Williamstown Athletics Club is putting together a female track and field squad to rival the best in the country.
Led by Australia’s top female heptathlete Celeste Mucci, the squad includes a number of talented athletes and, with the development of some exciting talent coming through, has coaches at the club excited.
Club president Stefan Voorham said the club was proud of its female program.
“Through all their hard work our female athletes have recently achieved fantastic results with six state titles at the 2020 State Championships,” he said.
“The Williamstown Athletic Club is excited to watch their development and see them reach their goals.”
Mucci, who has been part of the club since she was a little athlete, has gone on to represent Australia in the heptathlon in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where she placed 4th overall.
Mucci said the club had done a lot for her and her career.
“I’ve been with Williamstown since I was a junior and transitioned to seniors with them,” she said.
“I love my small club. They have done a lot to support me over the years and I’m excited to have more of my squad join this amazing club.”
Maddie Coates, Kiara Reddingius, Jessie Andrew and Mareelou Boyle have all joined the club in recent years.
Coates, from Watsonia, has represented Australia at both junior and senior level, including at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 World Championships in both the 200 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay.
Coates said the club felt like the right fit for her, having previously been involved in coaching clinics at the club.
Reddingius, who moved to Avondale Heights from Western Australia, has been with the club the past two seasons and has represented Australia at the Oceanic Games.
Jessie Andrew, who is from Riddells Creek, was the 100 metre sprint champion at the Oceanic Championships in 2017 and was the 2020 state 200 metre champion.
Yarraville’s Mareelou Boyle has been at the club the past two years and was part of the Australian 4 x 200m indoor relay team that set a new Australian record in 2017. Mucci and Andrew were also part of that team.
Up-and-comer Ashlee Farrar is also impressing. She won the Stawell Gift Little Athletics 100m in 2019 and holds many Williamstown Little Athletic records.
The club is also establishing a strong coaching line-up.
Elite distance running coach Elizabeth Mathews is involved at the club.
Among athletes she trains are Olympian and western suburbs athlete Morgan Mitchell and up-and-coming athletes Lucinda Rourke, Abby Goldsworthy and Monique Goldsworthy.
Matthews said she liked coaching at the club’s Newport track.
She said the club is supportive of coaches and athletes and having both a little aths and senior club allows great transition from junior to senior athletics.
Darren Clark, another high profile coach at the club, highlighted the location and supportive club as reasons for their success.
Coach Robbie Spencer who specialises in sprints, hurdles and long jump believes that having elite, approachable and dedicated role models will ensure the young athletes can ‘be what they can see’.
“We pride ourselves on being a club that accepts any athlete that wants to join and believes in inclusiveness of all abilities.”