The national organisation responsible for professional athletics in Australia, the Australian Athletic Confederation recently awarded two prestigious accolades for the 2008-2009 season to prominent local track identities Lauren Boden and her coach Matt Beckenham.

Boden received the highly prized top award of “AAC Athlete of the Year” for the 2008-2009 season while Beckenham adds the “AAC Trainer of the Year” to his impressive resume of awards.

Lauren Boden won the Queanbeyan and Canberra Women’s Gifts as well as making the finals of Blacktown and North Sydney Gifts and taking out the Blacktown Invitation Back-Markers Handicap, resulting in her winning a total of $6600 in prizemoney for the season.

In addition she ran several ‘B’ World Championship qualifiers in her pet 400m hurdles event and finished fifth in the World University Games in July, a very impressive record for the year.

Matt Beckenham built an incredibly impressive record over the 2008-2009 season with his extensive, impressive stable of athletes winning a nation-topping prizemoney total of $32420. His athletes won the Queanbeyan Mens and Womens Gifts, the Temora Gift and the Canberra Women’s Gift as well as a very big number of additional races throughout the season. His top prizemoney winners were Brendan Matthews with $9780, Lauren Boden, Tom Burbidge, Catherine Wild-Taylor and Melissa Breen; and who knows what Brendan Matthews would have done if he had been able to run in the final of the Stawell Gift and not suffered an unfortunate hamstring pull in winning his semi final!

Many of Beckenham’s runners will again be utilising the handicapping system of competition in professional athletics to toughen them up for realistic tilts at selection for the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010. The rich Queanbeyan Leagues Club Gift Carnival on 5 December 2009 and the Canberra Pro Am at the AIS on 16 January 2010 will be two of the locally staged events that will be in their sights for this season. In fact the Queanbeyan Carnival with $30000 remains Australia’s third biggest in prizemoney behind the Stawell Gift and Adelaide’s Bay Sheffield Gift Carnival.

Press Release written by:


Ken English

General Manager

NSW Athletic League

Ph:  0409 512 804  and  62511565


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