2020 has been a very different year.  The DAC AGM and Presentation Night had to ‘fit in’ to this new normal and a great night was had in the virtual mode.  On Saturday 26th of September 2020, DAC Members got together (obviously at a distance) to celebrate the season past and look forward to the next season.

Once again at a distance, we were joined by Bree Walker, Joel Tobin-White and Dave McNeil.  Terrific contributions by those outstanding athletes.

2019-20 AGM Report is available here.

The AGM elected (unopposed) the following Committee Members:

President: Campbell McClennan
Vice President: Nathan Down
Secretary: Darryl Kilmartin
Treasurer: Graham Ford
Registrar: David Mitchell
General Committee Members:
Andrew Parrott
Peter Coumaros
Colleen Kelly
Maxime Plugge
Stephanie Larkin
Boris Mathys
Yuan Chow Lui
Jason Hodson

On to the 2019/20 Season Awards

Summer Points awards

Shield Award winners

These awards are determined by the number of points scored in each event competed during the Shield Competition, the better the performance, the more points are awarded. At the end of the 12 rounds of competition the athletes’ scores are totalled and our winners decided. (Shield Final and any cancelled rounds do not count towards scoring for this award). It was also decided not to count points scored from the Relay Round due to complications from the relay scoring system and field event athletes being potentially disadvantaged.

U14 Women

1st – Eliza Chivers 7,632 points

2nd – Isabella Parrott 5,663 points

3rd – Jasmine Smith 4,611 points

U14 Men

1st  – Brodie Mierisch 9,682 points

2nd – Ashton Sinn 3,233 points

3rd – Lachlan Reynolds  3,050 points

U16 Women

1st – Petra Edwards 3,892 points

2nd – Sanne Bakker 3,482 points

3rd – Chiara Bakker 3,272 points

U16 Men

1st – Owen Rice 7,007 points

2nd – Liam McLennan 6,086 points

3rd – Matthew Parrott 4,277 points

U18 Women

1st – Alessia Wynne 7,981 points

2nd – Harriette Glover 4,730 points

3rd – Alana Mierisch 2,337 points

U18 Men

1st – Lachlan Parrott 7,946 points

2nd – Caleb McLennan 6,528 points

3rd – Patrick Ward 5,306 points

U20 Women

1st  – Melissa Niewoudt 2,656 points

2nd  – Jessica Ng 2,162 points

3rd – Abbey Caldwell  1,491 points

U20 Men

1st – Caleb Sinn 2,714 points

2nd  – Jordan Munyard 2,202 points

3rd – Declan Carman 2,113 points

40+ Women

1st – Laura McLennan 5,467 points

2nd – Charmaine Smith 4,631 points

3rd – Kathryn Gawthorn 3,633 points

40+ Men

1st – Paul Mierisch 15,321 points

2nd – Graham Ford 12,413 points

3rd – Darryl Kilmartin  11,115 points


Open Men

1st – David Mitchell 4,247 points

2nd  – Brock Goodings  4,097 points

3rd – Wes Spargo 3,295 points

Open WomenCharmaine Smith Trophy

Charmaine Smith has shown great dedication to the Club over a number of years. She has served on the Club’s Committee and has been involved in many fundraising events, most notably the annual Bundoora bar-b-que.

Charmaine showed the same dedication at the weekly shield competitions, competing in multiple events in both track and field. She always strived to gain points for the Club and was fully committed to helping the club where she could. A great role model for all aspiring athletes.

Charm was made DAC Life Member in 2003.

This year’s winner of the Charmaine Smith Trophy.

1st – Stephanie Larkin 3,036 points

2nd – Nicole Reynolds 1,956 points

3rd – Danielle McDowell 1,590 points


Winter Points awards

(Criteria: Taking into consideration AV winter rankings, number of races competed in and participation in club relay teams)

Junior Women

1st place – Grace Wilson

2nd place – Abby Caldwell

3rd place – Jessica Ng

Junior Men

1st place – Caleb McLennan

2nd place – Liam McLennan

3rd place – Caleb Sinn

40+ Women

1st place equal – Evelyn Kuys &
Kathryn Gawthorn

2nd place – Colleen Kelly

3rd place – Shirley Collier

40+ Men

1st place – Jim Finch

2nd place – Jason Merrett

3rd place equal – Darryl Kilmartin &
Campbell McLennan

Open Women

1st place – Maxime Plugge

2nd place – Alice Rennie

3rd place equal – Jessica O’Keefe & Steph Larkin


Open MenJohn Hirst Winter Athlete of the Year

John Hirst has made a fantastic contribution to athletics over the last 45 odd years. By nature, he was a distance athlete through his teenage years. John ran 3 seconds and a third at Stawell during the early 1960’s. He first started coaching schoolboys in 1956 as a 19 year old. As a self-trained runner, John went on to coach his first successful runner at Stawell; Kevin Pettiona who won the 1957 Victory Mile.

