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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Keith Aiston passed away

Keith Aiston passed away

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1 Keith Aiston passed away on Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:05 am


Sad news from the weekend. One of SA pro running's best ever athletes, a successful coach and true gentleman of the sport, Keith Aiston passed away.

Keith was a life member of the SAAL, a winner of the 1945 Whyalla Gift (as a 17 year old), 1970 Bay Sheff 75 yards, a world 75 yards champion and won many Gifts and backmarkers races around Australia.

Among his coaching triumphs were state sprint champion  David Grubb, 1986 Bay Sheffield winner Andrew Weckert,  SAAL athlete of the year and 2000 Camden Classic winner Craig Hams, Women's Camden Classic winner Robyn Pohlner and dozens of other athletes who were privileged to be involved in the Railways stable. Keith's railways' oval based squad (in an alignment with the late Bob Gray's squad) was the 1998-1999 SAAL club of the year with Keith being named Australian Athletic Confederation coach of the year in 1999.

Keith's squad moved to Ellis Park in 2002 and he coached there for about 4 years until ill health prevented him from continuing, although he still took an active interest in what was happening in the sport.

A truly great man who will be sadly missed.

Keith is the father of Channel 10 news presenter Mark Aiston and below is a video Mark produced in March of his father's on going health battles.

Last edited by Admin on Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:46 pm; edited 3 times in total

2 Keith the Gentleman on Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:39 pm

John LeRay

Keith Aiston was a true gentleman with a wicked sense of humor. When I stared as a Trainer 22 years ago with a very young squad - Keith approached me with nothing but encouragement. I thought at the time it was a bit strange with the 'tell the opposition nothing' that I thought the game was about. He only told me to keep doing what I was doing, so I guess as a good punter that he was, he was still not giving anything away.
Keith was great to listen to and his story telling was very detailed. He did not have a lot of time for 'modern' Athletes with Hamstring injuries and complaining of being too tired to train. He told me that in his day that Athletes worked hard all day in Physical jobs then trained hard - no warm down stretching required as all would then ride their bike home. Nowdays he said 'They walk off the track get into a car and the only stretching is on the clutch' so the latic sits in the system and they pull hammys net session . I'm sure there will be many more stories at the Service. Vale Keith Aiston, Gentleman and sorely missed.

3 Re: Keith Aiston passed away on Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:55 pm


Funeral Details for the late Mr Keith Aiston:

Friday 19th August 2011 at 1.30pm.

Heysen Chapel, Centennial Park,
Goodwood Road, PASADENA.

4 Re: Keith Aiston passed away on Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:44 pm


Thanks to John LeRay for his tribute to Keith Aiston. It got me thinking of my own involvement with Keith from his days at the railways oval to the last few years up at Ellis Park.

My first athlete, Jason Neve came from Keith's squad. I wasn't coaching at the time, but Jason approached me after doing a bit of work in the gym I was involved with at the Wing Chun Academy in Gouger Street. Initially I was reluctant to coach Jason as I was not sure I had the time, but he was persistent and I agreed to take him on. I contacted Keith and he was terrific about it. He gave me an insight to Jason and how at times he can get a bit feisty and perhaps try too hard.

Keith had a few of his athletes do a Jim Bradey type winter prep, including Craig Hams who ended up winning the Athlete of the Year on the back of his seven sashes in 1999. Keith was happy for me to help his athletes out and I was certainly learned a few coaching tips from Keith.

When Jason won his first race at Barmera in February 1999, Keith was genuinely rapt for him and the respect Jason showed Keith was palpable.

No doubt Keith was a brilliant athlete in his day, but he rarely spoke of it. He did say that when he had a go at the Bendigo Thousand in 1952 (running 11.9 in the heat) it was the richest race in Australia, richer than Stawell. He was a little self depreciating at times and I remember when he was awarded AAC coach of the year, he said he felt that Mary Karutz must have called in a few favours from some of the other AAC delegates. No doubt he deserved it, but he couldn't believe he could win it with the 'bunch of scrubbers' (his words) he had at Railway Oval.

Like John LeRay said, Keith had a wicked sense of humour and often said things that only he could get away with. Only he could tell the risque gag because of the genuine respect he was universally held in the sport.

We were delighted at Westerns, when Keith moved his squad up to Ellis Park. The club picked up a few members and with Keith's squad and YGTS we were able to win the SAAL club of the year for the first time.

Keith often said he enjoyed watching the various trials I would run with athletes like Mark Faulkner, Ben McLean, Leon Burckhardt and Stuey Stevenson going head to head. He loved the intensity and competitive spirit of the races over 60m or 80m.

He developed a terrific rapport with Anne-Marie Mouri-Nkeng and I'm sure his presence and the odd retort defused some potential volatile situations.

He was very astute and didn't suffer fools kindly, and many times I would ring him to seek out his opinion on certain persons or issues. He was very well connected in Adelaide and most people I met knew of Keith in some capacity.

He is probably one of the most impressive gentlemen I've had the privilege to meet in pro running and I will cherish the memories of Keith at Ellis Park, working with guys like Mario Sboro, Phil Calvert, Paul Nobbs and the many kids including AFL footballers - Angus Monfries and Danny Meyer.

RIP Keith.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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