About Our Club

We are a family orientated club that supports athletes of all abilities and recognise their achievements. 

About Us

The Northern Suburbs Athletics Club is based in Hobart Tasmania and is approaching their 60th year.

We are a family orientated club that supports athletes of all abilities and recognises everyones achievements. NSAC competes in Winter Cross Country from April -September and Summer Track & Field from October – March.  

 We provide a comprehensive weekly newsletter for all members and you can also keep up to date on our Facebook page.

Like us on Facebook @northernsuburbsathleticclub

You have access to accredited coaches who can provide individual programs to suit your needs. If you would like to be aligned to a coach please let us know.  Travel subsidies are available to athletes who are selected in state teams.

Our 2021-22 Committee is:

President:

David O'Brien
0421 041 952

V/President:

Richard Welsh
0409 820 248

Secretary:

Vanessa Kearney
0439 305 179

Registrar:

Sarah Holmstrom
0405 736 603

Treasurer:

Tony Sansom
0447 845 797

Committee:

Anne McVilly, Brad Sansom, Emily Best, Michele Burnett, Ken Atkinson, Dylan Burnett, Lynne Sansom, Anita Welsh

Feel free to contact any of our executive members who are happy to assist

Club History

Northern Suburbs formation grew from the strength of the then Eastern Suburbs Harriers Club that was extremely strong in the early 1960’s and had many members living in North Hobart, Moonah and Glenorchy.

During the 1961/62 track and field season Peter Eustace, Terry McShane and Greg Blake openly discussed the formation of a club in the Northern Suburbs as many athletes from the Southern Amateur Athletic Branch came from the area.  This was at a time when a number of old clubs were floundering and some new ones were formed, most only has a short life.

Peter and Terry took up the challenge and by May 1962 the formation of the Northern Suburbs Amateur Athletic Club was well under way.  A meeting was arranged to discuss this with letters being sent to all interested parties to invite them to the formation meeting of the NSAAC.

There were only 5 senior athletes in the first season, namely Dick Ayling, Vis Feldmanis, Dave Hardy, Terry McShane and Peter Eustace.  A vigorous recruitment was soon put in place targeting local high schools including, Hobart Technical High School, Cosgrove High, Claremont High and Savio College and Holy Name School.

NSAC soon became the dominant Tasmanian club in Track and Field competition during the 1960's and early 1970's.

Northern Suburbs formation grew from the strength of the then Eastern Suburbs Harriers Club that was extremely strong in the early 1960’s and had many members living in North Hobart, Moonah and Glenorchy.

Our Life Members

Peter Eustace

Peter Eustace

1972

Peter was a great servant of Northern Suburbs and Tasmanian athletics during the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  Like some other club athletes Peter was a former student of the Hobart Technical High School.  The Eustace influence on the club was apparent as his father Vic, a former North Hobart Footballer and professional sprint runner was on the Committee and his future father in law, Fred Rush was President and Chief Starter.

Peter was Club Secretary and Assistant Secretary and his professional approach was clearly illustrated in the comprehensive annual reports that he wrote during this era.  Peter also wrote colourful articles under the name of ‘Spike’ in the suburban paper Northside News about the exploits of athletes.  When combined with regular photographs this became a great promotion of the club within the community.

Dave Hardy

Dave Hardy

1973

Dave Hardy was an inaugural member of Northern Suburbs having completed schooling at Hobart Technical High School.  Dave was an excellent all-round athlete with particular interest in bike riding and bush walking.

Dave was a member of the club committee for nine years and also participated on SAAB sub-committees overseeing grading and equipment.  After retiring from athletics Dave maintained his active lifestyle and took up pistol shooting becoming very proficient in this sport.

Phyllis Gaffney

Phyllis Gaffney

1974

As the mother of long time athlete Mike Gaffney the contribution of Mrs Gaffney commenced in 1962, the Clubs inaugural year.  The Gaffney household in Wignall Street was only two minutes walk from the North Hobart Oval and quickly became an open house with Northern Suburbs athletes warmly welcomed and often provided with a drink, snack or meal.

The Gaffney residence was the site of monthly committee meeting for many years and Mrs Gaffney provided supper during this time.  The contribution of Mrs Phyllis Gaffney to Southern Athletics was recognised by the Southern Branch in 1979 when she was the recipient of a Merit Award.

Ian Manning

Ian Manning

1975

Ian Manning was a talented athlete across a number of disciplines with the triple jump his best event.  He joined Northern Suburbs in 1962/63 as a youngster and worked his way through the ranks.

At his first Australian Championship Ian excelled with a 3rd place in the junior triple jump.  He soon became the dominant athlete in triple jump competition in Tasmania.  He contributed to committee and administrative duties for many years and was club treasurer for eight seasons, no doubt putting his banking knowledge (employed with the Commercial Bank of Australia later to become Westpac Bank).

