WHEN Steven Purser moved to Spearwood from the United Kingdom, one of the first things he did was seek out a place where he could continue to foster his love for athletics.
In a stroke of luck for his new hometown, Purser quickly began leaving his mark on the sport locally, volunteering to coach within the Cockburn Little Athletics Club and helping to establish the Cockburn Athletics Club for local senior athletes.
He said coaching was a natural progression after an international career as an athlete, one that allowed him to pass on the knowledge and experience that he had gained through 40 years in the sport.
“Coaching is my life passion and it gives me the opportunity to help different standards of abilities, ages and characteristic of athletes,” he said.
“It gives me differing challenges and opportunities to expand my own coaching abilities by continually developing my knowledge and methods through education,” he said.
“For me its about developing strong connections, sharing the joys and disappointments with the athletes as they progress from raw youngsters starting out and watching them going on to achieve their dreams of competing on the big stage in a major or national championship.”
He said one of his most treasured recent achievements was coaching 26-year-old Marc See to becoming just the second athlete in WA history to break the four-minute mile on home soil last year, a feat first achieved by Herb Elliott in 1958.
Purser has been nominated for Community Newspaper Group’s Local Sports Stars award in the Service to Sport category for his dedication to athletics in the Cockburn area.
Coral McCooey, who nominated him, said “we just love Steve and his family to pieces”.
“They have given so much to our club and so much to our children,” she said.