The President’s Run-Through- September 2020

Introducing our new club President- Andy Boudrie.

I thought it would be a good idea to start a regular communication from the president on behalf of the Athletics Essendon committee to members and the wider community. I’m hoping that these will provide some insight about what’s going on at the club both on and off the track.

Firstly, following on from the Annual General Meeting in July, I would like to convey my immense delight in becoming the next president of this great club, I succeed Mark Carey who did not seek to continue his tenure. On behalf of the entire club, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for his service as president and I look forward to seeing his athletes shine on the track in the future.

Our club has an exceptional training and competition facility with almost everything any athlete needs, a strong membership, talented coaches, incredible success in team and individual competitions, and of course I can’t leave out our 20 Olympians, 1 Paralympian, multiple Commonwealth Games medals and an Olympic silver medal. These assets and successes don’t just put us up there as among the best in the country, I would argue our club is among the best athletics clubs in the world.

This year I believe will be my 21st year involved with the club. I came to the club as a 15-year old gangly wannabe high jumper who then turned to decathlon, and then to 400m sprinting after realising that being good at jumping and throwing were key prerequisites for success in the 10 discipline event. I consider myself very lucky to have achieved what I’ve been able to on the track and it is due significantly to the foundations that this club has provided: the track, coaches, training groups, friendships, and the opportunity to compete in the highest level of competition. I honestly believe that if not for Athletics Essendon, I would no longer be involved in the sport.

Having been on the committee for a majority of the past 12 years, I have great confidence that the current group of people who have stepped up to drive the club forward can do so with passion and professionalism. The present situation presenting us with no competition or organised training has given us an excellent opportunity to look forward and seek to improve what we do off the track – how we attract and retain athletes, how we’re set up with regards to sponsors and supporters, how we connect with the local community and raise our profile to the level that the club and our members deserve. One exciting initiative that our club is actively working towards is organising a meet at Aberfeldie to take place at the earliest opportunity following required easing of covid-19 restrictions.

Of course, the current situation that we are in has caused great disruption to everyone. Postponement of the Olympic Games, cancellation of the Cross Country season and a modification of the upcoming Track & Field season, not to mention travel restrictions and the closure of our track has thrown a spanner in the works for every athlete, coach and official of our club. We’re lucky to have an excellent relationship with the Moonee Valley City Council and we hope that the facility will be opened for use as early as it is appropriate and responsible to do so. At this stage competition seems to be planned for early 2021, which will lead to AV Shield, Victorian and Australian Championships – there is still great reason to be motivated and to keep working towards your goals.

Keep working hard and I hope to see you at the track soon.