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Tatura Juniors by a country mile

What are they feeding the Juniors in Tatura? Tinned spinach? Magic beans?

Whatever they’re doing it’s working, with the team winning the grand aggregate at the State Junior Urban Championships for the past four years. This year they won both the under-14 and under-17 aggregates. Across the weekend’s 18 events, Tatura won 10 and was placed in six others.

They’ve been winners five times in the past seven years and were runners-up the other two years. They also enjoyed the home-town advantage with the champs held at Tatura for the second year in a row.

It’s not as if this is the only activity for young people to choose in Tatura with many sports on offer, yet there are nine children involved across the under-14 and under-17 teams.

“They’re a great group of kids,” said Martin Rennie, one of the coaches. With two of his own children competing he has reason to be biased, but he’s no soft touch.

“We train them hard,” he continued, “and put them under pressure with the stopwatch so they can get their runs done cleanly and don’t freak out under the real pressure of the comp. We always ask them for their input – what happened this run; why do you think that didn’t work. We also try to fine-tune the little things like how they hold the couplings and placing them correctly on the ground.”

Martin’s brother Darren is also a coach alongside Damian Briese and they also both have children in the Juniors. They put the group through their paces two nights a week for up to two hours. They have a dry and wet training track beside the local racecourse and Darren checks the equipment is up to scratch.

Harry Browning-Briese is sorry to now be leaving Juniors behind.

“We try really hard,” he said, “but it’s not all seriousness. It’s always fun to go to training because we’re all friends, but when we need to turn it on we can. We develop our skills and the coaches push us to do well because they see our potential.”

“We’ve got good backing within the brigade,” said Martin. “The competitions are generally within an hour of Tatura and most of the parents come along..”

Congratulations to Harry, Josh Esam, Hayley Rennie, Luke Rennie, Matthew Rennie, Tailah Rennie, Kelham Tyson, Grady Tyson and Tim Wilson who have seen their many hours of training pay off.

Below is a video featuring Tatura juniors (and other brigades) from this year's State Championships.

Last Updated: 05 June 2017