From 1977 John was coaching both amateurs and pros at the Doncaster Athletic Club where he coached Commonwealth Games Marathon silver medallist Sean Quilty and Australian Amateur Champions Dean Paulin, Jason Rock and Sean Quilty, all of whom won at Stawell as well.

John was made a DAC Life Member in 1990 for all his efforts in coaching and supporting the Club’s growth.

This year’s winner of the John Hirst Winter Athlete of the Year.

1st place – Alistair Christy

2nd place – Mike Rennie

3rd place – Ben Ashkettle


Handicap award winners

Bill Chambers Cross Country Handicap:

First run in 1976, this prestigious handicap event holds a special place in DAC history as the Club’s longest running tradition. The original course layout changed several times until it was moved to its current location of Ruffey Lake Park. The race was renamed the Bill Chambers Handicap 1989 as a mark of respect to Bill who had a large role to play in its development. Bill was made DAC Life Member in 1982. Sadly, Bill passed away five days after the 2019 edition of his race. From 2020 onwards the race will be known as the Bill Chambers Memorial Cross Country Handicap to honour the contribution Bill made to our Club’s history with such an iconic event.

1st – Adrian Patti

2nd – Nathan Down

3rd – Caleb McLennan

Tom Kelly 800m Handicap:

Tom Kelly needs no introduction; a passionate supporter of the Club Tom was made a DAC Life Member 1994.  Tom was an avid supporter of the steeplechase for women for a number of years. It seemed fitting to dedicate a race in his honour beginning in 1993, in 2019 the decision was made to change the race to 800m for Women.

1st – Alessia Wynne

2nd – Eliza Chivers

3rd – Grace Wilson

Peter Ruff 100m Handicap:

Introduced in 1997, this event began as a 100 yard race but today is run over 100m.  The Peter Ruff Handicap was named after our Club stalwart – as competing athlete, coach and office bearer since 1976. Peter was made DAC Life Member in 1987.

1st – Isabella Parrott

2nd – David Mitchell

3rd – Alessia Wynne

Adam Robertson Javelin Handicap: 

In order to extend the range of Club events on offer and simultaneously honour one of the DAC long serving and dedicated contributor.  Adam was made DAC Life Member in 1999. The Adam Robertson Handicap event was born in 2004 and became a perpetual award in 2005. The award is decided based on your performance at the Christmas Party where the results are taken and Adam applies a secret formula to decide the winner.

1st – Liam McLennan

2nd – Caleb McLennan

3rd – Graham Ford

Ivan Harding 800m Handicap:

To honour one of our longest serving Club Presidents and office bearer of almost 30 years, in 2008 the Ivan Harding 800m handicap event for men was born.  Ivan was made DAC Life Member in 1993.

1st – Liam McLennan

2nd – Ben Purser

3rd – David Mitchel


Major award winners

Adrian Patti Coaches Award:

The Club is forever grateful for Patti’s time, effort and dedication over the years. It was decided last year in 2019 that the club would rename the DAC coach’s award as the Adrian Patti Coaches Award.

Patti joined the Club when he was 13 as a promising middle distance runner who went on to compete at a state and national level over distances ranging from 800m to 5k and competed regularly at cross country. During his time at the Club Adrian served on the committee and become the Club President for a number of years from (2011-2018), was made a Life Member in 2007 and has most recently taken up a role of Club coach where his encouragement, passion and enthusiasm gives athletes confidence that they are improving with every training session and race.

Criteria: This award is nominated by a Club coach, to an athlete who has upheld discipline, sportsmanship, dedication and punctuality throughout the year with respect to their training and performances. (Most dedicated and consistent at training):

2020 Winners – Alastair Christy and Brock Goodings.

Alastair Christy

Alistair is exceptionally dedicated and consistent with his training who always looks for the extra once percenters. Despite a physically demanding job as an electrical apprentice, this year Al has continued to build his weekly volume to an average of 130k in single training session along with his strength sessions. Al represents DAC at every opportunity he can whilst jungle his training regime in order to help the Club. He regularly competes in AVLS, XCR, VMC, Zatopek graded races and many other events. Always ready with a smile and encouragement, Al brings a positive energy to his training squad and sets a fantastic example for others to follow. He is an asset to his squad and Club.

Brock Goodings

Brock has shown great commitment and enthusiasm since his time at the Club. His determination to improve his PB’s from 400m to 5000m is second to none. No matter how hard the session, Brock will push through and complete it with no complaining. He is one of the first to arrive at training and is always looking and learning at ways to improve his PB’s. In just a short time he has improved several of his PB’s and with his attitude towards training and racing, he is set to improve a lot more. He is always supporting his training partners and is a much-valved member of his training squad. 


Joan Mahoney Female Athlete of the Year:

The Joan Mahoney Female athlete of the year Perpetual Trophy came about to honour Joan’s tireless contributions made to the Doncaster Womens Athletic Club during the 70’s. Joan was made a DAC Life Member in 1983. The Joan Mahoney Female Athlete of the Year to be awarded to the most highly accomplished female athlete of the past season. To be judged using a scale which assesses performances in the order of International – National – State – Club

This year’s winner………..

