Australia’s richest footrace, the Stawell Gift, has received the ultimate recognition at an International Association of Athletics Federations awards (IAAF) ceremony in Yokohama, Japan tonight, being awarded the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque.
The grand honour means that the Stawell Gift will sit alongside past recipients such as Jesse Owens, Emil Zatopek and Australia’s Betty Cuthbert as recipients of the award.
In a statement from December 2018 announcing the creation of the award, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said, “The IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque is a location-based recognition which highlights, celebrates and links together iconic and historic athletics competitions, careers, performances, cities, venues, landmarks and culture around the world.”
“The IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque sets out to recognise an outstanding contribution to the worldwide history and development of athletics.”
A uniquely designed plaque will be permanently and publicly displayed at a location closely associated with each recipient.
Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council, Cr Kevin Erwin said, “Everyone involved with the Stawell Gift should be thoroughly congratulated on this award, to be in such elite company is a great honour.”
“The town of Stawell should also be incredibly proud to be a part of this 141-year old event, as this really is the pinnacle of recognition for this prestigious event.”