Bill Trappes

Bill Trappes

1983

Bill Trappes was a fantastic clubman for Northern Suburbs over many years.  Bill was introduced to the club around 1965 by Ted West and was actively involved in club activities for 20 years.  A painter by trade, Bill was easily recognised as he always wore a collar and tie, waistcoat and a jacket to athletic events regardless of the weather.  He was chief judge for long jumps and triple jumps, fulfilling this valuable role for many years.  Bill supported athletes in many ways and was always available to give someone a lift or provide transport to events held around Tasmania.

Although unobtrusive and efficient, Bill would often quietly encourage the NorthernSuburbs Athletes as they competed.  “I think you might have done a good one there son” he would say.

 

Wayne Fletcher

Wayne Fletcher

1985

Patrick (Wayne) Fletcher has been a competing member of Northern Suburbs for nearly 60 years, a unique achievement in Tasmanian athletics.  Wayne has been a competitor across all events, no doubt influenced by the trend of 1960’s club athletes to accumulate as many club points as possible.

 

Wayne has filled all executive positions of the committee at various stages during the past 40 years.  He has been prominent in Tasmanian athletics having been President of Athletics Tasmania and is a merit award holder and Life Member of Athletics South and a Life Member of Athletics Tasmania.  A highlight for Wayne was his appointment as Assistant Technical Manager at the 2000 Olympics and Para Olympics.  He was appointed as a walks judge for the 2008 Olympics.

Bill Essex

Bill Essex

1987

Bill was a remarkable all round athlete having competed at A grade standard in all distances from 200 metres to 10,000 metres, 400 metre hurdles, javelin and long jump.  A student at Hobart Technical High School (now New Town High School) Bill competed with Eastern Suburbs before joining Northern Suburbs to be with his mates who were part of the junior recruitment program of that era.

Bill competed with Northern Suburbs continually for over 25 years winning consistency awards for cross-country and inter club a number of times.  Bill was Special Competitions Director for the Southern Branch and in 1985 was recognised by theSAB with a Merit Award for his contribution to athletics.

Mike Pace

Mike Pace

1995

Mike commenced with Northern Suburbs in 1977 after competing with Sandy Bay for half a season.  He was a talented sprinter and later turned his attention to the 400/800 metres.  Mike became President in 1982/83 and the Club went from strength to strength during his six terms as President.  Distance running was a great asset of the Club and Mike considers the men’s effort of winning 9 consecutive cross country Premierships as close to an Australian record.

Mike has coached athletes for over 30 years specialising in middle distance and distance training.  His contribution as a coach was recognised with him receiving the inaugral Max Cherry Coach of the Year Award in 2009 and the Tasmanian Sports Awards Club Coach of the Year in 2011. 

Gary Sayer

Gary Sayer

1997

Gary was recruited to the Northern Suburbs in 1963/64 by the President at the time, Fred Rush and was one of a number of Cosgrove High School students competing in the black and white.  In the early 1970’s Gary returned to the club when children Paul and Alison stared competing.  The Sayer family certainly threw themselves into club activities as Gary was President for 3 years and wife Mavis a committee member and treasurer for one year.

Gary became actively involved in the Southern Branch serving terms as President (five years), Vice-President and Director of Track and Field.  Gary has been team manager of a number of state teams and was an official at the SydneyOlympic and Para Olympics.

Jenny Stevenson

Jenny Stevenson

1999

Jenny’s involvement with the club came through Mike’s participation of course.  Always willing to help out, Jenny soon became a familiar face in charge of the jumps pit at track and field with young children Sarah and Andrew helping as well.

When a vacancy arose in organising other field events Jenny turned her efforts to the middle of the track.  Later a vacancy arose at the finish line and Jenny has been there ever since often in charge of lap counting whether it be interclub, state or national events.  Jenny was a long time Chief Organiser of Officials; a demanding job given the number of events conducted each season and the reluctance of some to assist in this area.

The family participation in athletics also included her parents Bill and Barbara Westcott who have arranged a drink station at Masters and SAB runs for many years.

Jenny was also awarded Life Membership to Athletics South and Tasmanian Masters Athletics in 2015 (on the same weekend!).

Michael (Mick) Stevenson

Michael (Mick) Stevenson

2000

Mike was a late starter to athletics, joining Northern Suburbs in his early 40’s in 1982.  He was competing in Veterans athletics when Dick Ayling (who Mike had come 2nd to in the State titles) suggested that he join Northern Suburbs in order to compete at Saturday track and field.

Mike’s talent in sprints and jumps combined with a high level of fitness and motivation saw him compiling many points.  He has won the Club Consistency for highest points at interclub twice and always figures prominently in point’s tallies.  Mike has a swag of medals of all colours won at State and National level and has competed at many World Masters Championships.

