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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Sally Pearson might lose her track

Sally Pearson might lose her track

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1Sally Pearson might lose her track Empty Sally Pearson might lose her track on Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:52 pm



Pearson goes flat out for success
By Dan Silkstone
The Age
December 10, 2010

OLYMPIC silver medallist Sally Pearson has put the disappointment of Delhi behind her and is ready and determined to prove she is the best hurdler in the world. There's only one catch.

She might not have a track to run on.

Pearson, who was sensationally disqualified after claiming gold in the 100-metres final at Delhi but rebounded to claim the 100-metres hurdles title, is one of Australian track and field's top medal fancies leading into next year's world championships in South Korea and the London Olympics a year later.

But Pearson is facing a battle with the Queensland government over plans to tear up the Gold Coast track on which she trains and replace it with a car park for the nearby Griffith University Hospital.

The track, leased by the Gold Coast Council until 2017, is owned by the Queensland government. The council, which opposes the move, is led by mayor Ron Clarke, himself a former track and field legend.

''I'd just have to go to Brisbane, simple as that. It's not ideal, it would be an hour's drive each away each day to train, but if you've got to do it, you've got to do it,'' she said.

Pearson was on hand at the Zatopek:10 classic at Olympic Park last night as a spectator and for a clinic for junior competitors. But the 24-year-old is back in full training and is setting herself for a big domestic season.

''I've come back from Delhi and I wanted to get straight back into training ready for next year. I've never been so excited to start a season off,'' she said.

Though the hurdles remain the event in which she is truly world class, Pearson is mindful of the toll that training for that event and competing in it takes on her back. She must manage a chronic disc condition, the same injury that flared before her finish out of the medals at the Berlin world championships last year.

''I feel that to keep my back in the best shape possible I can only hurdle for a certain amount of time,'' she said. ''So I'll save that for the European summer. I'm really excited about not hurdling because it gives me a chance to really get stuck into my sprinting, which I really don't get the chance to do.''

Pearson will compete on the flat in both 100 and 200 metres at all four meets on the new Australian Athletics Tour. Again all eyes will be on whether she can claim Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's longstanding Australian 100 record of 11.12 - a prize she has long stalked.

But Pearson is also keen to chase the $10,000 bonus for the leading points winner in the ''sprint'' category of the tour, a competition for men and women in the 100, 200, 400 metres and hurdles.

The shock and distress of Delhi has already faded. ''I think it would have been more devastating in the hurdles. That's probably why I got over it so quickly because I didn't pour my heart and soul into it all year.''

Sprinting for Pearson is only a hobby, though she is very, very good at it. But she has ruled out any serious move to compete on the flat at the top level in Europe. ''If I'm competing in a race I want to be at a level where I can win,'' she said.

2Sally Pearson might lose her track Empty Re: Sally Pearson might lose her track on Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:04 pm


Griffith track surrendered at a price
By Thomas Chamberlin
Gold Coast News
November 24th, 2010

THE Gold Coast City Council will surrender its lease of the city's only A-grade athletics track in exchange for the upgrade of another and the guarantee of a new $6.2 million athletics facility.

The State Government wants to rip up the track at Griffith University -- home of Australia's premier track athlete Sally Pearson -- to make way for a car park to accommodate university students and construction workers at the new university hospital and on the Rapid Transit System.

The council holds a lease of the track until the end of 2017.

The motion passed by the council this week which was criticised by some councillors stated it was ''not its preference'' to surrender its lease of the track and it would rather the Government provide a vegetation clearance permit in a 2ha vegetation zone on land in the university's southern precinct.

''I still don't believe that we should be looking as if we are prepared to roll over that easily should we not actually get this message through,'' Cr Bob La Castra said.

Cr Dawn Crichlow put forward an alternative motion asking the council to knock back the State Government's request for the lease to end and advise that the council's only preference was for the Government to build the car park in the area where there was a vegetation management order.

The motion was lost after councillors Donna Gates, John Wayne, Peter Young, Jan Grew, Greg Betts, Daphne McDonald, Chris Robbins and Mayor Ron Clarke voted against it.

The council will request the Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre be upgraded to international standards and said it would accommodate all bookings at the Griffith University track.

The city's godfather of cycling Bob Panter voiced his opposition to council's decision and said it was made without clarifying a number of issues, including what species or fauna were in the protected vegetation area.

He said the athletics track should not be ripped up at all.

''Too much seems to be based on word of mouth,'' he said.

''The whole process has been flawed it should be rescinded and go back to the drawing board."
YOUR SAY - comments to Gold Coast News in response to the above article.

