Two weeks before Easter, the Ringwood Professional Athletic Club is staging its 40th carnival highlighted by the richest 400 metre event for the season. The $7,500 prizemoney for the 400 metre Gift is supported by a large card with a total of $16,500 on offer including the $2,000 Judy Morgan Memorial 100 metre women’s event. All events except the 400m Gift are penalty-free for this year’s Stawell carnival.
First run in 1978 when Brian Rushmeyer won the inaugural 200m Gift at Proclamation Park, the carnival is testament to the hard work of the club’s lifetime president, Brian Morgan. Now 90 years old, Brian continues to be the active force behind the Ringwood Gift by arranging the venue, logistics sponsors and all that is needed to conduct a successful carnival.
The Ringwood committee was keen to make the 40th carnival a memorable event and rallied together to ensure the prizemoney was worthy of the milestone. More particularly, the committee wanted the carnival to be a testament to the outstanding contribution that Brian Morgan has made to the sport of professional athletics over many years.
Brian and his late wife Judy have been instrumental in bringing many athletes to the sport since they established the Ringwood Professional Athletic Club in 1976. While Brian has had his share of big race winners including Rod Lewis’s 1994 Stawell Gift triumph, he is proud of the achievements of all of his athletes, taking particular joy when one of his athletes won their first race, be it in a novice or a big Gift.
As a Life Member of the VAL, the league is hoping to make the 40th carnival a memorable occasion for Brian as recognition of his hard work and dedication to the sport. Current and past runners are invited to show their appreciation and join Brian in celebrating this milestone.
Some of Brian’s past runners and RPAC members (apologies to those not listed)
|all the Morgans
|Charlie Van Leuverden