Quest to find Canberra’s next Olympic track and field athlete

MattyB DEPT MBD orange font

Olympian Clinic and Local Talent Search
Date: Saturday 11th October 2014
Where: AIS Track, Bruce ACT
Time: 1.30-3pm
Ages:  11+
Cost: Free
Register: Please email with name and age of athlete.

Are you the Next Local Olympian from the Canberra region? MattyB wants to help guide you on this amazing journey!

In 2012 local track and field coach Matt Beckenham proudly watched 3 of his athletes (Lauren Wells, Melissa Breen and Brendan Cole) compete at the Olympic Games and he is now looking to find the next potential local Olympian.

Lauren and Melissa are born and raised local Canberra athletes who have been working in the MattyB DEPT coaching squad since they were just teenagers.
“Lauren was actually in the my first coaching group of athletes. She was raw and not the most talented at the time but she was extremely determined and focused.”
Within a few years under the long term development training plan Lauren began to make some improvements and by 17 she took silver in the 400m Hurdles at the World Youth Championships. She also qualified for the Long Jump and Heptathlon at the same meet.
Another 7 years later and Lauren now boasts multiple national championships as well as representation at numerous Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Olympics.
Lauren highlights the opportunity for athletes to compete in a local Commonwealth Games in 4 years times saying “I was lucky enough to make the Melbourne Commonwealth Games team at age 17 and now is the perfect time for young athletes out there to start training with a focus of making this team to launch their senior careers.”
Melissa Breen at age 24 is another proud product of the MattyB DEPT. who commenced training as a shy 15 year old. She has now become the fastest Australian female ever when breaking the national record on her home track in February this year at the ACT Championships.
“It has been a long and sometimes frustrating journey but thoroughly worthwhile and I know I would not have achieved what I have to this date without joining MattyB when I did.” explained Melissa. “His passion and nurturing style of coaching breeds success in the athletes who are motivated and hungry for success.”
On Saturday 11th October MattyB is running a free open session for ages 11+ which will include a clinic with Lauren and Melissa and also a talent ID component. Athletes are welcome to simply come along and learn from the girls and then showcase their ability in a series of tests.
“I really want to try and unearth the next Lauren and Melissa in the region” Matt states. “The 11th October open day will give athletes a chance to show their natural talent and willingness to want to start a journey that could lead to the 2020 or 2024 Olympic Games.”
“To be honest it is difficult to talent identify because it won’t necessarily be the fastest athlete now that is the most talented athlete as an adult. I have the advantage of knowing more with my experience with the girls so I encourage everyone to come and have some fun at the clinic.”
Athletes will then be offered places in training squads where they will receive coaching to continue their development.
More information available at

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