Her achievements this season:
Qualified in the 1500m for the Australia team for the 2020 World Junior Championships in Nairobi, Kenya
Qualified in the 1500m for the Junior Australian Athletics Championships
Victorian Under 20 800m Champion
Ranked number 1 in the Under 20 Women’s age rankings for the 2019 AV Cross Country season
Ranked number 1 in Australia for Under 20 1500m 

The recipient of the Joan Mahoney Female Athlete of the Year is Abbey Caldwell.


David Baxter Male Athlete of the Year:

This award is named in memory of David Baxter who lost his courageous battle with cancer in 2010. David was a member of the Doncaster Athletic Club for much of his life and represented the Club at local, National and International competitions as well as serving on the Committee. David still holds numerous Club records from junior to open.

On the track David was the ultimate competitor who trained diligently, was humble in victory and defeat and for those who knew him, he was a breath of fresh air in the often self-centred world of track and field.

David represented Australia indoors and out on the world stage. He won the rare sprint double over the 100m and 200m at the 1996 U20 National championships which saw him go onto compete in the World Junior Championships. David also represented Australia at the World University Championships in 1997 & 2001, World Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 1999 and in 2002 he won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal as part of the Australian 4x100m relay team.

This year’s winner………..

Achievements for this season:
Qualified in Discus for the Australia team due to compete at the 2020 World Junior Championships in Nairobi, Kenya
Qualified in Discus for the Junior and Open Australian Athletics Championships
Victorian Open and Under 20 Discus Champion
Club record breaker in Under 20 Discus
Undefeated in Discus during the 2019/20 specialist AV Throwers competitions
Ranked number one in Victoria for Open and Under 20 Discus
Ranked number one in Australia for Under 20 Discus
Ranked number three in Australia for Open Discus 

The recipient of the David Baxter Male Athlete of the Year is Declan Carman


Tom Kelly Development Scholarship:

In memory of Tom Kelly, his family together with DAC and Doncaster Little Athletics Centre (DLAC) established the Tom Kelly Development Scholarship. The aim is to assist in the development of athletes and coaches so that they can realise their ambition and potential. The scholarship is awarded annually to a member who has demonstrated the qualities and values Tom strongly exhibited.

Work ethic (An outstanding commitment to training and/or coaching),
Team Focus (Embracing the spirit of the club and team values),
Teaching & Leading (A willingness to share knowledge, encourage and mentor others)
and Self Development (Defining goals and showing a determination to reach them).

The Senior winner of the Tom Kelly Development Scholarship is Oscar Oconnor.

Oscar is an aspiring middle distance athlete. Currently completing year 12 at Whitefriars Collage, he has competed for the Club over the last few years. He currently trains under the watchful eye of Club coach Adrian Patti and is incredibly respectful to the older athletes in his squad. He is like a sponge soaking up all the knowledge he can from those more experienced around him. Oscar comes across as mature and confident now, but this is due to his growth while an athlete at the Club. His growth in the last few years has been exceptional. His improvement in running has given him that self-confidence and allowed him to grow into the mature young man that he is today, which is obviously the way it worked under Tom. He has also thrown himself totally into the athletics world, following competitions around the world and reading as much as he can about training techniques, etc.  Oscar’s passion for athletics has become such that he desires to get involved in coaching kids and hopes to do a coaching course as soon as he can after finishing Year 12 and start coaching. Oscar has a fantastic work ethic, who looks to develop his own athletics goals via building a supportive team environment at the Doncaster Athletic Club. 


Russell Adams Club Person of the Year:

Russell Adams a young and enthusiastic Club member was unfortunately killed in 1983.  His membership of DAC provided this happy go lucky disabled athlete with a new lease on life.  Russell’s family saw fit to provide the Club with a perpetual trophy in his memory which would be awarded to the best club person on an annual basis.

This year’s winner………..

This person has provided enormous dedication and commitment to the Doncaster Athletic Club over the last few years. Within the last year or so she has helped the wider team form the Club’s first recreational running group in the Ruffey Runners, in providing a social and welcoming environment for people of all abilities to come and exercise. She has taken it upon herself to research and strengthen her coaching skills and credentials to provide training programs and guidance for her athletes to pursue their individual goals. She is caring and supportive beyond expectation. She does this whilst actively competing for the Club and being a part of the Club committee.  She has also supported the Club in various fundraisers since her time at the Club, in particular was this year’s Trivia Night. She took on a massive amount of work to provide an opportunity for the Club to raise some money and create and fantastic evening for Club members, family and friends, this night made over $4,000. Given her Dad was an enormous part of the Club, she is no doubt continuing his legacy and is an integral asset to the Club and is a worthy winner in receiving this year’s Russell Adams Club Person of the year, congratulations Colleen Kelly.

The recipient of the Russell Adams Club Person of the Year is Colleen Kelly.