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2023/24 Awards Night, AGM And Annual Report


Old Scotch Athletic Club’s Awards night and AGM were held on Friday 3rd May at the Royal South Yarra Tennis Club. Thanks to all those who attended to make it a memorable night out celebrating our athletes’ performances over the last year.

President’s Report: 

President Doug Campbell

This has been an amazing year for the Old Scotch Athletic Club throughout the winter of 2023 and the high days of summer. I will not steal the thunder of those reporting on the Cross Country and Track & Field seasons, but we have had great success. Athletes have excelled and competed locally, at state level, at national level and internationally. Week by week, athletes have registered and competed compiling points and gaining accolades. As a result, our athletes have achieved PBs, won medals at State and National Championships and have provided great memories for themselves, their families and the club.
Committee – Every club requires a strong and enthusiastic committee. OSAC has that. The commitment and dynamism shown by the members of the Committee have been greatly appreciated by me as the President and the impact of this has been beneficial to the life of the club, the individual athletes and their families. I would like to thank every member of the committee for the input and support over the past year. I would especially like to thank Nathan Munro as Secretary and Heather Danks, our Treasurer, who have done so much work behind the scenes.
The Committee strives to make the club more accessible and welcoming and desires to see folks of all backgrounds and standards find a home where they can run, jump, throw and grow. My thanks go to Nathan Munro who has kept things fresh on our Social Media and recognised upcoming events and notable achievements. My thanks also go to Tony Stubbs for organising our website and restructuring it to be a great place to visit and find out more about the club.
This club connectedness was perhaps best seen in a Club BBQ and our first Bunnings Sausage Sizzle. While the boost to club funds was great, it was fantastic to see athletes and friends come and support these events. My thanks go to Ian Kluckow and Heather Danks for their help with these endeavours.
Scotch Family Day – It was great to have a visible presence at the Scotch Family Day in September where our band of volunteers successfully reached out and advertised the Club to the wider Scotch Family. A special thanks to Caroline Beischer for all her efforts in this regard.
Coaches – I would like to express our grateful thanks to our faithful coaches, Gregor Evans and David Lightfoot. Week after week during the season, they are found at meetings, coaching in local parks and organising training schedules. Their commitment and knowledge of the sport are second to none and I know the athletes also hold them both with great regard.
Schools – The Committee recognises the Club’s need for new and younger athletes. I am pleased to report that the Club’s long standing and positive connection with Stuart Powell, Director of Sport at Scotch College, continues to a great avenue to encourage the boys to explore the sport and experience the wisdom of advice or our coaches. The Old Scotch programme provides a great opportunity for boys to focus on Athletics as their official summer sport that offers the possibility of gaining colours. This year saw Rory Vial and Elden Zeng made the inaugural Captain and Vice-Captain respectively.
The Committee acknowledges the contribution of athletes from other schools and has actively looked to promote the club and its resources to athletes young and old in other schools and clubs around the Hawthorn area.
As I close, I would like to thank Ian Handasyde who is stepping down after many years of service on the Committee. He is well known and well loved by all in the club, and we look forward to his ongoing participation in the life of the club. Surely, eventually the AV officials will look kindly on him and allow him to complete one race walk without disqualification. Thanks Hando!
The Club’s centenary will take place in 2026. I look forward to pressing on as a Committee with the hope of seeing the club welcome more athletes who wish to wear the cardinal singlet and compete with pride alongside friends old and new.

Report was Moved by Doug Campbell, seconded Ian Kluckow.  All voted in favour

Treasurer’s Report:

Treasurer Heather Danks

Welcome to a short and sweet review of the club’s finances.
I am happy to report that the club remains in a strong financial position, with a cash balance of $13,600 as at the end of the year 31st March 2024.
At our last AGM we forecast identifying a project or two to utilise some of surplus funds accumulated over time.  We are very pleased to say that $2,300 was allocated to develop our fabulous new website.  A huge thanks to Tony Stubbs for driving this project and delivering a product that our club can be proud of and will be a great asset to us into the foreseeable future.
Another $5,500 was utilised to support 11 athletes who competed at the 2023 T&F Nationals in Brisbane, 7 who ran at the Cross-Country Nationals in Canberra and 1 who ran in the World Uni Cross Country Champs in Oman.
Our club is passionate about supporting our members to make it to the next level, and incredibly proud to see so many of our youth achieving PBs and reaching their best at State, National and International competitions.
Going forward, with the strength of club leading to more athletes heading to the Nationals, we will need to double down on our fundraising efforts and find a few creative ways to generate the funds so we can continue this fine legacy.
I would like to acknowledge the very generous donations made through the Australian Sports Foundation so far this year which will go towards the assistance grants to our recent crop of 12 athletes who did us proud at the Adelaide National T&F Champs:

