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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Coaches Les Nankervis (TAS) & John Burke (Bendigo) receive Australia Day Awards

Coaches Les Nankervis (TAS) & John Burke (Bendigo) receive Australia Day Awards

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Coaching provides lessons for life

The Examiner
Jan. 26, 2014

Athletics coach Les Nankervis, of Summerhill, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his dedication to helping young athletes achieve their best.

LES Nankervis said 38 years of coaching athletics had filled him with pride and happiness - and taught him a few lessons too.

"The things you are trying to instil in the kids can be applied to life itself," he said.

"You have to be prepared to turn up and push yourself.

"You cannot control anything but your performance - if you believe in yourself, the results will come."

The Summerhill man has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his dedication to helping young athletes achieve their best.

Nankervis began his involvement with Little Athletics in Launceston in 1976 and went on to coach at senior level as one of the founding members of the Western Suburbs Athletics Club in 1983.

He has since coached a number of Western Suburbs runners, including Devonport Gift winners Tao Baker and Courtney Stanley, as well as professionals such as Danielle Taylor, Ryan O'Halloran and Richard Ankin.

Nankervis said he would not have stuck around for so long if it weren't for the friendships and camaraderie the sport had given him.

"This award is very much an honour - but athletics is not a job for me," he said.

"It is something I love to do, and it has been very good to me.

"It is lovely knowing that something you've done and thoroughly enjoyed has brought other people a bit of joy too."



Bendigo's John Burke awarded Order of Australia Medal

Bendigo Advertiser
Jan. 26, 2014

BENDIGO resident John Burke has been honoured with an Order of Australia medal.

Mr Burke has been an athletics coach since the 1960s and was the founding member of the Bendigo Athletics Club.

Aussies shine
Bendigo Advertiser
Jan. 26, 2014

THE trick to kicking goals is to train smarter, not harder, says Bendigo resident John Burke who was nominated for an illustrious Order of Australia medal.

Community members nominate fellow citizens for the award who have gone above and beyond in the name of the greater good.

The recipients are announced on Australia Day.

John Burke, who has been an athletics coach in Bendigo for 45 years, said he was still in a state of shock.

"Athletics has been in my blood from a young age," he said.

"I have no idea who nominated me."

Mr Burke has led the way in Bendigo athletics, encouraging junior athletes to reach their goals by training smart. "I felt like I underachieved when I was an athlete," he said.

"I had many injuries due to over-training.

"We would go hard at training and then by race day you would be exhausted.

Meanwhile, there must be something in the water in Echuca, with three residents nominated for Order of Australia medals.

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