Date: 28th March 2023

Layla Watson is one of several pro athletes who will line up at the Nationals at the weekend to compete on the track before heading back to Victoria for the 2023 Powercor Stawell Gift Easter carnival.

Highly favoured to make the final of the Change Our Game Womens Gift, Layla’s handicap of 8.75m is “exactly what we thought it would be, hopefully a winning one!”

Following an injury prone 2021/22 season, Layla is back this year in style, taking out the Warrnambool Gift in December, the 70m at Ballarat and the 400m Womens event at the Beachside Gift.

Due to the scheduling of the races next weekend in Brisbane, Layla is concentrating on the Under 20 200m and 400m events there, but will mix it up in the 120m Open, 70m and 400m at Stawell.

Having adjusted her training schedule to accommodate both events Layla is pleased with how everything is falling into place leading into Easter. “I just want to go and have fun running the best I can. There are so many things that have to go your way before you can even think about winning the race.  

“Stawell has such a long history with so many fantastic runners who have achieved amazing things over the years. Almost every runner has stories to tell about running at Stawell. It’s a runners’ grand final!”

Layla is from Grassmere and trains with the DPS Stable in Warrnambool.

“I’ve had my coaches Wayne Perry and Rob Duynhoven since I was 10 years old. The squad has grown over the years into my second family, and I would not have been able to achieve anything that I have without them. I love the atmosphere of pro running, everyone is friendly and I have made so many wonderful friendships.”

Achieving some good results in amateur racing including competing at the All Schools Nationals, Layla is keeping her option open for the future. “My aim is to keep improving in each of the 100m, 200m and 400m on the track and see what opportunities that presents me with.”  

The 17-year-old Warrnambool College student enjoys going to the beach and catching up with friends. 




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