Excitement is building for Stawell Gift
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