  • Jonathan Holmes GOLD
  • Pete Simm GOLD
  • Palm Products GOLD
  • Rohan Hodges GOLD
  • Gippsland Vet Group GOLD
  • Cameron Mackenzie GOLD
  • Colin Findlay GOLD
  • Absolute Physiotherapy SILVER
  • Ian Kluckow SILVER
  • Mark Purvis BRONZE

For anyone who would like a copy of the Financial accounts for 2024, please send an email to oldscotchathleticclub@gmail.com, and I will be more than happy to answer any questions. 

Track & Field Report:

Tony Stubbs Track & Field

We kicked off the T&F season with optimism and hope after a lot was achieved in the lead up to Round 1 AVSL season as we knew we needed to approach this season differently after being relegated to Division 5; with the club’s goal this season to get back into Division 4.
Members and prospective members were presented with a brand-new website.

T&F Memberships for 2023/24 season saw registrations increase by 60%. This year we had around 67 members compete across the AVSL (49), and the AV Specialist meets (18) up from the previous year’s numbers of 42. The exciting part of these numbers is we had 13 female members and 10 were new to the club in comparison to only 5 female members in season 2022/23.

How did we achieve this?

Partnerships were formalised with the school which saw competing for OSAC recognised as a chosen sport for the students for the first time and if eligible be awarded school colours so a great incentive Scotch students to join the club. On the back of the schools APS athletic season success where they finished 2nd, we were able to recruit for example every middle distance runner and emergency who ran in the APS finals across all age groups apart from one runner. This saw the flow on with athletes across other disciplines also sign up which bodes well in the ensuring years.

Lauriston Girls School and KM Running group (based at HA Smith oval/Righetti Reserve) were also engaged with as an option for their athletes looking to continue their athletic journey to consider us as a club of choice. This saw our female membership numbers reach their highest levels yet and the club diversify outside of Scotch College athletes from a few other schools i.e. Trinity Grammar School, Lauriston Girls School, MLC, Ruyton Girls School and Strathcona Girls Grammar and we hope to build on this for next season. Thank you to those two groups for your support and trust in us as a club. We hope you have enjoyed your first season with the club as you and your families have all made an immediate impact and we can’t wait to see you back on the track wearing the OS uniform next season.

Looking forward, we have already had conversations with St Catherine’s School and Camberwell Malvern Little Athletics Club who are happy to promote our club to their athletes as a club of choice for the next AVSL season.

As we know though the club is not just for those associated with the Scotch community. It is a club open to all male and female athletes irrespective of their athletic goals, ability and needs. This needs to be a continued focus for the committee to ensure we have diversity within the club, to build on our overall membership numbers and ensure the club’s success long term.

We were also able to enter in a partnership in November with Richmond Rehab, a physiotherapy and sports massage business aimed at enhancing the well-being and performance of our valued members. Special discounts are available to take advantage of their physiotherapy and massage services and this offer extends to our members across the cross-country season. We also had Nathan from their business attend several meets to provide a quick 5-10min pre/post competition massage to our athletes and by all accounts well received by those athletes who jumped up on the table.

This season the format of the AVSL competition changed to a straight 12 round competition, no finals playoff as in previous years with the top 3 in Division 5 earning automatic promotion to Division 4. We were nervous with the first 2 rounds as a number of athletes were still involved in the school athletic program. A big shout out to our other members who put their hands up and competed in several events outside of their pet events. This saw the club win one R1, come second in R2 which had us on top of the ladder after 2 rounds and the foresight of the coaches to play our PowerPlay in R3 saw us skip out to a 13 point lead after three rounds.

The first break in the AVSL calendar had us excited as we had the opportunity to participate as a club/team in the Victorian Relay Championships in November out at Doncaster.

  • 10 teams entered.
  • First ever female relay teams for the club were entered (x2).
  • Great to see the coming together of runners from T&F and XC to form 1 female teams.
  • 9/10 teams finished top 8 in the state.
  • 3 Gold – Men’s Open 4x1500m, U18 4x400m and U18 4x800m.
  • 1 Bronze – Open 40+ Women’s 4 x1500m (another first for the club).
  • Positive feedback from other clubs in relation to our presence and success on the day.

