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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Tom Robertson makes a Trinity Gift a reality

Tom Robertson makes a Trinity Gift a reality

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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/central/new-trinity-gift-to-draw-young-athletes/story-fngnvmox-1226809397196

New Trinity Gift to draw young athletes

By DAVID TURNER AND CONOR RYAN
PROGRESS LEADER
JANUARY 24, 2014


TOM Robertson is giving the gift of athletics to his alma mater.

The national under-20 400m hurdles champion, and member of Trinity Grammar's Class of 2011, is one of the organisers of the Trinity Gift, a professional running carnival to be staged at the Kew school's sports fields in Bulleen next month.

Robertson has teamed with Andrew Muhlhan, ­organiser of the Stonnington Gift, to put on a meeting aimed at attracting junior competitors.

The event, to be run on February 16, will include open age and under-18 men's and women's events across 120m and 400m.

The Trinity Gift itself, an open race over 120m, will carry a prize of $2500.

Muhlhan said Robertson's example was outstanding.

"Tom is also transitioning into the open competition and he's keen to see his peers stay involved in athletics," he said.

"Professional running gives that opportunity by grading competitors through handicaps.

"There's no better way of keeping an athlete interested than by giving them a ­realistic chance to step up on to the dais and to take home some prizemoney."

Robertson said the Trinity Gift had its genesis in a brief conversation he'd shared with Muhlhan on a plane.

"We were on a flight back from the nationals together and we just got talking about athletics," he said.

"Then, during footy ­season, I did a training ­session on the oval and thought 'this would be a great venue for a gift'."

From there, with the support of Muhlhan, the Victorian Athletics League (professional running's governing body) and the school, Robertson's dream has become a reality.

Robertson said a Facebook page created for the event has had an encouraging amount of traffic in a very short time.

"It's only a few weeks away, so it's really jumped up on us," he said.

While keen to get the first meeting away successfully, Robertson is confident the great rivalries developed during APS and AGS schools competition could transfer to the professional ranks over the next few years.

"It could become the premier junior event on the VAL calendar down the track in events to come if the support comes from the APS and AGS schools," he said.

And, a successful Trinity Gift meeting will give ­Robertson the chance to say "thanks" to his school.

"I'd like to keep in touch with the school because they gave me my education and did a lot for my athletics," he said.

For more information about the Trinity Gift ­meeting, log on to val.org.au or see the Trinity Gift ­Facebook page.

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