Local athletes have swapped running shoes and shotputs for work boots and shovels after floodwaters swamped their training grounds for the fourth time this season.
The Beaudesert and District Little Athletics community had a muddy mess to clean up in the wake of the February 2022 floods, which drew their season to an early halt.
The small but mighty Beaudesert and District Little Athletics Club is keen to put this season behind them after mopping up their flooded grounds for the fourth time since August.
Athletes, committee members and parents cleaned mud from the club’s two containers and canteen, which took on about 70cm of floodwater in the late February deluge, and slogged through sodden earth to assess the damage to their track and field facilities.
The flood damage meant an early stop to their season, which had one week to go.
Centre Manager Brad Dimmick, who has been involved with the club for 14 years, was exhausted and flecked with mud when he spoke with the Beaudesert Bulletin.
“This is our fourth flood since August, and our season only goes from September to March, so it’s been terrible – up there with the worst we’ve had,” he said.
“We’ve had to have six to eight weeks off out of a 22-week season.”
At time of print, the small, volunteer-run club was still assessing the extent and cost of the damage at the grounds they lease from St Mary’s, behind the school and parish.
The long jump landing pit was basically a wading pool, after floodwater pushed the sand out of the way and there was damage to the discus nets.
The club’s two John Deere zero turn mowers, which Brad said were worth about $10,000 each, were being assessed for flood damage and the club was yet to work out if their fridge, freezer and high jump mats would need to be replaced.
Brad said the running tracks would also be assessed for damage.
“The floods actually take the soil out from underneath and leave ruts everywhere, making it very dangerous for running. After the 2017 floods we had to top dress the whole oval, so we have to see what happens when we get it mowed,” he said.
Athlete Tyler Dimmick, 14, said being disconnected after the floods helped motivate him to come and help with the clean-up.
“I had no power or internet at home, so this was something to do,” he said.
“I’ve been here since I was 6, so I’ve seen it get flooded a few times. It’s not really the best feeling and coming down here to clean up is not really fun either.”