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BALLINA SEAGULLS VOLUNTEER APPLAUDED AT GOOD SPORTS AWARDS 

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BALLINA SEAGULLS VOLUNTEER APPLAUDED AT GOOD SPORTS AWARDS  

Ballina Seagulls Life Member and Football Manager, Michael Koellner, was named the 2022 New South Wales Good Sports Volunteer of the Year, at the Good Sports Awards at Parliament House in Canberra (16th February).

The national Good Sports Awards celebrate Australia’s best community sporting clubs and volunteers, for their commitment to building healthy and inclusive club environments, and their work with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program in tackling topics like alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, mental health and safe transport.

Mr Koellner, who’s been part of the Ballina Seagulls family for approximately 40 years, won the award for making his club stronger and more family-friendly by going above and beyond the usual undertakings of a volunteer.

“Without Michael, our club would not be where it is today. He works tirelessly for the club, always giving of his time to make sure that it can be the best it can with the limited resources we have,” said Vice President, Max Beecher.

The club said Mr Koellner was once team captain and led the club to a premiership. He was commended for being ‘instrumental’ in building the current clubhouse, with the club saying he plays an important role in maintaining or fixing items that require urgent attention.

“There are hundreds of jobs, like the returfing our field, that Michael has done for the club. Michael is always first to arrive and last to leave when work needs doing around the club on game day, and on any day work needs to be done,” Mr Beecher explained.

“The game of Rugby League is a greater game because of the involvement of Michael Koellner. He is one of the most generous, unassuming men I have had the privilege of knowing. He is always there to lend a hand not just for Rugby League, but the Ballina Shire community. This region is all the better for a champion man like Michael Koellner,” Mr Beecher added.

Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Club is a gold level accredited Good Sports club, which means it has policies that cover alcohol and tobacco management, illegal drugs, mental health and safe transport.

Working with more than 10,000 community sports clubs across Australia, including more than 3,000 in NSW, Good Sports is Australia’s largest community health sports program.

In New South Wales, Good Sports is funded by the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government (Transport for New South Wales) and managed by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

“Good Sports supports local sporting clubs to identify and reduce potential risks around alcohol and other drugs, as well as other important issues such as mental health and road safety,” said the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s NSW Manager, Greg Howe.

“The Good Sports Awards are the ultimate trophy for any Good Sports club. They shine the spotlight on success, celebrate the volunteers who are the backbone of Good Sports clubs and give winning clubs with the recognition they deserve,” Mr Howe added.

For more information on the Good Sports Awards, including the full list of winners, visit:  www.Goodsports.com.au

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Riding the Wave: Emma Perrier needs to overcome a funding barrier to compete at the 2024 World Surf League Longboard Tour

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Vice-president of Evans Head Malibu Club Emma Perrier
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Riding the Wave: Emma Perrier needs to overcome a funding barrier to compete at the 2024 World Surf League Longboard Tour

 

By Sarah Waters

When Emma Perrier was eight years old, she convinced her dad to enter her into her first surfing competition, the Annual Evans Head Malibu Classic.

Fifteen years later, she has been selected as one of the top 24 women surfers, from across the world, to compete in the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour.

Emma, 23, is still coming to terms with the news after only finding out a few weeks ago that she had made the tour, which starts at Bells Beach, in Victoria, in less than a month on July 13.

“I had just arrived at work and was making myself a coffee, checking my emails as you normally do and I didn’t really believe it, but an email notification (from the WSL) came up saying I had been selected,” she said.

“It was a very surreal moment.”

Emma has been active in the local longboarding community since she was a young surfer.

She grew up in Brisbane but spent her weekends among the waves on her longboard at Evans Head, where her parents had a beach house.

Her surfing style was shaped by the ‘veterans of longboarding’ at Evans Head Malibu Club, who helped her to fine tune her ‘drop knee.’

Over the years she has become a familiar name at local surfing competitions along the coast, but she had never competed at a professional level – until four months ago.

