MattyB DEPT gears up for another Easter in Stawell

Date: 22nd February 2024

The renowned MattyB DEPT squad from Canberra is eagerly gearing up for their annual pilgrimage to the Powercor Stawell Gift at Easter. With a team of approximately 10 athletes, the squad is buzzing with anticipation for their trip south.

A highlight of their Stawell experience is the eagerly anticipated Kids Clinic on Easter Sunday morning run by coach and Olympian Matt Beckenham. A beloved tradition on Family Day, the clinic offers children of all ages and abilities a chance to learn from the best while having fun on the track.

Reflecting on the squad’s excitement, Matt shared, “The squad has been lucky to win a few sashes over the years. Every year presents a new opportunity to etch our names into the rich history of Stawell. The thrill of competing here never gets old.”

For hurdler Alesha Bennetts, Stawell has become synonymous with Easter festivities. “Easter used to be solely about eggs for me, but now it’s all about Stawell. There is even an Easter egg hunt on the Sunday so it’s a win win,” she remarked.

Chad ‘The White Tiger’ Perris, Australia’s fastest Paralympian over 100m, echoed the sentiment, expressing his newfound admiration for Stawell after experiencing its magic in 2021. 

“MattyB always spoke highly of Stawell, and now I understand why. I’m hooked,” said Chad who is currently preparing for the World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan in May and then the Paralympics in Paris.

Long jump and triple jump specialist Claire Roberts fondly recalled her triumph in the 2022 Fashions on the Field event. “Stawell offers a unique opportunity to shine both on and off the track,” Roberts recalls, eagerly anticipating another memorable year.

National 400m medallist Helen Pretorius summed up the squad’s sentiment, describing the Stawell weekend as the ultimate Easter celebration. “From the lively road trip filled with music and banter to the fierce competition on the track, Stawell weekend is an unforgettable experience,” Pretorius exclaimed.

As the Matty B DEPT squad prepares to make their mark once again, excitement is building for what promises to be another great long weekend for all of our athletes from the nation’s capital. 

Main photo: Brendan Matthews, Claire Roberts, Helen Pretorius, Chad Perris, Angus Proudfoot, MattyB, Lauren Boden, Alesha Bennetts, Leigh Bennett.

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