MattyB DEPT. celebrates the selection of 3 athletes into the Australian Olympic Team

As the coach of MattyB DEPT I am proud to announce that the squad has 3 athletes selected to represent Australia at the London 2012 Olympic Games in individual events. I would like to personally thank Athletics Australia and the AIS for their amazing support of me and my athletes.

  • AIS scholarship holder and Australian Flame member Lauren Boden will compete in the 400m Hurdles. I have worked with Lauren since she was 14 years of age and to see one of the first athletes I coached go through the full athlete development pathway is something very satisfying. Congratulations to parents Neil and Kerry and thank you for your commitment to Lauren and her athletics and enjoy watching Lauren live in London.
  • AIS scholarship holder and Australian Flame member Brendan Cole will also compete in the 400m Hurdles and 4 x 400m relay. I started working with BJ in 2005 when we was 24. Brendan had never made a junior team and luckily for me made the commitment to move to Canberra to give himself the best chance to be an elite athlete. Over the course of the next 7 years BJ has gone from a 50.9 runner to a consistent sub 50 second runner. He has been to 2 x Commonwealth Games (including a gold medal in the 4 x 400m in 2010) and 1 World Championship but to see him win the Olympic trial and gain automatic selection was one of my great coaching memories to date. I know his parents Barry and Anne will proudly watch their son in London and take time to appreciate the amazing journey BJ has taken to represent his country at the Olympic in 2012.
  • ACTAS scholarship holder and Australian Flame member Melissa Breen has been selected in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay. I commenced coaching Melissa in 2007 and we have certainly experienced an emotional rollercoaster in the past 5 years. Melissa at the age of 21 has been to a World Juniors, World Championships and commonwealth Games but over the course of the last 18 months we have plotted out a plan to try and turn Melissa into a world class sprinter. I am proud to say that Melissa will be the first female to run the 100m at the Olympic Games since 2000. I am sure her parents Mike and Bev will enjoy the London experience.

To the whole squad thank you for being a vital part of the MattyB DEPT. You provide support and motivation to each other and that is what makes coaching so enjoyable and I am sure leads to our great results. As a coach of numerous athletes it is your commitment and passion that ensures I continue to enjoy my coaching and I am sure MattyB DEPT will be bigger and better in 2013. I would like to make a special note of the wonderful fatherly support shown to me by Kevin Matthews. It is great to know I always have someone a phone call away to give me advice and support.

On behalf of MattyB DEPT. including all the athletes and coach we would like to sincerely thank everyone who has provided support to individuals or the whole squad in some capacity.

Special mention to the following:

  • To the businesses that currently provide support to individuals or the whole squad I really appreciate the faith you show in us and I hope this can continue for many years ahead. Special mention goes to Oakley who provides product to all the elite ambassador athletes heading to London as well as Nike (product for Lauren), 2XU & Mizuno (product for Brendan) and ASICS (product for Melissa). The Runner’s Shop and Club Lime have been a wonderful squad supporter for many years as well.
  • To the other local businesses that have provided support previously (Affinity Constructions, Point Project Management, Tradies Club) I also thank you for your support, it did make a difference and was greatly appreciated and I hope that maybe you can come on board again when we start the journey to 2016.
  • Thank you to all at the AIS (including Sports Science and Medicine and the other wonderful coaches/staff  in AIS track and Field), ACTAS, Athletics ACT and Athletics Australia for your continued support of me and the athletes and I hope that this will be continued in 2013 and beyond for all. Particular thanks to AIS physiotherapists Ben Raysmith and Keren Faulkner, AIS Strength and Conditioning coach Ross Smith and AIS bio-mechanist Doug Rosemond for passing on their wealth of experience to me and always looking out for me and my athletes.
  • Finally thank you to the ACT community for your interest and support of all my athletes journeys to the Olympic Games. Coverage from Tim Gavel and Bronwyn Fagan at ABC radio as well as David Polkinghorne, Chris Dutton and Lee Gaskin at The Canberra Times is always appreciated. Furthermore the support nationally for the MattyB DEPT from Scott Gullan (Herald Sun), Michael Gleeson (The Age), Chris Wainwright (Runnerstribe), Chris Lew and Tim McGrath (Inside Athletics), Jump Media and the rest of the athletics community is amazing and I hope to continue this relationship in the future.


Exciting times ahead and I trust you will enjoy every moment of the Olympic Games knowing that you have all helped to allow Lauren, Melissa and Brendan fulfil the very special dream of being an OLYMPIAN.

More information can be found at

Matt Beckenham

Athletes and coach will be available for photo opportunity and interview on Saturday 16th June 1030am at AIS track.
For other interviews please contact me directly

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