Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 21st November 2013
Q: What have you been up to since winning the Stawell Gift?
A: Since winning the 2013 gift I have been very busy with numerous commitments here in Tasmania. I played soccer during the winter to help with the fitness base (something I have done ever year) as well as continuing in the gym and then picking up normal pre season for athletics as well. Apart from the actual sport side I have had a vast range of opportunities come my way as a result of winning the gift. Ive had roles within schools; delivering talks to whole schools and individual classes about my success and what it took to get where I am today, performing clinics and coaching for many schools in helping their athletic teams in the respective school competitions. I have been a guest speaker at countless dinners, again speaking of my journey and the lessons I have learnt along the way. I have also had the pleasure of helping launch the NBN in Tasmania speaking to the great Michael Johnson along the way and be the race starter for the Launceston 10. All this with continuing University and work life as well.
Q: How did it feel to win the 2013 Stawell Gift?
A:It was a dream come true to be the 2013 Stawell gift winner!! 5 years worth of training, effort and dreaming came to realization in one special day. I had a feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment, as well as pride for myself and the fact that I was able to achieve it for my coach who has been attending the gift for 40 years as an athlete and a trainer and he was able to taste his first gift success on the same day. The wave of emotions felt was incredible and the high you get on as a result was unbelievable and something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Q: What makes the Stawell Gift such a great race to be a part of?
A: The Stawell gift is so very special and unique. The deep and rich history experienced at the town and the ground of Central Park makes it unlike any other race. There is a sense of optimism in the air at Stawell and its so very hard to win there. The people make you feel welcome and the way they conduct themselves and the event is of the highest quality and professionalism. You have to be trained to the limit and be able to cope with an intense media scrutiny over the 3 day weekend, so it’s a physically and mentally challenging event. The fact that everything has to go your way makes it so intriguing.
Q: Will you be participating in the 2014 Stawell Gift?
A: Yes. There is no doubt that I will be participating in the 2014 gift, and many more to come.
Q: What would your advice be to other athletes participating in the Stawell Gift?
A: My advice would be to enjoy the experience and just let it happen. There are so many unknowns at Stawell and you cant think about them too much because they beat you down if you do. Its so hard to do well there so make the most of the opportunities you get there because you don’t know when or if you will experience them ever again. Make it count and give it your all.
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
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