Mike was a great administrator for the sport having been Treasurer of the club for several years as well as many years on the committee.  Mike produced an excellent monthly newsletter of club activities from 1986 to 1991Mike has received a merit award from SAB in recognition of a great contribution on and off the track.  In 2000 he was awarded Australian Masters Athletics “Most Outstanding Athlete” in recognition of his outstanding performances in hurdles at State, National and World levels.  Mike is currently the Masters Australian Record holder in the 300 metres hurdles.

Margaret Horne

Margaret Horne

2004

Margaret joined Northern Suburbs in the early 1990’s when her children commenced athletics.  She was very soon Secretary a position that she held for 5 years and then she held the Presidents position for a further 5 years.  Husband Jim was also heavily involved with the club and was Treasurer for 8 years.

Margaret was an enthusiastic committee member, in particular her organisation of fund raising events were a very valuable activity for the Club.

Margaret continues to enjoy participating in the Cross Country competition for Northern Suburbs as well as some of the major Tasmanian fun runs.


Tony Bond

Tony Bond

2005

Tony was involved in athletics over years, first as an athlete, then an official, coach and committee member.

He moved to Northern Suburbs and helped coach a large squad with Gary Sayer before taking over the squad on his own.  He coached for nearly 20 years and holds a level 1 coaching accreditation, specialising in sprints.  Tony was a committed coach was at the track for training, regardless of weather or how many athletes turn up.  Due to limited sight Tony cannot drive a car so he relies on his two feet to get him to the track.  Tony’s fulfilment is seeing his athletes improve and grow in confidence.

In 2001 Tony was awarded the Athletics Tasmania Coaches Recognition Award.

Jim Court

Jim Court

2007

Jim Court had life membership bestowed on him at the 2007 Annual General meeting and Trophy Night.  Jim and his family joined Northern suburbs 20 years ago and his involvement has spanned all roles including competing, coaching officiating and committee.  His dry wit is particularly apparent in the many excellent reports and articles that he writes for our newsletter.

Jim has undertaken a variety of roles on the Committee such including Vice President, Registrar and Secretary and always done these roles in a comprehensive and professional way.  He has always been one of the first to put up his hand to do any duties that support events and athletics.  Jim has often visited schools and organized training sessions for students and small squads of youngsters who wish to learn more about the sport.  Jim has organised our annual Glenorchy Fun Run since 1990 which is a great promotion for Northern Suburbs.

Tony Sansom

Tony Sansom

2009

Tony initially ran with Northern Suburbs during the 1960’s and returned to the Club when his children commenced competing in 1995.  Since then Tony has been an active participant in XC.

Tony joined the Committee in 1998 and has undertaken a number of roles including President (8 years), Vice President (5 years and Registrar (17 years) and Treasurer (4 years).  He has helped organise the Glenorchy Fun Runs during the past 20 years including Race Co-Director for the past 10 years). Tony was the Coordinator of the NSAC 40th and 50th Anniversary celebrations which included writing a comprehensive magazine tracking the history of the Club.

Tony can often be seen officiating at major fun runs and has been Course Captain of the Cadbury Marathon for the past 10 years.

Lynne Sansom

Lynne Sansom

2009

Lynne became actively involved with Northern Suburbs in 2000 once daughter Bec concluded Little Athletics.  She has been an active participant at Cross Country runs since then.

Lynne was editor of the renowned monthly newsletter Northern Suburbs News which presented a comprehensive review of club activities and the achievements of club members.  This publication was very popular throughout the athletics community.

Lynne has also undertaken the Manager role which includes providing athletes with all the information and assistance they need and has arranged the nominations of club members for awards/recognition from Athletics South and Athletics Tasmania.  Lynne was instrumental in the Club receiving national awards from Athletics Australia for Member Focus (2003) and People (2004).

Anita Welsh

Anita Welsh

2016

Anita Joined Northern Suburbs in 1996 and has been a continuous member of the Club for 25 years. Anita has been Club Captain five times and Vice-Captain three times. She won the Julie Berry Memorial Award in 1998 and the Rose Bowl for the Highest Points for Open Women four times.

Anita has represented Tasmania at several national XC championships including being appointed Captain of the 1999 Tasmanian XC Team in Darwin and Women’s Vice-Captain at the Australian All-Schools XC in Melbourne. Anita was joint winner of Athletics South Female Athlete of the Season 2005-06.

Anita was a committee member for 17 years including and Committee Secretary for 8 years. She was the inaugural editor of the Northern Suburbs News which commenced in 1999 and has also been a Race Co-Director for the Glenorchy Fun Run since 2013, which is our major fundraiser.

