Vern Curnow has dedicated fifty years of his life to Athletics in the Gippsland Region. Recently the Executive Officer of GippSport Barry Switzer presented Vern with a commendation plaque at a Vern Curnow Shield Athletics Competition held at the Joe Carmody Athletics Track in Newborough.

In presenting the award Barry indicated that Vern’s contribution to the sport is unparalleled. “Vern has been an active participant, administrator, coach, mentor and official during all of this time as a volunteer. He has appropriately received numerous awards along the way and gained appointments at the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics (2000) and the Commonwealth Games. Vern has also been a highly valued member of the GippSport and Gippsland Regional Sports Academy Boards. We really appreciated the opportunity to recognize his remarkable achievements,” concluded Barry.

Vern Reflects on 50 years –

As an athlete there have been many rewarding moments competing for South Bendigo, South Melbourne, Morwell, Gippsland Athletics and the Victorian Masters Association; amongst the most memorable would be competing in the Green and Gold colours at the Oceania Games in Canberra (1984) and the World Masters Games in Melbourne (1987).

Athlete Coaching became a valued and pleasant avenue to my own career and the extension into the Central Gippsland Secondary Schools Sports Association, GippSport and the Gippsland Sports Academy allowed me to further the aspirations of many athletes.

Club Administration extends to four of the five Clubs mentioned and became more extensive the longer the period of involvement.

As an Administrator seeing the re-introduction of multi-event competition in Gippsland for both men and women and having a Shield Competition for the four Gippsland Clubs named after me serve as two important milestones.

As an Official the appointments at Local, State, National and International events around Australia that included Schools, Under-age, Open and AWD have special significance to me, most often working with the Start Line Crew.

Appointments to the Starting Panel and as Start Line Co-ordinator will always remain as special moments.

The two most cherished appointments were to the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics (2000) and the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (2006).

The presentation of Life Memberships to the Morwell Athletic Club, Gippsland Athletics and Athletics Victoria; the GippSport Special Achiever Award; the Australian Sports Medal from the Australian Sports Commission; the Gippsland Sports Academy Sports Development Award and the Induction as a Member of the Latrobe City Sports Hall of Fame all note as special highlights of a rewarding career in athletics.