Ex­cite­ment is build­ing for Stawell Gift

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Stawell’s Michael Bai­ley has been known for his en­thu­si­asm to have a dash at so­cio-eco­nomic projects in the re­gion – in more ways than one.

The North­ern Grampians Shire Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive, who has helped bro­ker a va­ri­ety of deals and out­comes in his mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the last few years, is now push­ing for as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to make the most of the Stawell Gift Easter car­ni­val.

The Gift is a sig­nif­i­cant so­cio-eco­nomic driver for Stawell and Mr Bai­ley, who in the past was a high-qual­ity sprinter, is no stranger to the Gift. In fact he com­peted in the fa­mous footrace and on one oc­ca­sion was a highly fan­cied with book­mak­ers.

A build­ing at­mos­phere in the ap­proach to this year’s Gift has in­spired him to rekin­dle his pas­sion for ath­let­ics and ven­ture to Stawell’s Cen­tral Park for train­ing.

“There’s a bit of en­thu­si­asm and ex­cite­ment around the Gift this year so we’re mak­ing sure ev­ery­one is talk­ing about it. Get­ting lo­cals on board with the Gift, whether through vol­un­teer­ing or just at­tend­ing is a key for us and a key for the wider com­mu­nity,” he said.

With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Mr Bai­ley sug­gested de­spite Gift en­tries hav­ing closed, that he might seek a gen­er­ous front-run­ning wild­card from event or­gan­is­ers.

“We’ve had some fun with the way,” he said

“I found my spikes about two weeks ago and I’m up to day 14 in my train­ing regime,” he said.

“If I could get a 110-me­tre hand­i­cap I might be able to hold on the for last 10 me­tres,” he joked.

“But in all se­ri­ous­ness, it’s an iconic event. It’s gone through some ups and downs lately but this year the crowds should be good and with pretty strong fields ex­pec­ta­tions are high.” it along

The coun­cil, in pro­mot­ing the Gift week­end over­all, has reg­is­tra­tions ‘com­ing in thick and fast’ for a re­vamped 39th Lind­say Kent Me­mo­rial Fun Run.

The pop­u­lar town run, on Easter Sun­day, is open to all ages and abil­i­ties and fea­tures a three-kilo­me­tre fun run and five-kilo­me­tre clas­sic run, kicking off at 9am from Stawell Town Hall.

The race, an in­te­gral part of the week­end fes­tiv­i­ties, also fea­tures more than $2000 in prizes

Com­peti­tors can reg­is­ter on­line event.reg­is­ter­now.io/lwkent­fun­run. at

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