After almost two years of waiting in the wings, the Stawell Gift has formally been presented with a rare and distinct honour.
In May 2019 at an official ceremony in Yokohama, Japan the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) declared the Stawell Gift as one of 11 new locations for a new World Athletics Heritage Plaque.
But after the interruptions of 2020, the event was finally presented with the long-awaited honour on Easter Monday.
Prior to the running of the prestigious Change Our Game Women's Gift and the Powercor Stawell Gift, officials and sponsors gathered to unveil the plaque presented to the Stawell Gift by the IAAF.
Mr Blizzard said the plaque is a great honour to the club.
"The World Athletics heritage plaque recognises the efforts of committee members, athletes, spectators, supporters and sponsors throughout the history of the event who have made the Stawell Gift what it is," he said.
"For the Stawell athletic club it is just honouring their work from 1878 until now and the amount of work the club puts in year-to-year, to win this award is incredible.
"It is very unusual for amateur running to be recognised by professional running because for a long time they have been separate, so it is incredible validation for the work the athletic club does."
The award is just the second issued in Australia and the only issued to an event in the country.
The other Australian recipient of the award is legendary Australian athlete Betty Cuthbert.
In 2020, Andrews Labor Government backed the iconic event with an investment of $1.22 million across four years to ensure the carnival continues to provide a substantial economic benefit.
Ms Pulford said she was proud to be part of a Victorian Government that supports such a historic event.
"Stawell at Easter is a Victorian tradition that brings major benefits to the region, bolstering businesses and supporting jobs. We're proud to be backing its continued growth."
The IAAF describes the plaque as a location-based recognition that highlights, celebrates and links together iconic and historic athletics careers, cities, competitions, culture, landmarks, performances and venues around the world.
Among the other recipients of the award in 2019 were The Penn Relays (USA), the Hakone Ekiden (JPN) founded in 1920 and the Weltklasse Zrich (founded 1928), known originally as the 'Nurmi' meeting and more recently dubbed the 'Olympics in one day'.
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