The South Australian Athletic League (SAAL) ran the inaugural Fleurieu Gift on Saturday, March 9, at the Victor Harbor oval with more than 160 elite athletes competing.
SAAL Executive Officer Leon Burckhardt said the Fleurieu Milk Gift was well received.
"Many spectators were unfamiliar with handicapped running and enjoyed the fast paced action and spectacle of the Gift. It was free for people to come and watch and it was a great evening out for the family," Mr Burckhardt said.
"With most athletes attending with family and friends, the crowd was around 750 people and most took the opportunity to have a long weekend at Victor Harbor with their family and friends."
There were 12 events, which included 70m Men, 70m Women, 70m Under 18, 120m Under 18 Girls, 120m Women, 120m Men, 120m Under 14, 120m Under 18 Boys, 120m Over 35, 400m Men, 400m Women, 1600m All Comers. Plus there was Little Athletics races and invitational relay.
"We hope to expand the relay and have more of the local football and netball clubs compete. We would like to thank the major sponsors of this event, the Fleurieu Milk Company, Sealink, City of Victor Harbor and Hotel Victor and community support was provided by a Go Fund Me campaign," Mr Burckhardt said.
Winners of the the major events were 120m Men: Cameron Vinall, 120m Women: Lakara Stallan, 400m Men: Anthony De Ruvo, 400m Women: Rosa Twyford, 1600m All Comers: Kyle Gilles.
The prize pool was Fleurieu Milk & Friends of the Fleurieu 120m Women $4000, Fleurieu Milk & Friends of the Fleurieu 120m Men $4000, City of Victor Harbor Mayor’s Quarter Mile $2000, Hotel Victor 400m Women $2000 and Sealink 1600m All comers $2000.
"The Fleurieu Milk Gift has huge growth potential. The location in the fantastic holiday town of Victor Harbor is a huge attraction for athletes and spectators alike. We would like to see the event grow to rival the Bay Sheffield and Stawell Gift. By locking in a date for 2020, we will be in a stronger position to be able to attract more athletes from both South Australia and interstate," he said.
South Coast Little Athletics participated in some races and SAAL hopes their participation will increase next year.
The City of Victor Harbor was supportive of the event with mayor Moira Jenkins, CEO Victoria MacKirdy and councillor Andrew Robertson in attendance.
"It is a fabulous event and council looks forward to supporting it in the future and it to be an annual event in Victor Harbor," Dr Jenkins said.