has pulled out after failing to secure permission from Athletics Australia to join the national team halfway through their pre-tournament camp in England.

Westcott was due to run on August 17 in the marathon, which would probably have been his last on the world stage, but under AA policy he had to be in the Australian team camp from August 1.

He said the additional time away from his wife Jessica, their four-month-old daughter Frankie and sons Finn, 3, and Noah, 5, was too much.

"I've had my time and I've had my opportunities," Westcott said.

"I would give my right arm to represent my country, but I'd lay down my life for my family. My priority now is three little ones and they are at an age now where they need me every day."

Westcott asked to join the team nine days before his event. After that was rejected, his proposal to train at high altitude close to home before travelling to the event was also knocked back.

AA compromised by offering to pay for Westcott's family to stay in camp at Tonbridge in Kent for six days, but the runner did not want to burden his family with the travel.

Westcott was disappointed with the outcome but said he understood AA's stance.

"I'm gutted, but with my administrator's hat on, I understand why it is the case," he said.

Westcott was never selected to compete at an Olympics, despite running qualifying times for three Games, but has been to two world championships. He finished 27th in 2005 at Helsinki and 56th in 2009 at Berlin.

AA chief executive Dallas O'Brien was disappointed with Westcott's decision but said high-performance director Simon Nathan and head coach Eric Hollingsworth believed the camp was the best way to get results against the world's best.

"Scott is part of the athletics family," O'Brien said.

"He works for Athletics NSW, he does a great job up there running the Hunter Track Classic, and we feel for him and understand his family comes first.

"We tried every which way to solve the problem for him, but it's about achieving high performance at the world level and building team culture and morale."

2 Re: Westcott withdraws from World Champs on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:33 am


Sympathise with the athlete. Unique situation, not many athletes get selected for Australia when they have three kids 5 and under at home.
I also see AA's side. Trying to build a team culture.
Sad they couldn't reach a compromise.

3 Re: Westcott withdraws from World Champs on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:16 pm


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star

Trackstar wrote:Sympathise with the athlete. Unique situation, not many athletes get selected for Australia when they have three kids 5 and under at home.
I also see AA's side. Trying to build a team culture.
Sad they couldn't reach a compromise.

As of when have they been trying to build a team culture? Since Eric has been involved, it's been about securing the performances of four or five top athletes and ignoring the rest.

Does AA really believe that an extra seven days with the team will raise Westcott to a medal? Or that Westcott's presence will influence another Australian gaining a medal? What exactly does "... get results against the world's best" mean? If Westcott were a member of a relay squad, the position would be understandable, but he is an individual athlete running in possibly the most individual event possible.

4 Re: Westcott withdraws from World Champs on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:03 am


Good points ToM.
Not as if Eric or Dallas O'Brien were instrumental in getting Scott Westcott to WC level. Guys like Westcott do the hard yards alone for years and then AA honchos take the credit. If Westcott was a genuine medal chance, Hollingsworth & O'Brien would have found a way around it to ensure Scott competes.

5 Re: Westcott withdraws from World Champs on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:55 am



Facebook push for Scott Westcott  

Newcastle Herald
June 27, 2013

A HUMBLED Scott Westcott is training hard and ready to go to the world marathon championship in Moscow if a groundswell of support for him via social media helps bring about a change of heart from Athletics Australia.

The Australian marathon and half-marathon champion withdrew from the August 17 race after Athletics Australia rejected his plea for dispensation from the national team training camp, which starts on August 1 in England.

Westcott, a two-time world titles competitor, wanted to join the team nine days out from his event because he did not want to be away from his young family for an extended period.

After attempts from both sides for a compromise failed, the 37-year-old father of three from Aberglasslyn decided to put his family's needs first and withdraw from what would likely have been a swansong from international competition.

In response to the Newcastle Herald report about the impasse yesterday, a "Let Scott Westcott Run" Facebook page was established to pressure Athletics Australia into deviating from their policy of mandatory camp attendance.

The page had attracted more than 1800 likes in less than a day as well as more than 40 messages of support for Westcott and his position.

Westcott, who is a development officer for Athletics NSW, said yesterday that he was humbled by the response.

He said he played no part in establishing the page and was told of it yesterday.

"I'm not on Facebook for whatever reason, so I didn't know about it until I got a call requesting permission to use my image on it," Westcott said.

"It's just the athletics fraternity expressing their views on the matter.

"I think most of the comments are pretty sensible and constructive, so we'll see what happens."

He said his withdrawal from the world championship was always conditional and he still hoped for permission to join the team closer to his race in Russia.

"I'm not happy with the situation, but I'm at peace with the decision I was asked to make and I have accepted it," he said.

"However, I am training hard and will continue to train hard, and if there is a change of heart off the back of public support, I am ready to go."

One of his supporters is two-time national marathon champion and 18-time Australian representative Pat Carroll, who was one of Westcott's "heroes growing up".

"I can well understand the reasoning for a group camp environment, however, surely there's room for understanding," Carroll posted on Facebook.

"We can only dream of having more Scott Westcotts in our world.

"Scott is gentle in character but a true animal when he is in race mode.

"Ten days or so in a camp will have zero influence on Scott's marathon.

"It's the last 10 years of training that will! For god's sake look outside the box and reward this great Australian for being who he is and for what he has achieved during his stellar running career."

6 Re: Westcott withdraws from World Champs on Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:17 am



Officials refuse to back down on Westcott

Newcastle Herald
July 2, 2013

ATHLETICS Australia have defended their decision to reject Aberglasslyn runner Scott Westcott's request for special dispensation from the national team training camp.

On Saturday AA director of high performance Simon Nathan answered questions on an athletics website about marathon runner Westcott's decision to pull out of the world championship in Moscow.

Westcott withdrew from the August 17 race after his request to join the Australian team training camp in England was rejected.

The father of three had hoped to miss part of the training camp to limit the time away from his young family.

AA's decision became more debatable when it was revealed that 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medal winning walker Jared Tallent had been granted special dispensation to miss the training camp.

When asked about the issue, Nathan said: "The only reason we would consider a variation from the normal requirements to attend the full camp would be if an athlete could demonstrate that they had a high altitude training plan, which is sound and has proven to be effective for them in the past".

"We've had a number of applications to attend the camp for either a shortened period or to skip it altogether to date, but the only athlete to put forward a case which we were comfortable with is Jared Tallent.

"Given his proven past success at multiple international championships, we believe that this is a sound decision."

Following Nathan's comments, a post on the "Let Scott Westcott Run" Facebook page said Westcott had asked supporters to "tone down" their support as he believed AA would not change their decision.

The Facebook page, which was set up by Westcott supporters, had 2833 likes as of last night and has been campaigning for the runner to be granted special dispensation to compete in Moscow.

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