RELOCATION: Athletics coach Gerrard Keating (left) with a few of his Glendale-based squad members – Leroy Reid, Jasper Bagwell-Henderson, Sam Govender, Montana Monk and Torrie Lewis. Picture: Josh CallinanGerrard Keating has been around.
The two-time Commonwealth Games finalist and 1986 n sprint champion was born in country Victoria, spent seasonstraining at Canberra and once looked after the Vietnam national squad.
But after more than two decades based west of Brisbane in Toowoomba, the 54-year-old athletics coach recentlymade the move south to Newcastle.
It comes on the back of conversations with long-time Novocastrianmentor Max Debnam and helps fill some of the void left by the departure of experienced trainer Tony Fairweather to the Gold Coast.
“I’m really glad I made the move to be honest,” Keating said.
“Newcastle is a regional town but with the Knights and Jets there is a culture of high performance here.
“And fortrack and field in the past some really top athletes have come through this town.”
Keating reckons one of the sport’s aspiring stars is Gateshead 12-year-old Torrie Lewis, who he spent almost two campaigns overseeingvia correspondence before relocating.
“She reminds me of the way Cathy Freeman ran when she was a kid,” he said.“She’s just a natural. One of those ones born to run.”
n All Schools championships roll out in Adelaide from Saturday –starting with primary(December 2-6) and followed by secondary (December 8-10).
Elsewhere and Hunter pair Teah MacPherson (hurdles) and Luke Young (distance) were part of this month’s Athletics under-17 development camp at the AIS.
Meanwhileevents for next year’s Hunter Track Classic program on January 20 include the women’s 400 metres, men’s 1500m and women’s high jump.