Clubs start chase for Shield glory

October 6, 2023 BY

Power: Three-time national shot put champion Emma Berg will line up for South Bendigo this summer. Photo: A.J. TAYLOR

ATHLETICS Bendigo Region’s clubs kick off their Shield League campaign this Saturday at the Flora Hill field and track complex in Retreat Road.

Action begins at 1.30pm with a series of disciplines to be run.

Among them are sprint hurdles, 1500 or 3000-metre walk, 100, 1500, 3000 or 5000 and 400-metre runs, javelin, shot put, triple jump, and pole vault for a wide range of abilities and ages.

Third in last season’s race to be number one in premier division, Eaglehawk will again field a strong squad against metropolitan powers Diamond Valley and Athletics Essendon.

In division two it will be South Bendigo and Bendigo Harriers vying for a top-two finish and promotion to premier class for the 2004-25 season.

Among the stars for South Bendigo is Emma Berg, a triple national champion at shot put who hails from Swan Hill.

An outstanding run by the 22-year-old across last season included gold at the nationals, state, and Victoria Country championships.

Berg also headed to Saipan on the Northern Mariana Islands where she struck gold at the Oceania Cup.

A personal best of 15.57 metres was achieved at an AV Throwers Meet run last March at Geelong’s John Landy Field.

The shot put champion’s exploits have again put her in the running for Bendigo’s Sports Star of the Year award.

Among a tally of more than 50 clubs competing in AV Shield will be Bendigo University in division five.

There will be 12 rounds of Shield League run at metro and country venues.

Athletes can contest as many events as they want in Shield League, but it’s the points from their three highest-scoring events, plus a relay, which will be added to the team’s tally.

As part of the build-up to the season, Athletics Bendigo ran a come ‘n try day on the AFL grand final eve public holiday last Friday.

Among the highlights was Frank Barr setting a new bar for the 90-plus class at shot put and discus.

At 93-years-young, Barr put the shot to a mark of 3.33 metres and hurled the discus 7.84 meters.

Waaia teenager Rhys Hansen who competes for South Bendigo cleared 3.80 metres at pole vault.