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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Stawell Gift toilet embarrassment avoided & other Stawell Gift articles

Stawell Gift toilet embarrassment avoided & other Stawell Gift articles

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Stawell Gift toilet embarrassment avoided

By Anthony Piovesan
Ballarat Courier
11 Apr 2017.

A quick-thinking decision to change the placement of a toilet block near the start line of this year’s Stawell Gift has saved the event from embarrassment on live television.

Stawell Athletic Club president Neil Blizzard contacted the Northern Grampians Shire Council as soon as the concrete slab, which would lay the foundation for the toilet block, was placed into the ground.

“When the slab went down we called up council and had a meeting with John Kindred,” he said.

“We had a look and explained our biggest issue was the closing and opening of the doors right behind the start line.

“You only need the Stawell Gift about to start and have the door slam and then you have got a bigger issue.”

Mr Blizzard also said the minimal space between the toilets and the truck in front, which would hold up the big screen, was a safety hazard.

“You would need at least a two metre clear area to allow for the opening and closing of the toilet doors,” he said.

“They did measurements, but hadn’t considered the scissor lift to hold up the big screen, but it was just a matter of going to talk to council on getting it moved and they have been fantastic about it.”

Northern Grampians Shire Council economic director Debbie Bach said the process to change the placement of the toilet block was swift.

“A toilet block has now been placed behind the scoreboard at the track,” she said.

“There should now be a sufficient amount of toilets for the event.”

Former race official Bob Cashin ran in 25 Stawell Gift events and said it was crucial to have “dead silence” around the start line.

“You should be able to hear a pin drop,” he said.

“Thankfully they have been moved because if there were toilets near the start line it would break your concentration for sure.

“Television cameras can zoom in pretty close so the toilet block also would not have been a good background for television.”

Mr Blizzard said it was never going to be an option and had thankfully been solved.

“It is the small things that matter when hosting an event like the Stawell Gift and something this small could have turned into a bigger problem,” he said.

Mr Blizzard said the vacant cement block in between the scoreboard and the Stawell Athletic Club rooms may be used to display a firetruck or host the big screen.

Last edited by Admin on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

2 Stawell Gift favourites announced on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:05 pm



Stawell Gift favourites announced

By Adam Hill
Stawell Times
11 Apr 2017

The Stawell Gift attracts athletes from all over the country but only one person can be favourite for the race.

This year it is 2016 Ararat Gift winner Matthew Rizzo, who is favourite for the main race, running off 7.5 metres in the 120m Men’s Gift.

Papua New Guinean athlete Toea Wisil will enter the Women’s 120m Gift as favourite, despite being the backmarker and running from scratch.

The Women’s Gift will be ran at 1.50pm, followed by the Men’s Gift at 2.20pm.



We must all understand lure of Stawell Gift

By Melanie Whelan
Ararat Advertiser
12 Apr 2017

Take a look at the Stawell Gift.

There is a real mystique about Central Park for out-of-towners each Easter but for many locals across the Grampians, the hype does not seem to reach the same levels.

This is in our own backyard and we cannot afford to get complacent that it will always happen.

Stawell Athletic Club is piecing together a five-year plan for an event sponsor to keep running the event at the same intensity and level, at the same time as trying to successfully pull off this latest edition. In an increasingly tough market for sports sponsorship, this is a massive ask but it is a crucial one for the region and for Australian sport.

Easter is huge for tourism across the Grampians with a whole bumper list of major events and important community gatherings.

Each is important in its own right but is undoubtedly bolstered by having the Gift, and all the exposure it draws, in the region.

The flow-on effect for Ararat, Stawell and the surrounding districts is vital to local economy. Should the Gift drop off, we will feel all feel it.

This is why we must all appreciate what Australia’s richest footrace is all about.

This is more than just queuing up at Central Park across the carnival. It is about giving the athletes, their families and running stables the best experience outside the hallowed stadium, not just in Stawell but across the whole region from business to a general good vibe in the street.

Take some interest in what the Gift is about and what athletes across the nation work so hard to contest.

Stawell Gift is evolving. Ararat sprinter Sarah Blizzard has been a finalist in the past three Women’s Gift finals, as the event moved into prizemoney parity with the title race. Each year it gets harder, luring more elite female athletes to race on the grass, but this fuels Blizzard’s hunger to improve.

This Easter, the limit mark for the Women’s Gift is tighter and a women’s 70-metre race has been added to the program to showcase more female athletic talent.

The Stawell Gift meet is considered a grand final for professional runners of all distances. It is a leader in the Victorian Athletic League and, with its history and Easter Monday exposure, the meet helps set the tone for better equity in all sports across the nation.

And that’s pretty special to have in our backyard.

4 Runners all set for ‘grand final’ on Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:25 pm



Runners all set for ‘grand final’

By Cam Potter
Wangaratta Chronicle
Thursday, April 13, 2017

READY TO RUN: Nick MacGibbon and Anna Pasquali are all geared up for the Stawell Gift this weekend.PHOTO: Cam Potter

WANGARATTA sprinters Nick MacGibbon and Anna Pasquali are primed for the grand final of their athletics season at the Stawell Gift this weekend.

Now in its 136th year of racing, the Stawell Gift has these two local athletes pumped with all their hard work and preparation culminating this weekend.

Pasquali, who will be racing in the 400 metre and Gift events, said this weekend is what every Australian sprinter wants to win.

“This is our grand final, our running season starts in November, and we race all around Victoria before it culminates in Stawell over Easter weekend,” Pasquali said.

“It’s been running since 1878, so its history is longer than any other event we run in around Victoria; this is what every runner dreams of winning.

“Every focus from November until now is about preparing for this weekend.”


MacGibbon’s boost ahead of Stawell Gift

By Cam Potter
Wangaratta Chronicle
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WANGARATTA sprinter Nick MacGibbon’s preparation for the Stawell Gift is on the right track after a sensational win at the CBRE Euroa Gift.

Winning through to the final in timely fashion with times of 12.56 and 12.43 over the 120 metre heat and semi final, MacGibbon was able to gauge who his main competition would be for the final.

“I trained four to five times a week in preparation and I was feeling pretty good going into the day,” MacGibbon said.

“I run the 70 metre heat at the start to help prepare for the 120 heats, I have found that my first race isn’t my best and that if I get that out of the way early I can focus on the major one.

“Moving into the Gift heats and semis I was trying to warm up, stay hydrated and cool down; it was a pretty hot day.

“My biggest threat was Leigh Phelan and I said to myself; if I can hold this runner off I am a chance.

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