WCAC Granted Funding for World Athletics certified Discus Cage

  • October 23, 2023

NZCT has awarded Waitakere City Athletic Club in West Auckland a grant of $20,000 for a World Athletics certified discus cage.

The funding will go toward providing athletes of all ages the opportunity to learn, practice and compete with equipment that meets world standards from a health and safety perspective.

“As the resident Athletic Club at the Trusts Stadium, Waitakere City is very grateful for the funding assistance given for a throwing cage of full specification. This allows us to cater for community level training and competition in compliance with safety expectations in our sport while providing the opportunity to host throwing events to elite level in the heart of West Auckland,” says Waitakere City Athletic Club President, Carl Gruebner.

Waitakere City Athletic Club (WCAC) sought funding to purchase a discus cage and cover the cost of installation, which will benefit not only club members but also local schools that use our equipment for School Athletics Days. The goal was to be able to provide much improved health and safety measures for both participants and spectators. The total cost of the project is estimated at $157,949, of which $120,000 has already been obtained.

The club had long been conscious of the need to better equip their own Waitakere athletes with an international-standard throws cage from a health and safety perspective in the first instance, but also because they wanted athletes to be able to access top quality equipment that will assist with their training and progress at a higher standard than the one currently available. The club has also previously been hampered from being able to host international, national and regional level throw meets because their throws cage did not meet technical standards.

WCAC has a world class track facility, but, up until this funding was made available, substandard throws capabilities, which had really hindered them in terms of being able to host events. The new cage will give Waitakere athletes, regional athletes and Senior National and International athletes, the chance to practice and perform in conditions that meet international specifications.

“The procurement of a new Discus cage is such a positive acquisition for not just the Waitakere City Athletics Club but for the wider Athletics community. It now opens up an opportunity for athletes (new and old!) to train safely and adequately, and opens up opportunities to create and develop new pathways that were otherwise lacking in this part of the city,” says WCAC Throws coach, Kat Saifti. “Throws involve a very special group of skills, which, when learning, can be dangerous, if the wrong equipment is being used. This new cage will play a pivotal part in ensuring our athletes – and all athletes – are safe and protected. It will also enable the club to volunteer to host more national and international events, which can be a good thing not only for athletics in West Auckland but also for athletics in general and our capacity to showcase and put the sport on a wider recognition map.”

NZ has a long, proud history of throwers across the country and Waitakere City Athletic Club has contributed several key throwers to this line-up. The club has an extensive list of NZ representatives in all manner of athletics events, but throws have always had a special place in the club’s heart, thanks to the work of Ross Dallow who was not only an early supporter of the club (and instrumental in getting the Trusts Stadium up and running), but also a NZ representative in Discus in his own right.

Ross became a dominant player in the throws coaching world but also ensured that Waitakere athletics was supported in throws at a grassroots level at Waitakere from the very early days.. Beatrice Faumuina (1 x World champion in Discus, 2xCommonwealth Games winner; 1 x Top 8 at Olympic Games) was a proud Waitakere Athlete, coached by Ross for a long period of time. Maddison Wesche (U20s World Champs Winner Shot Put winner (2018), 1 x Commonwealth Bronze medal winner, 6th place at Olympic Games) is a current member of the club and Blessing Sefo (current u20s Discus and Shot Put NZ champ) is also a current member, having also been through the club structure for many years/

The club was created in 1952 and has been one of the most prolific athletics clubs in the country since that time. They have athletes across the breadth and depth of athletics events who have represented at a national and international level for close to seventy years. More importantly, the club has represented at a grassroots level, creating a whanau experience that nurtures sportsmanship, local pride, and a love of athletics at all levels from 3-80+ years of age.