Tasmanian Athletics Historical Results

Athletics has enjoyed one of the longest, proudest and successful histories of any sport in Tasmanian since European settlement.

Initially mainly the province of schoolchildren and the “professional” running carnivals that were and remain the pride and joy of so many towns and villages around the State, the “amateur” tradition was a little tardy - eventually finding its roots from 1902 when the Tasmanian Amateur Athletic Association was formed and staged its first cross country championships.

Since then track and field, race walking, road and cross country running – and more recently mountain and trail events have been embedded in Tasmania culture. Schools athletics has always been a mainstay and the Tasmanian Carnival Series has adapted well to withstand the test of time.

Inspired by the magnificent work of the Australian Athletics History Group led by Paul Jenes OAM and Peter Hamilton in establishing and maintaining its website – Australian Athletics Historical Results (athletics.possumbility.com) this site seeks in a small way to replicate in the Tasmanian context.

Photo of 1912 Tasmanian Cross Country

The plan has been to identify and record every gold, silver and bronze medallist in Tasmanian open athletics championships since that first cross country in 1902 won by Cecil Hanigan.

It’s taken more than three years so far to reach this point. Many documents have been relied on as sources. But at the outset it should be recorded that this task whilst still time intensive has been made much easier by the exceptional reporting of athletics competition in Tasmania by The Mercury and The Examiner and the meticulous preparation of annual reports by Noel Ruddock AM and the late Mavis Ebzery OAM during the extraordinary periods of service as secretaries of the TAAA and TWAAA respectively.

Life for results historians is a breeze these days with meet management programs for processing and production and the internet for presentation and storage. The detail provided by the two newspapers particularly in the first half on the last century when reporting on state championships – albeit with a reluctance to reveal first names of those taking part – has proved to be a goldmine in this work.

Nonetheless there are still years for which we have no championship results in some or all events and others – in many ways remarkably in the 1990s and 2000s - where they are incomplete or conflicting. Unfortunately there was a period of 15 years or so during this era when Athletics Tasmania did not record state championships results in its annual reports.

We are grateful to the many individuals who have already assisted in helping to piece together the missing information. Thanks in particular are extended to Wayne Fletcher OAM, Adele Lucas, Wayne Mason OAM and Daniel Smee in this regard. The staff and records at the Tasmanian Archives and the State Library in Launceston and Hobart have also made a significant contribution.

Acknowledgement is made of the immense contribution of Peter Hamilton throughout the project to date including on the concept and most significantly on all matters technological and the construction of the website. More recently Mark Smith’s willingness to assist has been much appreciated.

But the work is not done – and we welcome any news of missing material, incorrect results, unknown first names etc. This work is for sure a work in progress.

As well as doing the best possible job in completing the initial task, our next mini project will be the inclusion of AT Honours Lists and as many biographies as possible of our Life Members. In the longer term there are more plans.

In the meantime time please enjoy perusing and enjoying the material contained in Tasmanian Athletics Historical Results so far.

Brian Roe OAM
Site Curator and Principal Researcher

Contact me if you can provide more information