P. O’Dwyer



In 1988 Peter O’Dwyer, the Western Australian Amateur Sprint Champion journeyed across the Nullarbor to attempt to win the Stawell Gift, but on Good Friday night at the Calling of the Card at the Drill Hall, one hour after the start of betting, stewards dramatically announced that his mark had been reduced by 1.5 metres to 4.5 metres. Unaware of what had happened until one hour before his heat, he ran brilliantly to make the final in which he ran 4th.

In the 32 years since then, O’Dwyer has continued to compete and his record is formidable. 14 times he has qualified for the Gift Semi Finals, making the Final twice, 1988 and 1999 when he ran 3rd. Also in 1992, he ran 3rd in the Seiko 100 Yards Championship, and in 2018 the evergreen athlete ran 4th in the Final of the Arthur Postle 70 metres.

Turning to coaching, he has enjoyed considerable success with Matthew Wiltshire winning the Stawell Gift in 2012, and Holly Dobbyn 2014, his daughter Grace 2015 and Talia Martin 2016, all winning the Strickland Family Women’s Gift.

He also coached other Stawell winners in events up to 400 metres.

Peter has given back much to Professional Athletics, serving as a Committee Member and Treasurer of the Ballarat Athletic Club since 1993. He is a Life Member of the Ballarat Athletic Club and has also served on the Victorian Athletic League Board.