The AVSL season resumed and came to a climax in February that saw the club win 9/9 of the remaining rounds that saw us finish on top of the ladder, claim the premiership and win automatic promotion to Division 4. Our overall points accumulated by the athletes would have seen us finish in 3rd position overall in Division 4 this season, so the future looks bright. A fantastic season overall with many athletes improving their times or distances to achieve a PB and over 90 club records were set which is amazing.

With confidence high, we had 26 of our athletes enter themselves into the Victorian T&F Championships that started the last weekend of February over 2 weekends at Lakeside.

  • Over 17 PB’s set.
  • Achieved 14 Top 8 results.
  • 2 x national qualifiers achieved.
  • 15 medals won overall:

o 7 x Gold Medal’s – Jayden Millie (U13 400m), Tom Roach (Pa17 Shotput, Discus and Javelin), Will Katic (U18 800m), Bart Leeton (U17 3000m), Lachlan Gumley (U16 Pole Vault)
o 5 x Silver Medal – Bart Leeton (U17 1500m), AJ Merry (3km steeplechase), Tom Roach (PA 17 100m, LJ), Conor Sullivan (U18 3000m)
o 3 x Bronze Medal – Gabby King (U17 400m) and Will Katic (U18 400m), Mark Ballantine (U13 800m)

Three weeks ago, culminated with the running of the “2024 Australian Athletics Championships” in Adelaide. We had 16 athletes from our club achieve a national qualifier across the AVSL, Milers, High Velocity and other Specialist meets which is an amazing story considering the size of our club which roughly equates to 24% of our membership.

Fun fact, Gregor crunched the data and shared that we had a qualifier in every track event with the exception being the walking events.

Congratulations to the following 12 athletes who made the journey across to compete – Sebastian Brasington, Nathan Munro, Rory Vial, Lachlan Gumley (2 events), Will Katic (2 events), AJ Merry, Tom Roach (6 events), Jayden Millie (2 events), Mark Ballantine, Gabby King, Conor Sullivan, Bart Leeton (2 events)

  • 8 Top 10 finishes
  • 2x Gold Medals – Lachlan Gumley (U16 Pole Vault), Will Katic (U18 Victoria 4x400m relay)
  • 1 x Silver Medal – Bart Leeton (U17 1500m)
  • 1 x Bronze Medal – Bart Leeton (U17 3000m)

The club’s success wouldn’t be possible without a number of people’s support:

  • We have the parents/carers and partners support in getting the athletes out to training and the various venues, ensuring the athletes were there ready to compete and cheering them one.
  • To those families and you know who you are, who were only too happy when I tapped you on the shoulder for support with our club duties whether part of AVSL, State Relays and Championships. This ensured the club fulfilled our responsibilities and allowed the smooth running of the events for our members.
  • Rob Belton – who was a volunteer AV official throughout the season representing the club.
  • Families attending nights such as these, the End of Year Break Up back in December on the banks of the Yarra at Scotch and the volunteers manning the BBQ at Bunnings to fundraise ensuring that we build on the community feel that this club has and is our point of difference to other clubs.

In parallel with the parents/carers and partners we then had our two amazing club coaches who have supported our club and athletes – Gregor Evans and David Lightfoot. Both Gregor and David volunteer their time starting off with the school athletes on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon before making their way over to Righetti Reserve at 4:30-5pm to coach those members not associated to the school. Their time and dedication with attending training and supporting our athletes at AVSL, Specialist meets, and the various championship events has seen the club win a Premiership, a number of individuals achieve PB, make finals, finish top 3 with a medal, achieve qualification to National T&F Championships to compete against the best of the best. I think it would be appropriate now if I can ask the athletes in the room to put their hands together to not only thank the coaches for their support but also to your parents/carers and supporters as well.

Finally wanting to update you in relation to the club survey that was sent to the financial members back in December asking, “if you are happy with the current overall uniform design?” This was based on feedback from various members & parents they were not happy with current uniform (different suppliers, the quality of uniform – the fit and fabric, no accessories available, crest/emblem and red colour of uniform inconsistent) In essence we looked like brown cows in comparison to other clubs when out on the track.

