Flashback to the 1970s

Whilst a student at Clarendon Presbyterian Ladies College (CPLC), Alison Thompson (Nicholls) (1971), was a keen racewalker. In 1970, during the Combined Secondary School Sports Day competition, Alison realised her passion for walking.

Alison’s father, Stan, and brother, Graeme, were heavily committed to athletics. With support from them both, she competed in the 800 metre racewalk event and discovered that, from her very first race, she had the ability to win. In her final years at school, she joined the athletics and cross-country teams to represent CPLC.

Alison recently returned to Clarendon to donate several items which provide some insight into her time as a student. These included winter and summer tunics, a woollen blazer, summer straw hat, winter felt hat and sports uniforms. Her donation also included a collection of Touchstone school magazines (in which she often featured) and programmes that she kept as mementos of her attendance at alumni reunions.

In the Touchstone magazine of 1971, Alison was featured in the sport report which reads as follows.

‘Alison Nicholls recently won the Victorian 3000 metres (almost 2 miles), Senior Women’s Walk Championship, at Albert Park Lake, in the fast time of 15 minutes 40 secs. Earlier this year, she won the Victorian Schoolgirls’ 800 metres walk championship at Royal Park Women’s Athletics track, as a member of the Clarendon team, and a few weeks later, won the Wimmera Women’s one mile walk championship at Horsham, as well as the Clarendon inter-house 800 metres – then the Ballarat Combined Girls Schools’ 800 metres walk in the record time of 3 minutes 41.5 secs.’

Her passion for racewalking well and truly extended beyond her time as a student. In the 1980s, Alison joined the Victorian Veterans Association and continued to compete regularly at the Masters level simply for enjoyment. Alison continues to enjoy racewalking today.

Clarendon is extremely grateful for Alison’s donation and we invite all members of our community to share their memories from the past with archivist, Catriona Banks. Please contact communications@clarendon.vic.edu.au if you wish to get in touch.

Alison Thompson (Nicholls) and Lynne Oliver at the 2019 Clarendon Ladies reunionhttps://www.clarendon.vic.edu.au/wp/wp-admin/post.php?post=4109&action=edit#