Competition hot at new year carnival

THE temperatures were hot off the track and the action was scorching on it as Dubbo hosted its New Year Athletics Carnival at Barden Park over the weekend.

Close to 300 competitors took part in 433 events over the two days in competition that ranged from under-6s to the over-80s

Dubbo Athletics Club president David Williams said the true success of the weekend could be marked by the words of the competitors and visitors.

"You always get a couple of whingers but on the whole everyone said they loved the weekend and that they would be back," Williams said.

"That's a good thing because hopefully those people will tell others and they will bring some other people with them next year and we can continue to grow the event.

"Sure it was hot but we had those fans that blow water at the finish line on the track and over near the PCYC van were people were getting food and drinks so we tried to help out that way.

"Our oldest competitor is Bruce Sharpe from Sydney who comes back every year and runs, although he didn't do the longer events this year, and Mavis Gibbs from Dubbo is another that goes in the throwing events as well."

A small but dedicated band of helpers ensured the carnival ran smoothly, with Williams full of praise for those that gave up their time to offer assistance.

"It's nobody's fault but it is becoming harder for people to commit their time but we are lucky," Williams said.

"We have parents that travel for their children to compete who help out and we have members in our club whose children don't compete anymore that still offer their time.

"That help just makes everything run so much more smoothly and it would be so much harder to have the event without that help so we are really grateful.

The weekend's carnival was the last to be held at the current Barden Park, which will start a multi-million dollar redevelopment after next month's regional Little Athletics Carnival is contested.

"At that event we have 675 kids qualified to compete but we're not 100 per cent sure how many will actually be here," Williams said.

"It's an event for under-8s though to under-17s but only the kids from under-9s up will be eligible to go on to the state carnival.

"That meeting will be the last big one we have at the current Barden Park. We've had the last new year carnival and now we're preparing for the actual last one which will be a bit of history."

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