What community consultation has there been? Thousands of school children use the Track at Griffiths every year for sporting carnivals. Where do they go now? Runaway Bay Track will not be able to accommodate all of the schools on the Gold Coast. This Council has ripped the ratepayers of the Gold Coast off. Paying higher rates for less facilities! It is criminal to see the track and all it's facilities being ripped up just to make way for a carpark. Shame on this Council!!
Posted by: Keep the Track of Crestwood Heights 02:14pm Tuesday 30th November
Comment 1 of 5

At a time when we are trying to encourage our children and adults into a healthy lifestyle...we take away another outdoor venue , also a facility that is used by all local schools and athletes as well as there coaches.
Posted by: Snow 07:52am Thursday 25th November
Comment 2 of 5

So how is 'upgrading' the Runaway Bay facility a replacement of the facilities lost @ Griffith??? Community still only gets 1 facility, not 2, and now all the users of both are crammed into 1 space. How is that a better community outcome? Removing a recreation/sports facility to create a car park makes no sense at a time when government is trying to promote healthy living, more active population. Another 'brilliant' strategic government decision. Pls stop, cause your leadership is killing us.
Posted by: Cess Bass of Burleigh 10:30am Wednesday 24th November
Comment 3 of 5

remember the names of the councillors who voted against the easier alternative of making a carpark from existing land and then revegitate afterwards...instead lets upgrade a privately owned sports stadium where the public is not allowed to use anyway...
Posted by: don't fence me out of molendinar 09:55am Wednesday 24th November
Comment 4 of 5

Isn't the Super Centre a privately owned and operated facility?
Posted by: The Joker of Gold Coast 08:11am Wednesday 24th November
Comment 5 of 5

3Sally Pearson might lose her track Empty Re: Sally Pearson might lose her track on Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:19 pm



Pearson's Olympic preparation faces hit
By Thomas Chamberlin
Gold Coast News
November 18th, 2010

Sally Pearson faces a bleak future on the Coast with her Gold Coast training track at Griffith University under threat.

SALLY Pearson's London Olympic hopes could be shattered by plans to build a 1200-space car park on the Gold Coast's only A-grade athletics track.

Australia's premier track queen has used Griffith University's as her training base since she was a child but the star and other 2012 London Games hopefuls could be left with nothing next year.

Sharon Hannan, track facility manager and coach of Pearson, said losing the track 'would be devastating.'

''We had four athletes from our Gold Coast Victory Athletics Club at the Commonwealth Games, we had another athlete from New Zealand who got the Bronze after Sally, we had athletes from Vanuatu in the 800m, and an athlete from Papua New Guinea in the AWD 100m.

''We're the biggest club in Queensland every year we have 260 athletes they have to have something for us,'' she said.

Crisis talks have been held between the Gold Coast City Council, the university and the Government after the State's releaved its intention to rip up the track, to accommodate hundreds of workers at the University Hospital at the new knowledge precinct at Southport.

The council built the track and facilities at the university and entered into a 20-year lease, which expires at the end of 2017, but Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe last night confirmed the Government could resume the land if necessary.

''We'd have to contemplate that circumstance when we came to it. We are wanting to work through with all the parties that have a stakehold in this cooperatively. The state has powers available to it in order to achieve outcomes in the state's broader interest,'' he said.

''But we don't use those powers without good reason and without contemplating and exploring alternatives.''

Mayor Ron Clarke said the State Government was abandoning athletes who were training for the Olympic Games by not having transitional facilities already constructed.

The State Government has offered to replace the track at the Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre, which was purchased this year by Education Queensland in July, however Cr Clarke said it would take months for it to be upgraded.

It is a laid mondo track, which has deteriorated and is tougher than the Griffith track which is softer for athletes to use for training.

There have also been concerns that other facilities in Carrara would not be built until 2013.

''No one seems to understand the importance of a track coming up to the Olympic Games,'' he said.

''Being in that position previously myself is why I've been screaming so much.''

Council's chief executive officer Dale Dickson said a report would be taken to next Monday's council meeting but would not disclose what options the council would consider.

Griffith University Gold Coast provost Max Standage said the university was not the driving force behind building the car park but said the organisation would not stand in the way if a compromise could be reached.

Despite the university owning the land, he said the council was the only body that could end the lease, and that the athletics track was the only site on the university that would 'stack up' in the timeframe required to cope with the influx of workers.