  • 34 members responded so roughly only a third of our members.
  • 68% were happy with the current uniform design.
  • Surprisingly 68% of respondents are interested in exploring other options for the club’s uniforms which the # don’t align.
  • The committee have agreed to the following:

o Partner with a new uniform provider “Pacific Team Sports” who are the sole licensee in Australia to provide Nike branded athletic gear. They currently are the uniform provider for Athletics Essendon and Old Xaverians Athletic Club
o Short colours will be reduced to 2 colour options, currently 3 – navy and red.
 o Singlet – plain red with agreed logo
o Orders will all be done online through Pacific Team Sports.
o The club will hold no stock and therefore incur no expense in ordering and holding stock which is better for our bottom line.
o New uniform for all club members will come into effect the start of T&F
season 2024.

A lot has been achieved this season and this success is worth sharing.
The bar has been set high and I look forward to seeing what the club and new committee can achieve moving forward for next season. Thankyou.

Winter Cross Country Report:

Pete Simm VP Cross Country

There’s really only one way to start this report – after 21 long years of near misses, frustration and struggles, Old Scotch finally returned to the summit of APSOC, taking home the open Division 1 premiership! It was a commanding performance from the athletes in cardinal, winning the first 4 events and effectively sewing up the flag before the final race. Our “golden generation” led the charge, with fine performances throughout the season from Tom Bowers and Ben Beischer, but what was most pleasing was the depth on display, with 19 different athletes in our top 6 across the 5 championship races. Tom and Ben were 2nd and 3rd respectively in the APSOC Open athlete of the year award, with the evergreen Rob Schwerkolt taking out the M50 award, Gary Zuccala the M60 award with Mark Purvis runner up, and Peter Dodgshun the M70. Heather Danks was the W50 APSOC champion, and Lachie Stewart won the M23 award. An incredible effort by all!
We continued to have impressive numbers of female athletes at many events, with Heather Danks leading the charge as always. We finished 4th overall in the Women’s team events which is a commendable outcome!
At Athletics Victoria level, Old Scotch competed as part of APS United, as we have done for nearly 30 years now. After a controversial relegation, APSU came very close to regaining our division one status, just missing out on the Div 2 premiership (and therefore promotion) to Knox. This was on the back of some incredible performances, not least Ben Beischer, who ran 9 of 10 events, and had some terrific results, with a 6th in the 15km road race and 4th in the half marathon (65:28, a sizzling time!!). However, the mature, experienced athletes led the way, with premierships in the M60 and W40 categories, and runners up in M50 and W50. The M60 team had a strong Old Scotch flavour with Scott Lawrence, John Braszell and Gary Zuccala all key members of the team – Scott running in all 10 events! Heather Danks and Caroline Beischer were the backbone of the W50 team.
As always, many people contributed to make the winter season such a success – Mark Purvis continued to drive APS United, as he has done for its entire existence! David Lightfoot’s outstanding mentoring of our star younger athletes deserves high praise, and was the single key factor in our ultimate triumph. Heather Danks was incredible at rustling up more and more female athletes, with infectious enthusiasm. Many, many others of you played important roles in taking photos, setting up tents, marshalling, bringing afternoon teas and generally supporting Old Scotch in many capacities – thank you all!
We relish the challenge of defending our premiership in 2024, and hope to see many of you out in the parks, fields, roads, bike paths and muddy tracks of Melbourne next season!

Old Scotch Athletic Club Support Fund

The aims of the fund are to support our athletes’ participation in National & International championships and to support the training of our coaches by donations received through the Australian Sports Foundation.

Our athletes very much appreciate our support on their athletic journey. It has been a key driver in our growth. As a small club that doesn’t have their own track to raise funds through a canteen or a BBQ as other clubs do, we are looking for direct support from current members, ex members, parents, old boys, followers or supporters.

We have recently seen Ben Beischer represent Australia at the 2024 FISU World University Cross Country Championships over in Oman and had 12 of our T&F athletes compete in Adelaide at the Australian Athletics Championships where we had a successful competition. 

National Results Tally
Gold Medal x 2 (x1 individual & x1 relay)
Silver Medal x 1
Bronze Medal x 1
Top 10 finishes (outside of medals) x 8 and many PBs.

Help us continue by taking out a Gold ($300), Silver ($200), or a Bronze ($100), sponsorship. Smaller and larger amounts welcome. Platinum Corporate Sponsorships are available from $1000. Please call to discuss. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible when paid through the Australian Sports Foundation.

All Sponsors will be acknowledged at the AGM, unless specified as anonymous.

Any questions, please call Robert Wilson on 0413 522 071.





2023/24 Awards Night, AGM And Annual Report
2024 Australian Athletics Championships Wrap
Australian Athletic T&F Championships
2024 Victorian State T&F Championships - week 2