Denis Wilson

Denis Wilson

Weston Creek Life Member #4

Year 1991

Vital Stats

Dennis Patrick Wilson was born in Kogarah, NSW on the 4th of January 1936.

In 1950 he competed in the St George Schoolboys Athletics Championships and was invited by a school friend to join the St George Club. This he did and he has been actively involved in the sport ever since

Denis came to Canberra in October 1973. In 1975 he was invited to be the President of ACT athletics which was then a branch of NSW athletics. Needing to belong to a local club, even though still a member of St. George he found Weston Creek was an obvious choice as he lived in the area and his old sparring partner Garry Hand lived in the same street.

Denis has been involved with athletics at all levels, “I mentioned St. George, of which I am a Life Member, where I was Hon. Treasurer for one year and Hon. Secretary for many years. I competed for one summer season with University of NSW and at inter varsity on a number of occasions. I had two years (1967-69) competing with the Warrington club in England. I was also a club committee member. I held a number of positions with NSW including Executive member, state selector, and state team manager. I was the inaugural President of the Wirinun Veterans’ Athletic Club that later became the NSW Veterans.

At the national level, I was Vice President of Athletics Australia for a number of years as well as Chairman of the Distance Running Commission and the Race Walking Commission and a member of the Officials’ Committee. Internationally I was a member of the IAAF Technical Committee from 1985-2003. An International Technical Official and I had the honour to be involved with a number of World Championships, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.

I was very much involved with the organisation of the 1977 Pacific Conference Games and the 1985 World Cup in Canberra. Then later the 1996 World Junior Championships and the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney.”

Personal Bests

  • 1 mile 4m4.5s Sydney January 1960
  • 880 yds 1m 51.9s Perth March 1960

Memorable Moments in Athletics

  • Winning the Combined High Schools’ 1 Mile Championships in 1952 in a then record time. Being part of the Australian World 4 x 1 mile relay record team in 1959.
  • While I was President of ACT Athletics, we had trouble getting enough officials to conduct track events at the National Athletics Stadium. The Management Council in its wisdom decided that any club not providing its quota of officials would be prevented from competing at Interclub. The next Saturday I was informed that two clubs did not have their quota of officials. I said right those two clubs can not compete. One club was Weston Creek the other Belconnen Striders. I think the rule was watered down soon afterwards.

Approach to Athletics

In my early days as an athlete I was fiercely competitive but I liked running and winning. However, when I was no longer able to win I was still keen to run. By the time I came to Canberra I was over the hill and limited myself to leisurely runs during the winter season until a break in my back brought my running days to and end.

As stated above I have been involved in all levels of athletics. For a number of years I was the Organiser of the NSW Schools’ Cross Country Championships at Scarborough Park.

Early in my career I was not coached. I learnt the hard way training with Jim Bailey who lived in the next street to me. Later I trained a lot with Albert Thomas and the St George middle distance athletes at Scarborough Park. In 1959 & 1960 I corresponded with Percy Cerruty and spent two weeks at Portsea. I have never coached.

I derived a lot of pleasure from my running and various other athletics activities. I have been luckier than most in having other people pay for my many trips overseas both workwise and athletically. I also met my wife Judy in Dunedin when I was competing there in 1960.

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