YOUR SAY comments to the Gold Coast News website

My daughter is a national class runner and runs on that track all the time , it is the ONLY synthetic track available for her to compete and train on to help improve her running. We live on the Tweed and we don't even have any thing south of the border (as far down as Newcastle)to run on so don't take away the Only decent A-Grade running track these future athletic stars have to use PLEASE!!!!!
Posted by: Donna 11:56pm Friday 19th November
Comment 1 of 19

Boo Hoo... So she doesn't want a 1200 space car park (desperately needed at the Uni) just so she doesn't have to travel somewhere else to train??? There's another quality track facility at Runaway Bay not 10min away. Hard up woman.
Posted by: Eric Carr of Hope Island 05:16pm Friday 19th November
Comment 2 of 19

This is totally ubelieveable, I thought we were supposed to be encouraging the next generation to stay healthy. For us in northern nsw is it the best thing to be able to compete with like minded children and adults. Get your priorities right, think outside the square, don't lose such a valuable venue where lives are changed by such a simple thing called athletics.
Posted by: kim of far north coast nsw 11:39am Friday 19th November
Comment 3 of 19

Not only do athletes from the Gold Coast area use the track but athletes from as far south as Grafton use the GC track as preparation for competition for school age to Masters, AWD and Internation athletes travel there for training and competition all year. Expertise in all aspects of track and field can be found there!!!
Posted by: JR 07:47am Friday 19th November
Comment 4 of 19

Why bother putting in a bid for the comm games if this is the plan? Pan Pacific games just finished several hundred masters athletes from interstate and overseas all spent money in the local area, Thousands of school athletes compete there every year, not to mention the elite track & field athletes.
Posted by: Callum 08:20pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 5 of 19

plenty of quality athletic facilities down here in Melbourne, Sally. Be seeing you soon.
Posted by: Greener Pastures of Melbourne 08:00pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 6 of 19

typical,politicians,they obviously dont have upcomming olympic athletes as kids,where is our support for our athletes ,who put in thousand of hours,unsponsored,and obviosly unappreciated,the track needs to be central so all on the gold coast ,get to participate, and hopefully represent our glorious country,pity our politicians have no pride,only financial predjudice,SHAME!!!!!
Posted by: donna 07:23pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 7 of 19

This is not fair. The council should stick to its 20 years lease. Look for other alternatives rather than ripping the track.
Posted by: Hilary 05:40pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 8 of 19

One of the largest and most rapidly expanding cities in Australia and we have one synthetic athletic track to be ripped up, and another too far away for many to use which hasn't been able to be used for a number of years because of the poor state it is in. When is local government going to be reactive and provide what is required by residents???
Posted by: Chris 02:25pm Thursday 18th November

Comment 9 of 19

So the knowledge precinct academics are not planning to use the Rapid Transit Congestion System either because they prefer cars and government wages. The fat cat comments are convenient.
Posted by: Rodney of Gold Coast 12:57pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 10 of 19

Have they thought that they could possibly build the carpark at the hospital first and use that????? That track is used by schools also for major athletic carnivals and many hundreds of athletes yearly. My children train there 4 days a week! I would much prefer them training then having them wander around the streets or shopping centres! Wise up people there has to be a better solution!
Posted by: Maree of Gold Coast 12:24pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 11 of 19

Sports Credentials & fellow Qld Coaches using that track have changed the lives of many children, teenagers & adults by being based @ that track. Unless there is a new track ready to go within easy reach the QLD government should wake up to themselves and stop being fools. With re to RealJoes post - We cannot get Athletics in the media unless it has such a title even if it is a little exaggerated. Let us do what we need to do to continue reducing Obesity & being known as a great sporting country.
Posted by: Dumbledore of Hogwarts 12:11pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 12 of 19

That is just insaine that is the biggest club in athletics and there going to take it away what a joke...... no wonder athletics Australia doesn't get much show!!! They don't care about it and that is just disgusting feel for the Gold Coast Club.
Posted by: Rachael M of Gracemere 12:00pm Thursday 18th November
Comment 13 of 19

ridiculous...and they wonder why Australia has the biggest obesity rate. demolish the track and see what happens...
Posted by: cooper 11:13am Thursday 18th November
Comment 14 of 19

what a joke. Typical university, is BIG BUSINESS, looking at the bottom line, PROFIT. There's more money in car parks, than athletics.
Posted by: James of Gold Coast 10:01am Thursday 18th November
Comment 15 of 19

Welcome to Fat Australia, land of no sporting facilities and many, many carparks. Viva la Obesity! The irony that the carpark is for the hospital, which will be treating obesity related disease, is just plain hilarious. (gold!)
Posted by: Couchless of AnywhereIcanwalkto... 09:20am Thursday 18th November
Comment 16 of 19

Talk about melodramatic! "Hopes shattered". She hasn't lost a leg.
Posted by: realjoe of gold coast 09:05am Thursday 18th November
Comment 17 of 19

So much for ronnie's no budget commonwelth games.
Posted by: stuart of surfers 06:37am Thursday 18th November
Comment 18 of 19

The population of the Gold Coast is getting bigger. We are paying more money in rates etc. Facilities are disappearing.
Posted by: Andrew of Gold Coast 06:01am Thursday 18th November
Comment 19 of 19

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