It’s a family affair for Martin Rennie, who has spent decades training with generations of his family for the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria junior championships.
Thirty-one years ago, Mr Rennie started as a junior, following in the footsteps of his father and brothers.
After years of competing, Mr Rennie naturally progressed into coaching junior teams, which he continues today.
‘‘I was pretty much at the end of my running time in the senior comp, so when the previous coach retired I took over,’’ Mr Rennie said.
This year, Mr Rennie will lead Tatura’s two under-14 teams and under-17 teams at the Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria (VFBV) State Urban Junior Championships in Warrnambool on February 24 and 25.
Two of his four children, Matthew and Hayley, will be among the 13 runners competing for Tatura in Warrnambool this year.
‘‘Both teams are looking strong across the nine events,’’ Mr Rennie said.
Mr Rennie says the sport is great for building a variety of skills in young people.
‘‘It’s a very competitive sport that’s good for their basic skills and confidence and to interact with kids from other brigades,’’ he said.
‘‘We do a lot of team building, which is important.’’
Mr Rennie is a champion in his own right, still holding the record of 5.99 seconds in the senior ladder race competition.
He won the race five times and has held the record since 1996.
Apart from coaching the juniors, Mr Rennie will also present a shield named in his honour for the ladder race.
‘‘The sport is really in my blood, I’ve been involved for so long.’’
- Ashlea Witoslawski