At 16, Bickle was "volunteered" to contest an F-grade pole vault event at his local athletics club by his coach. He won the event and went on to a highly successful international career in the sport.
In the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth at Perry Lakes Stadium, he won the gold medal with a vault of 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m). In Jamaica four years later at 1966 Games he won again, retaining the Commonwealth title with a vault of 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m) - his best competition result. He won Australian titles in 1963, 1966 and 1967 but was unlucky to miss selection for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics when he broke his pole in the selection trials.
In 1989 Bickle was inducted into the Western Australian Hall of Champions.
- W.A. Hall of Champions inductee booklet. (2006) Published by the Western Australian Institute of Sport
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