Robert Tomat joined Collingwood Harriers for the 1969/70 track season after tossing up between our Club and Preston. He actually visited both clubs and decided that Collingwood was more family oriented and hence his mind was made up!
Robert was primarily a sprinter and remembers appreciating working with then club coach, Don Cook, to improve his performances.
He recalls a highlight of his time with the Maggies as after taking the baton from Tony ‘Rocket’ Williams in a D Grade final at Olympic Park, making up metres to snatch victory on the line in the 4 x100m relay.
The one that just ‘might have got away’ is Rob’s effort in the Club 100 yards Championship, the year of which he is not quite sure. After recording the fastest heat time, Robert was devastated when, in the final, one of his shoes fell apart with the ensuing discomfort putting a flying finish out of the question. A minor placing was as good as it was ever going to get!
There is a constant reminder of Robert in our clubrooms to this day as he is responsible for the two murals on our southern wall. Originally done for the old rooms on Coulson Reserve, the works of art were shifted to the new rooms when the transfer was made in the mid seventies.
Robert fondly remembers the activities he was involved in with the Club, with many of the social functions being ‘memorable!’But above all the camaraderie of his club mates of the era is the thing he remembers and values most.