Rob McIntosh – steady hands and an eagle eye

Date: 15th April 2019

As the Stawell Athletic Club puts the finishing touches on the biggest event of its year, we look at another key club committee member responsible for the smooth running of the iconic Stawell Gift.

Executive Committee Member Rob McIntosh has served with the Stawell Athletic Club for 19 years, having held the position of President twice.  He is currently the Starter for both the SAC and for the Victorian Athletic League, and serves on both the Finance Committee and the Grounds Committee.

The Committee is in full swing this week, as the transformation of Central Park takes place.  Usually home to Stawell’s sports teams and many community activities, Rob and his colleagues are responsible for producing the hallowed turf on which Australia’s richest footrace takes place every Easter.

With assigned roles over the Easter weekend, the committee members look after everything from setting out the track, race starting, announcing, handing out the colours, presenting cheques to race finalists and timing.  “Timing is everything, you could set your watch to the Gift schedule and its very rare we run behind.”

Rob travels most weekends in the Summer all over Victoria to attend other Gifts and act as the official Starter across those other events.  So he comes fairly well prepared for the pinnacle of Gifts in Stawell.  “Steady hands and an eagle eye” is the job description given by the VAL for someone applying to be a Starter.

“It is the pride of being involved with such an iconic event which keeps me interested.  It is a family event for us, with all of my children being involved over the years as “colour” and “block” kids.  My son Kieren followed me onto the Committee in 2009 and was President last year.”  Kieren McIntosh, like so many others began his relationship with the Stawell Gift handing out colours, operating scoreboards and as a judge, then ended up in the top job in 2018.

Rob owes much of his social life to the people he has met along the way. “I have made many lifelong friends from the gift circuit.”



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