Anita is regularly behind the camera creating history and memories for us all for the future; at club, interclub, national championships, major events locally and interstate.


Vanessa Kearney

Vanessa Kearney

2019

Vanessa joined Northern Suburbs in 1986 as a 12 year old competing in both Cross Country and Track and Field competition. It was a family affair with younger brother Leighton and older sister Anita also competing. She was an outstanding junior athlete and started breaking club records in relays and middle distance in 1986. Her Open club records (800m 2:11 and 1,500m 4:28) indicate that she was one of the outstanding Tasmanian female athletes of the time.

Vanessa was soon appointed to leadership positions in the club.  She was track and field captain for 7 seasons between 1988 and 1995 and cross country captain for 9 seasons, from 1990 to 1995 and between 2014 and 2020. Vanessa has had some success in cross country seasons recently.  For example in the 2017 season she was prominent in the Athletics South awards: (1st O40 XC Series,2nd O40 Rd Series, 3rd Athlete of the Year, 2nd Running Edge Merit Award) and was our Club O40 Champion.

Vanessa has served on the Committee for nine years and is currently our club Secretary. She has been an outstanding athlete and leader within our club for many years and always promotes team spirit and encourages others to achieve their best.

Ken Atkinson

Ken Atkinson

2022

Ken  joined Northern Suburbs Athletics Club in his late teens in 1992/93 after looking up athletics clubs in the phonebook and finding our club (possibly the only one!) listed.  Having always been interested in sports with a history of participation in equestrian, badminton and windsurfing he joined a training group coached by Mike Pace and commenced a lifelong love affair with athletics.

Ken was a dedicated athlete and thrived on training in a close knit group.  He had natural speed and liked the challenge of distance training which combined nicely to make him a handy middle distance runner.  Ken had a great range, running competitive times from 100m to 1500m.  He was an A grade racer over 100m with a PB of 11.78. He ran 23 sec for the 200m, 51. 6 for the 400m and in the hallowed distance of 800m, was a frequent runner in the sub 2 min club with a PB of 1.58. 1500m hurt him a little more but he still ran a 4.07.  As well as competing on the track and in the professional running series (for a period of time under the guidance of Ray Quarrel) he also participated weekly in the winter season, was selected to run in the Huon Valley Classic and was a member of the successful Gerry and the Pacemakers team that has held the Bruny Island Relay Record since 1995.

A true club athlete, Ken has competed every year for the past 30 years aside from 6 years in the late noughties where raising a family of  4 boys took up most of his time. Having had a remarkable survival from a heart attack in 2019 whilst running in a fun run – Ken’s competitive days were swiftly halted but he has been able to return to running and still contributes to the Northern Suburbs point score competing at a ‘safe level’ and motivating and cajoling others to run when needed – whether this be to win the premiership or the deciding round for coming 3rd or 4th!   Ken has been club captain or vice-captain on 11 occasions and has been on the club’s committee across the decades. In 2018/19 Ken was recognised for his contribution to club life by being awarded the Peter Eustace Memorial Club Award.

If you ask Ken what he liked most about athletics he would most likely say ‘everything’. He has been known to say he gets as much enjoyment out of watching 9 year olds or 90 years olds competing as watching elite athletes and it is this attitude that he has taken into coaching. He has an enquiring mind and is a keen observer of form and training methods.

Ken has coached squads on two occasions, he first gained his coaching qualifications in the mid-90s and coached for a few years in the late 90’s to early 2000s, some of the athletes he coached then still hold club records today.  From his initial coaching years, Ken has continued his education and experience and is now a Level 3 coach.  

Ken is the lifeblood of NSAC’s club coaching and is the ‘go to’ person when someone new is looking for coaching, always happy to assist or direct to another coach who can.   He instigated the successful club coaching programme involving several coaches and introduced many of today’s athletes to our club for the first time. Ken commenced coaching formally again in 2017 and now has a very successful middle distance/distance training squad with many of our club athletes benefiting from his coaching. Ken gets as much satisfaction from coaching a lesser talented athlete to a PB as he does coaching someone to a national championship.   He values everyone’s effort and is keen to ensure that each athlete he coaches has an enjoyable and positive experience.  

Ken has made a multitude of friends from athletics and is loyal and full of fun. Being grateful for what athletics has given him he is keen to pass this on to today’s young athletes, hoping that as the years go by they will still be involved in the sport and have friends that will stand by them through thick and thin.

Ken is considered a worthy nomination for Northern Suburbs Athletics Club Life Membership having served the club as an athlete and coach across many years. He is encouraging to all, an excellent role model and our sport and particularly our club continues to benefit from his involvement.

Ready to get started in your athletic journey?

At Northern Suburbs Athletic Club, we are a family orientated athletics club that supports athletes of all abilities and recognise their achievements. 

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