Queensland Athletics board member Trish Kinnane is keen to help Ipswich secure funding for a long-needed tartan track.
Queensland Athletics board member Trish Kinnane is keen to help Ipswich secure funding for a long-needed tartan track.

Tartan track Ipswich push

OVER the past 25 years, Trish Kinnane has been one of Queensland's leading athletics officials at national, Oceania, Commonwealth Games and Olympic level.

That has involved regular trips away.

However, her latest athletics dream centres on her backyard.

With the 2018 Commonwealth Games coming to the Gold Coast, Kinnane believes the timing is perfect for Ipswich to capitalise.

"I know a lot of the international teams before the Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games actually wanted to have sites away from the major sites where they can train prior to the games," she said.

"All we need is a tartan track.

"It would be a real drawcard.

"That's my dream at the moment, or my challenge. To try and convince people we should be trying to find the appropriate funding to build a track."

Preparing to serve as technical administrator at next week's Oceania Games in Cairns, Kinnane still enjoys working with athletes at all levels.

She's only missed one Ipswich Winter Carnival in about 27 years and is highly respected for her call room and administration manager roles at elite competitions.

Her outstanding contribution to athletics was recognised in 2008 with an Athletics Australia merit award.

She's hoping her recent re-appointment to the board of Queensland Athletics allows her to help Ipswich gain a better surface the city has long needed.

"Toowoomba has a track," Kinnane said. "There is no track in the western parts of Brisbane at all."

While QEII stadium is 40 minutes away, it will be in demand leading up to the Games as international teams look for a training base.

Kinnane said Ipswich has added appeal as a site for a new track.

"What we could offer is a much smaller community, a quieter community and some elevation from the ocean which is an advantage for training," she said.

After the games, a facility could be widely used by schools and clubs, enhancing athletic development in the region.

Kinnane said about $5 million in funding would be required.

Her vision is shared by other regional officials like highly-regarded coach Vic Pascoe and new Ipswich and District Athletic Club president Bailey Pashley.

The QA board chairman is another long-serving Ipswich achiever Des Johnston, who has also served at Olympic level.

Kinnane said Queensland Athletics had been boosted by securing progressive CEO David Gynther.

He played an important role in the major track upgrade at Nudgee, valuable experience in Ipswich's new track bid.

With Bill Paterson Oval on an old dump site and the latest Tivoli sports facility on a fault line, a new Ipswich site would be needed.

However, as one of eight QA board members and a chairperson on a separate officials committee, Kinnane said planning was underway to find a suitable model.

"The future that we're driving towards is the Commonwealth Games," she said.

"That's our theme for the next five years. It's the preparation for those games.

"It's going to be a really exciting time (for Queensland) and could be for Ipswich too."



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