Weekly Wrap December 21st 2023

On behalf of all the committee, I wanted to wish you all the best for Christmas and the festive season.

I would also like to personally thank all of our volunteers who make this club what it is. Without them our athletes wouldn’t be able to perform with such support. A huge thank you to:

  • Our Coaches – without them, our athletes wouldn’t grow and excel in what they do.
  • Our Team Managers – they timelessly put their teams ahead of themselves to pull together the best team possible and encourage our athletes to compete.
  • Our Competition Volunteers – without these volunteers to rake the pits, put up the tents and put out the throwing implements we really couldn’t create the environments for our athletes to compete.
  • Our Committee – for the additional hours they put in on top of all the other bits they do, I’m really proud and honoured to be part of this team, who are so committed to the club;
  • Our Athletes – without you, we wouldn’t have a club, so whether you are 11 years old or 94 – thank you all.

We are almost ready to share our new ideas about the focus of the club moving forward and this strategy is looking for your input. So, if you could grab 10 minutes over the holiday period, coach, athlete, parent, or volunteer we really need you to give us your thoughts so that we know how you want the club structured and the priorities that you want us to focus on.

Please click here to complete.

Enjoy Christmas and the festive period and may 2024 bring you happiness and pleasure on and off the track.

Martin Sheppard, President – Athletics Essendon

Celebrating… Arthur Whitchell

Last Wednesday, 13 December, Club Legend Arthur Whitchell received an award from the Essendon Football Club for his Outstanding Service to our Club. 

Arthur is a long term member of Athletics Essendon as a competitor, official, committee member, equipment manager and now, Registrar. He has given great service to the club over a long period of time – having performed a vast number of roles for our Club over a long period such as equipment manager, club apparel manager and still as Club Registrar. 

Arthur first joined the club (then called Essendon Amateur Athletics Club) in 1946 as a competing sprinter and hurdler. He retired at the age of 26 to become an Athletics Official and has been a long term official adjudicating at club, state and national meets. He was a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 as a Track Judge. He was granted Life Membership in 1973. 

Congratulations Arthur and thank you again for your service to our Club!

Photo of Athletics Essendon's Arthur Whitchell

Some super strong performances again & Essendon is really starting to flex it’s muscles we hit the mid-point of the Summer Shield season!  We finished 4th on the Premier Division ladder but we had quite a few athletes enjoying a break after National All Schools in Perth so numbers were down a bit.

1000+ point scorers:    

  • Macca Leith 1394 – 4th MVA
  • Mel Foster 1359 – 6th MVA
  • Kristian Lakusa 1328 – 9th MVA

Only Club with 3 athletes in the Top 10!!

  • Ella Leith 1255 
  • Kim Walsh 1183
  • Karl Orr 1104

500+ single event scorers:

  • Macca Leith M18 – Discus – 47.75m – 529
  • Kim Walsh F50 – Shot Put – 10.18m – 501
  • Lara Sacaner F18 – 1000m – 2:55.85 – 510 – a heat win as she continues her incredibly strong form

Notable Age Group Ladder Finishers:

  • M40+ – 5th
  • M18 – 4th
  • M16 – 2nd
  • F20 – 2nd
  • F18 – 3rd
  • F16 – 4th

State Age Grading – top of the pack in Vic:

  • Macca Leith M18 – discus – best in the state
  • Lara Sacaner, Emily Mifsud, Charlotte Jackson F18 – top 3 spots in the 1000m
  • Tesia Haggai & Ella Birk F18 – top 2 in the Triple Jump
  • Liam Glew MOP – biggest Triple Jump in Vic
  • Amanda Wrout F20 – fastest 150m in the state
  • Audrey Savage F20 – quickest in the 1000m for her age group
  • Katie Baynes F20 – biggest jump in the Triple Jump
  • Mel Foster F40 – fastest over the 150m & biggest triple jumper in her age group

Special MentionCongratulations to Coach Mark Carey’s crew – Charlotte Jackson, Jonty Neethling, Noah Tarallo, Chase Jardine, Abigail Neethling, Jack Downey, Andre Faure & Isaac Faure – ALL RAN PB’s IN THEIR RESPECTIVE 1000m RACES IN R7!!  Well done, super effort & really stamping your promise for Nationals in April.

AVSL will return on Saturday, 13 January 2024!

A hot Tuesday welcomed Essendon members to the Xmas Gift over 110m and the classic Fitzgerald Cup over 2400m.

Three sprinters walked to their blocks with Maggie Armstrong (off 35m) holding off Kristian Lakusa (scr) and Estelle Sacco (13m) in a close finish over the 110m.

The Fitzgerald Cup has been run for about 90 years and used to be run at Windy Hill at half time during an Essendon home game.

The winner was James Brennan (off 2 minutes) who put in a big finish to edge out Danny Hawksworth (off 4 min) and Jeff Jones, fresh off the Zatopek 10 (off 4:47). Veteran Dave Jones led the field out and was still in front at the bell and managed 4th place in front of fast finishing Bianca Puglisi (off 5:29) and Rachel Brici (2:18).

We held a bbq and a Q&A with Danny quizzing Mel Foster & Mark Harper about their very interesting athletics journey.

Thanks to everyone who helped out: Danny for overall organisation and handicapping, Gaff for handicapping the sprinters, Frances, Marlon on the lap counter, Brian on the microphone and Coops on the bbq.

Way back in October our club, was again responsible for looking after the drinks station at the 40km mark of the Melbourne Marathon.

Judy Tweddle (who is not even a member of the club) did most of the hard work in organising helpers, a role which should be managed by our Club. Most of the helpers were there by 7am, including: 

  • Danny Hawksworth; 
  • Ian Newey; 
  • Jannik Ernst and mum; 
  • Duncan Knox with daughter Jo and Christian (once he finished his duties as a guide for a vision impaired runner in the half)
  • Brian; 
  • Richard; and 
  • a huge number of overseas students who undertook this role as part of their visa requirements and a visitor from Germany out here on holidays. 

Everyone got along so well, enjoyed the time there helping the athletes as they went past with encouragement and of course drinks. We had many thank us for our help, which is always nice and saw a number of our members run past, including Liam Adams – who was leading at the time, however, finished in a very respectable 3rd place. 

There was a lot of friendly banter between the helpers which passed the time and honestly the 5 hours or so disappeared very quickly. Once again our station was so clean afterwards, we packed up the tables as the crowd thinned, everything worked like clockwork, everyone should feel very proud of their efforts. I believe that we might have made the club $700, which is great!

If we want to continue to do this as a club, we need more support from members

Once again thanks to everyone who helped on the day and a huge thanks to Judy for many years of her help.

You can order here:

Finally, good luck to: 

  • all athletes competing at Vic Miler’s in Box Hill tonight; and 
  • all our super all rounders, multi eventers for the AV State Heptathlon/Decathlon at Lakeside on 6/7 Januray 2024. 

Go the red & black!!

Happy festive season to all! Stay safe & we look forward to coming together in the new year to continue Aths Essendon’s persistent climb up the Premier Division ladder and celebrating individual performances! 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any contributions by sending our secretary Rebecca an email at