Hensley Athletics Field was the first modern all weather synthetic athletics track laid in Australia.
The track was developed by Randwick Botany Harriers, who in 1965 took out a 21 year lease on the site of a former tip. The track was initially rubberised bitumen. A tartan track was subsequently laid by the 3M company, paid for using the proceeds from Randwick Botany’s licensed venue.
The first Little Athletics Centre in NSW, Randwick Botany, was founded at the venue in December 1968.
The venue was official opened in October 1973 with the hosting of the selection trials for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. Hensley hosted multiple NSW Championships through the 1970s, until a synthetic track was laid at ES Marks Athletics Field.
The Hensley Athletics Field track was originally green in colour, with seven lanes and also featuring a 200m straight.
The track is named after Cecil ‘Chic’ Hensley, a prominent distance runner in the 1940s and an esteemed coach and administrator from the 1950s onwards. As an athlete, Hensley won the NSW Marathon title while serving as Mayor of Botany. The street the track is located on is named after Dick Corish, who served as Secretary for Randwick Botany Harriers for six decades.
Unable to service its lease obligation, Randwick Botany Harriers returned the track’s management to Botany Council in 1982. The club continued to use the venue for training and as a base for it’s winter road races until the early 2000s.
After many years of neglect, Botany Council resurfaced the track in 2010 to its current configuration. The track now has 6 lanes for 400m, with 8 lanes for the final 200m. A synthetic grass infield precludes any long throws at the venue. However, there is a small discus cage outside the 200m bend, which is suitable for use by Little Athletics.
The track has since been resurfaced again in 2020.
The track is not open for public use. However, it is used by Randwick Botany Little Athletics and a local soccer club under exclusive licenses granted by Bayside Council.