The North-West Coast will become the focal point of the Tasmanian athletics season this weekend with the Tasmanian Age Championships at the Dial Regional Athletics Centre at Penguin.
Male and female athletes from across the state from the under 14, 15, 16, and 20 age groups will battle it out for state titles in track and field events, while the state open and under 18 men’s 3000m will also be held at the event.
Athletics Tasmania executive officer Gabby Steele said the number of the entries for the championships was very good after a slow start.
“There was an influx of entries, we have a tendency in Tasmania were we leave things to the last minute when we are attending something or want to book,” Steele said.
“Entries have been flowing in nicely and the Tasmanian Age Championships will be well represented from athletes from all geographical locations.”
Steele said the championships were important for Athletics Tasmania because it allows state coaches the chance to scout the next generation of athletes.
“These championships are important for the two programs Athletics Tasmania has in place.
“We have the Talent Target program and Talent Identification Development program and it is important for athletes in those programs.
“So we will see some real quality up and coming athletes competing.”
The Tasmanian Age Championships is the second major athletics event to be held at the the Dial Range complex after the Little Athletics Tasmania Multi Event Championships in January.
Steele said Athletics Tasmania was lucky with the quality of tracks around the state and it was important for events to be balanced across the facilities within the state to build the sport.
“We are a statewide organisation and we have three tracks in the state that are IAAF certified, so it is extremely important that we share hosting our competitions around the state.
“Last year, Penguin conducted the Combined Underage State Championships and the calendar is extremely tight.
“To fit events in and for us to work alongside Little Athletics Tasmania when they hold their events, we have to judge which venue can best accommodate each event.
“So it is quite complex when we make the decision of where the events will be hosted and it is not based on which places haven’t hosted certain events, it is down to a number of factors.”
There will be a strong crop of North-West athletes competing across the slate of events on Saturday and Sunday with a number of great hopes for titles.
Tess Horton, Jennifer Fuller, Chelsea Scolyer, Eve Bell, Amy Hyland, Lucy Reimer, Emily Aichberger Darcy Miller, Lily James and Abbie Walker will chase state titles.
The most notable non-Coastal athletes entered to compete in the championships is rising sprinter, Sandy Bay’s Jagga Pybus.
The championships will run from 11am to 6.30pm on Saturday and from 9.45am to 3.30pm on Sunday.