Queanbeyan Gift start of pre-Olympic season for ambassadors

19 November 2015

Queanbeyan will rally behind Queanbeyan Gift ambassadors, Lauren Wells and Melissa Breen this weekend as they take part in the prestigious foot-race in Queanbeyan Park.

The Queanbeyan Gift weekend of events will be held over three days this year from Friday, November 20, to Sunday, November 22.

Known for its equal prize money for women and men, The Queanbeyan Gift last month was named the Australian Athletic Confederation’s Event of the Year for 2014, a title it also won in 2012.

In 2013 the Confederation named Queanbeyan City Council’s Tracey Lamont Australian Administrator of the Year for her organisation of The Queanbeyan Gift. This year both the Men’s and Women’s Gift are worth $18,000 each.

For the past three years athletes, Lauren and Melissa, both from Canberra, have supported The Queanbeyan Gift as its ambassadors, and this year it will be Queanbeyan’s turn to support the women, as they prepare their campaign for a spot in the 2016 Olympic team going to Rio.

Melissa Breen broke the Australian women’s 100 metres record in 11.11 seconds last year, but then was unable to match that performance at the world titles in August. She will be working hard to regain her footing in the Olympic team. Lauren Wells, meanwhile has been a consistent semi-finalist in international meets in the 400m hurdles and is looking to make the finals at Rio.

Both women are coached by Queanbeyan’s Mathew Beckenham who says The Queanbeyan Gift is always a key meet for both girls in their preparations for the season ahead. As former winners both girls hold this weekend close to their heart. They also know that I am a proud Queanbeyan boy, so know that I want them running well.”

Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall said Queanbeyan and Queanbeyan Park was a first class venue for The Queanbeyan Gift.

“The Queanbeyan Gift has gone from strength to strength over the last few years winning awards and attracting Australia’s top athletes. I look forward to a great weekend of competition and fun.

“I thank our wonderful ambassadors, and wish them luck with their Olympic campaign. I also look forward to seeing our talented juniors compete, such as Queanbeyan’s Andrea Thompson, who won last year’s inaugural Junior Gift.”

The Queanbeyan Gift

Friday evening: Hotel Queanbeyan hosts The Queanbeyan Gift Calcutta
Saturday: The Queanbeyan Gift heats, Queanbeyan Park
Saturday, 6pm to 11pm: Queanbeyan Gift Street Party, Crawford St Lifestyle Precinct
Sunday: Family Fun Day and Queanbeyan Gift finals, Queanbeyan Park, men’s final 3.15pm; women’s final 3.30pm

For more information contact Tonia Liosatos, Communications Coordinator on 6285 6588 or 0458 000 955.