Athletics Australia

Genevieve LaCaze has obtained the A standard for the 3000m steeplechase for the 2012 London Olympics.

She is not being nominated for selection by Athletics Australia because she achieved the time 24 hours after their self-imposed deadline.

Dear Dion Russell (Chairman of Selectors),

We wish to voice our objection to Athletics Australia's rigid adherence to the stated selection criteria. We note that you have not considered Genevieve LaCaze's most recent performance for Olympic Selection due it being completed after the nomination deadline.

We think this is not in keeping with the spirit of the Olympics and the ideals of the broad community of athletics. The sentiments expressed by High Performance Manager Eric Hollingsworth in the media are concerning. Participation in the Olympics never has and never should be purely about medals. Many of the signatories to this petition sought to participate in the Olympics, even fewer of us won an Olympic medal. We all hoped that should our performances be of sufficient quality to represent our country at the Olympics our national body, elected and employed to promote our sport would recognise our dedication and talent by giving us every opportunity to fulfill our dream. Without doubt Genevieve LaCaze's recent performance is of sufficient quality to warrant representing herself and us at the Olympics.

We the signatories are past and present athletes who enjoy/ed participating in athletics purely for the joy of participation. We are also fans of the sport of athletics. The upcoming Olympics are a source of great anticipation. The excellence of the East African distance runners, the legends of the sport attempting to add to their legends, the favourites, the unexpected triumphs and the international diversity are all part of the joy of the sport. But we are also Australians. We are eagerly awaiting Sally Pearson and we hope to rejoice with the rest of the country in her success. But true athletics fans like ourselves will set the alarm, skip work or study and be inspired by young athletes like Genevieve LaCaze. The competitively retired among us will reminisce and rejoice in our memories and supposed expertise. The young among us will be inspired to be the next Genevieve LaCaze.

We note that one of most dominant athletics nations, the United States have not held their selection trials. The host nation is yet to complete their nomination process. Other sports in Australia are still yet to finalise selection.

The only impediment to Ms. Genevieve LaCaze’s nomination (and subsequent AOC Olympic selection) is one of rigid adherence to a policy written with the best of intentions. However, policy should never get in the way of common sense or the better judgment of well-informed, thoughtful selectors aware of the broader context. If policies are to be rigidly adhered to there is little benefit in utilizing selectors. Jeffrey Risely and Melissa Breen are but two athletes who have benefited from the human element of athletic selection.

“The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well” Pierre de Coubertin.

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The Send LeCaze to London petition to Athletics Australia was written by Daniel and is in the category Sports at GoPetition.