The Alf Robinson Memorial Race Walking Foundation
When former Racewalking Australia President Alf
Robinson died in 1977, a Foundation was set up, seeded by an
initial sum of money donated by Mr. Harold and Mrs. Cora Brennan. This
Foundation was designated The Alf Robinson Memorial Race Walking
It was envisaged that the interest from this Foundation would be used on an ongoing basis to assist Australian racewalkers on the international stage. The funds within the Foundation were held in trust by Athletics Australia and were administered by a Board of Trustees, made up of representatives of Athletics Australia and Racewalking Australia. Each year's interest was distributed to various walkers until the late 1990's when, for reasons unknown to me, the submission process stopped and the money sat unused in the Foundation.
The Foundation was re-enabled in early 2008 and Australian walkers were invited to apply for an initial round of funding. Consequently, there were two funding recipients announced in August 2008 - Melissa Hayes (NSW) and Brendon Reading (ACT).
A further round of grants were announced in June 2009 with recipients being World
representatives Jillian Hosking (ACT) and Ian Rayson
(NSW), and World Youth Championships athletes Dane Bird-Smith
(QLD), Sean Fitzsimons (WA), Paige Hooper (SA) and Shannon
Since 2008, awards have been been made annually, with the list of
recipients now reading as follows
(NSW), Brendon Reading (ACT)
(ACT, Ian Rayson (NSW), Dane Bird-Smith (QLD), Sean Fitzsimons
(WA), Paige Hooper (SA), Shannon Jennings (NSW)
(VIC), Rhydian Cowley (VIC)
(AVT), Ian Rayson (NSW), Nicole Fagan (NSW), Amy Burren (VIC)
||Jesse Osborne (QLD), Brad Aiton (QLD), Nathan Brill (VIC)
Both Athletics Australia and Racewalking Australia view this
as a developmental fund which should focus on either our most promising
junior walkers or those open aged walkers under the age of 25 years who
show the potential to achieve internationally.
For those who want an indepth understanding of the nuts and bolts behind this Foundation, I reproduce the relevant sections from the Racewalking Australia By Laws
1) The real return from the Fund Investment, i.e. the interest income received less inflation, may be used each year to assist walkers and/or Athletics Australia walking teams to obtain overseas competitive experience to develop their abilities, but not to obtain competition within Australia.
2) The Athletics Australia Treasurer shall advise the Athletics Australia Competition Manager of the maximum amount available for distribution at 1 July each year. The money not used at 30 June in the following year shall be capitalised into the Fund.
3) The Fund cannot be used to finance walkers to take part in the World Open Track and Field Championships, Olympic Games or the Commonwealth Games.
Administration of the Fund
1) Athletics Australia, in consultation with Racewalking Australia, will announce a yearly cutoff date for Foundation submissions and will provide a suitably configured Athletics Australia website online panel by which applicants can submit grant applications.
2) Grant applications are to be made directly to Athletics Australia via the Athletics Australia website. The application shall state:-
a) the overseas competition in which the walker wishes to participate and the planned cost of the tour,
b) his/her three best performances in his/her particular event,
c) details of his/her last three performances in his/her particular event.
3) When the submission closure date has passed, the Athletics Australia Competition Manager will ask the Foundation Trustees to review all nominations. The Athletics Australia Treasurer will advise the amount of money available for distribution.
4) The Foundation Trustees will consider the applications and advise the Athletics Australia Competition Manager of their recommendations.
5) The Athletics Australia Competition Manager will confirm the decision or not as he sees fit.
6) The costs of administering the Fund may be taken from the Fund income. The amount of the administration fee may be determined by the Trustees from time to time, but not to exceed 10% of the grants allocated in any one year.
7) The Trustees to have the authority to use income from the Fund to promote the Fund in an endeavour to obtain further donations to add to the Fund.
Limitations on Applications
1) As Racewalking Australia has been charged with the responsibility of developing, promoting and increasing the Fund, athletes applying for assistance should be members of the Walking Clubs who are members of Racewalking Australia.
2) Members receiving assistance shall have been full financial members of a Member Club for at least two years immediately prior to selection by the Selectors and shall have competed during that period in approximately 50% of Club race fixtures for which they are eligible, or by dispensation from the Annual General Conference of the Federation.
3) It is open to an Australian walker to make application for assistance from the Fund if he/she is at the time temporarily residing out of Australia.
4) Only one grant shall be made to an athlete in a financial year.