The Fleurieu Gift to be held on Saturday, January 23, at Victor Harbor oval

The best elite runners in the state will converge on Victor Harbor Oval on January 23, to compete in the third Fleurieu Milk Gift.

There are 320 nominations for the event, plus Little Athletics races, which will include runners from South Coast Little Athletics. The race involving the local athletics club will run midway through the 13 event program.

The event starts at 1pm and with 13 events on the card, which normally works to more than 50 races with heats, semis and finals. The Fleurieu Milk Gift is growing in stature, as there will be $10,000 total prize money on offer.

The event will finish by 6.30pm,

Brenton Yates will be the race caller. Brenton is a commentator for AFL games on Triple M radio. The 2021 Fleurieu Milk Gift will hold a 'Ladies Day' theme, with the women running for more prize money than the men. Total prizemoney is $10,000.

James Bayliss, who won the 2020 120m Fleurieu Milk Gift will be back to run the race again in 2021. Bayliss is fresh and in form after winning the Bay Sheffield 120 metre title.

President of the South Australian Athletic League Colin Rowston said it was great to be back on the south coast to run the prestigious event.

"It has been decided to have a 'Ladies Day' theme for the day. This is in recognition of how important female athletes have become in the sport," Colin said.

"Following the success of the 2020 Bay Sheffield Carnival, South Australian Athletic League is extremely excited to be heading back to Victor Harbor for the 2021 Fleurieu Milk Gift.

"We are thankful for the support of the Victor Harbor Council and a number of sponsors including Fleurieu Milk. It will be a fantastic opportunity for locals to come and see many of the state's top runners."

The Fleurieu Milk Gift is a professional sprint event and an athletic meeting

The top women competing will be Layla Kinnane (15-year-old who won the 2020 Women's Bay Sheffield), Holly Beecham (fastest female sprinter in South Australia), Sarah Manning (winner of the 550m Women's race at the 2020 Bay Sheffield) and Rose Pittman (one of the best female athletes over middle distance).

The South Australian Athletic League plans to make the Fleurieu Milk Gift rival both the Bay Sheffield in Adelaide and the Stawell Gift in prestige and prize money.

The City of Victor Harbor has thrown its support with a one off donation of $3000 to the South Australian Athletic League to deliver the Fleurieu Milk Gift. It will be the third successive year the event has been held at the Victor Harbor oval.

South Australian Athletics League was full of praise for the support and vision of the council and other sponsors. They included Fleurieu Milk, City of Victor Harbor, Sealink, Harcourts, Big 4 Port Willunga, Northpoint Fleurieu and Fleurieu philanthropist David Turner.

"In partnership with council, we want to see the event grow and build a famous tradition," Colin said.

This story Best women and men on the track first appeared on The Times.


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