The current junior gliding movement started back in 2002 at the Queensland Easter Gliding Competition. Despite a staggering 50 plus entries, there was only one junior pilot, Adam Woolley, in attendance. Something clearly had to be done. Recently solo and enthusiastic, Adam got together with three other juniors to hold the first junior gliding meet out of Kingaroy.
These meets moved around to different clubs once a month, and slowly gained momentum as more young pilots got involved. The Southern states were also gearing their juniors up. Tom Claffey, Miles Gore Brown, Bruce Taylor, and Bruce Campbell were spending their holidays helping juniors make the transition from flying to racing. It wasn’t until the initial junior webgroup was brought to life, that all the juniors in Australia were able to unite into one strong movement.
The actual name JoeyGlide emerged from a Gulgong meet, but It wasn’t until the 2003/2004 season that it was born into what we recognise today. Some visiting British competition pilots suggested to the movement that JoeyGlide should be held as a separate event. Mitchell Turner, with his team, took on the reins as Competition Director to organise the 1st Australian Junior Gliding Championships in December 2004. The event was held at the Temora Airfield in New South Wales and attracted 15 single seat entries and numerous coachees. Since then JoeyGlide has been led very strongly over the years by Nick Gilbert and Heath L’Estrange – without these key guys, JoeyGlide could have fallen over after the third year. We’ve now past our 10th year, and are still going strong!