Members of the sporting community have expressed shock over one of the city's top athletes and coaches being overlooked to be part of the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay when it comes through Armidale on February 1. When you think of locals excelling as either competitors or coaches, Jay Stone is one that springs to mind.
He has represented Australia five times to win many medals with one of his current titles including the reigning World Masters 200 metre and 400m indoor champion.
But his feats don’t end there. Not only is he a hugely successful on the track himself, Stone spends every opportunity he can coaching young guns on the track and travelling to state and national events with them.
He was nominated for the relay by fellow club member Scott Geddes who is ‘dumbfounded’ Stone was overlooked, given one of the major events at the Games is the one Stone excels at and he isn’t the only one with local residents approaching the athletics coach to express their disappointment in his omission from the list.
“It is disappointing because he has done so much for athletics and he has got so many world titles,” Geddes said.
“He is the highest profile athlete coming out of Armidale in athletics. I just couldn't understand how he didn't get picked.”
He’s been honoured by Athletics NSW with an administrator award, club coach of the year award and the local club winning the country club of the year award two years straight.