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Snapshot - Empire Games

Published on Tuesday, 13 October 2020 at 9:44:46 AM

Empire Games by Bruce Sherwood

As Australia marks the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Olympics, it is appropriate that we
remember Geraldton’s own brush with fame.


Long before Geraldton hosted an international Waterpolo friendly prior to the 2000
Olympics, the Town as it was then, hosted international athletes for an Empire Games
Preview event on the 17 November 1962.


The Recreation Ground was the venue for the day and the people of the region flocked to
the ground for their chance to glimpse international stars.


Notable performances on the day were from Australia’s Michael Cleary in the 100 yd sprint
(9.3 seconds) equalling the Australian record and in the 220 yd sprint (21.7 sec). Cleary
went on to take the bronze medal at the games in Perth, but the time in Geraldton
remained his personal best.


Val Young from New Zealand competing in the discus threw a British Empire women’s
record distance of 176’ 5” (53.77m in today’s language). Her throw in Geraldton was a
personal best and 3.5m further than the throw she won the gold medal with at the games in
Perth.


And all this conveniently from the front seat of the family car!

Empire Games

P 14522: Image Barry Kerr Collection courtesy of Lisa Sherwood, caption by Bruce Sherwood.

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