Athletics South West club president Jeremy Dixon believes one of the busiest winter training periods he's seen will pay dividends for his athletes this season.
The Turbines are gearing up for their first year in Athletics Victoria Shield League's division two competition when the 2023-24 season gets under way in Geelong on Saturday, October 7.
The club will hold an open day on Saturday, September 30 from 10am at Brauerander Park for new, existing and prospective members.
The new track surface at its training base has also proven fundamental to building momentum throughout the off-season as athletes work hard to further refine their craft.
"This has been the busiest winter training I've experienced since moving down here six years ago," Dixon said. "Part of that is having the track and having purpose-built facilities that can support our athletes.
"They've done that (training) while undertaking other sports as well.
"It's great to see and I think they'll receive the benefits of that training and effort over the coming season."
The Turbines have enjoyed a sharp rise up the ranks since their inception in 2019, earning promotion each season.
Dixon said the club wasn't about to change its approach now it was entering division two with its ethos firmly focused around providing a "family-friendly" environment for athletes.
"We find when everyone chips in, gets involved in events, now we find ourselves in the highly competitive division two," he said.
"As you go up the divisions it certainly gets a lot harder, the clubs are a lot bigger and we're competing against some of the major centres and clubs in Melbourne."
The AVSL changed its format ahead of the 2023-24 season, increasing from 10 rounds to 12 and eliminating the two-week play-offs series. The club with the most points after the 12 rounds will win the division.
Dixon said there was always something to "play for" in the division with the club with the most points winning the title while the bottom two clubs faced relegation.
"That's one of the big things, while it's an individual sport we're really keen that we're out there supporting each other as a team and every event, every bit of participation counts and contributes to the overall team score," Dixon said. "There is nothing wasted."
The Turbines have signed eight new members ahead of the season while there are a number of sibling and parent-child combinations among its ranks.
"One of the outcomes we were trying to achieve with the club at the inception is to increase as much participation as possible in a fun and friendly way and that's drawing in lots of families," he said. "We're having some real growth through Hamilton and some of the other regional centres in addition to Warrnambool."
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