St Albans Gift returns

St Albans Gift winner Hamish Adams in 2019. (Mark Wilson)

Tara Murray

The runners are ready and the blocks will be out as the St Albans Gift returns next year.

After not going ahead in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be run on January 15 at the St Albans Sports Club.

The gift is run by the St Albans Sports Club on behalf of the St Albans cricket and football clubs.

Gift co-ordinator Terry O’Donnell said there had been some doubt about the event being run next year, but things were now all go.

“From a club perspective they’re excited to get people back into the venue,” he said.

“There was some doubt and if we didn’t get a grant from [Brimbank] council, it probably wouldn’t have got up and running.

“The council came along with it and the club was happy to get it up and going.”

The event has been going for 12 years and there will be 10 events ranging from under-14s, seniors through to masters, on the program next year.

For the first time, the women’s prize money will be the same as the men’s. Mr O’Donnell said this was something that was starting to come in at more and more events.

Mr O’Donnell said the event had become more popular in recent times.

“Many people use it as a launching pad to the Stawell gift,” he said.

“It attracts people from interstate and people are trying to win it.

“In 2019 the men’s winner who won the St Albans Gift won the Stawell Gift. Last year, the Maribyrnong Gift winner won the Stawell Gift.

“The ones in the west are doing really well.”

Mr O’Donnell said they were still yet to finalise details of what else will happen on the day, while entry into the races are still open until until the end of December.