Tom Hancock displays the correct technique for the javelin. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Tom wins gold at Australian Masters

Lynne Mowbray |

Tom Hancock OAM has won seven gold medals at the Australian Masters Athletic Championships, which were held in Melbourne during April 2019.

The events were: high jump, hammer throw, discus, shot put, javelin, weight throw and throws pentathlon.

In the pentathlon Tom scored over 4000 points to have the highest score of all the men’s age groups.

The Athletics Masters begins at the age of 30 and goes up in five year age groups. Tom is in the 80-85 age group. There were competitors also taking part in the 85 plus and 90 plus age groups; so it is a life sport.

Tom’s main activity has been as a throws coach, for which he was awarded the OAM.

For almost 60 years as a coach, his athletics have represented Australia at the Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Over a period of many years, Tom has trained coaches in Australia and he has been sent to such places as Indonesia, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands, the Maldives, Norfolk Island and Fiji, to run coaching courses.

Tom said that his recent concern however has been about ‘Little Athletics’ where the flow-on rate to senior athletics is very low.

“The fact is, that most coaching in ‘Little Athletics’ is done by their parents and because these parents are not qualified coaches, in many cases incorrect technique is taught to these children,” Tom said.

“This means that the children don’t improve their performances and often turn to other sports,” he said.

Tom said that he is running clinics in ‘throws’ for parents, to try and rectify this problem.

“Hopefully coaches in other branches of athletics eg sprints, hurdles and jumps etc, will find time to help these parents,” he said.