In February, Emma decided to enter the 2024 Gold Coast Open WSL Longboard Qualifying Series event (for the Asia Pacific region) at Burleigh Heads.

She was ranked as the last seed out of nine competitors but managed to finish in second place.

It wasn’t enough to gain her automatic entry into the WSL Longboard Tour, however.

The winner from each of the seven regional WSL qualifying events typically makes the tour.

Emma Perrier being lifted up at the beach

Tweed Heads resident Emma Perrier, 23, has been selected for this year’s World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour but needs help funding her travel costs

But the woman who bet Emma in the qualifier (Tully White) had been pre-selected for this year’s tour as she was one of the top 10 competitors from last year’s event.

Emma said it was ‘very exciting’ when she finally found out, via email, that she had made the WSL tour.

But it has only given her six weeks to prepare and scramble together the necessary funds to take part in the competition, which she estimates will cost about $30,000.

The tour will feature four international events, running from July – October.

It will start at Bells Beach, in Australia, followed by an event at the ‘birthplace of longboarding’ Huntington Beach in California.

The location of the third event is still to be announced, but the championship will take place at famed surf spot El Salvador.

Emma said as exciting as it has been to make the tour, it has also been daunting when looking at the travel costs.

“You have to pay your way to every stop on the tour, there is no funding provided by the WSL or Surfing Australia.

“I work full time (as a data analyst) and my work has been super supportive, but it would take me years to save up what I need for the tour, and I don’t have much time.

“I don’t have any sponsors yet – even at the qualifier event I was the only competitor who didn’t have any sponsor stickers on their board.”

Emma has started an online fundraising page in the hope it will allow her to participate in the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It’s all very new to me the self-promotion, but I’ve got to try, and that’s my goal for the next month to try and find some funds.

“This tour gives you the opportunity to surf waves that you might not ever be able to – and particularly by yourself.

“My goal is to win a world title and I’d love to make the Olympics, if they do decide to have longboarding in Los Angeles in 2028, but just been on a world tour is such an amazing learning curve.”

As an added confidence boost before the tour, Emma won the Open Women’s Final at the NSW Longboard State Titles at Port Stephens, two weeks ago.

She is the vice-president of the Evans Head Malibu Club and they have got right behind her to try and support her as much as possible.

In the past, Emma has helped to raise a huge amount of money for breast cancer research.

She started a popular surfing event known as ‘The Breast Comp Ever,’ a women-only longboarding competition in Evans Head.

The competition has helped to raise more than $155,000 since it started in 2021.

To help Emma participate in the 2024 WSL Longboard Tour please google: EMMA PERRIER – WSL LONGBOARD TOUR FUNDRAISER and donate to her fundraising page.

 

For more sports news, click here.

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Stumpy heads poll for indigenous jersey honour

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Stumpy heads poll for indigenous jersey honour

 

By Tim Howard

Legendary South Grafton rugby league player Kevin “Stumpy” Stevens could be the face of his old club, the Sydney Roosters, for its Indigenous jersey in 2025.

The Roosters, or Eastern Suburbs as they were know when Stumpy and his brother Terry ventured to Sydney in 1973, have put up a poll on the club website, asking fans to vote for the player they would like to see adorning the club’s indigenous jumper next season.

The Roosters have given fans the names of five indigenous players to choose from: Shannon Hegarty, Craig Salvatori, Matt Sing, Andrew Walker and Stevens.

So far Stumpy heads to the poll with 40% of the votes cast, ahead of Walker on 37%.

The brothers came to Eastern Suburbs as a package deal after helping the Rebels to a premiership in 1972 and quickly attracted plenty of attention.

Unfortunately injury cut short Terry’s rise through the ranks, but by 1975 master coach Jack Gibson made Stumpy a key part of his triumphant side.

He was a vital part of the grand final winning team that thrashed St George 38-0.

The club had an outstanding lock forward in Ron Coote and Barry Reilly was no slouch at the back of the scrum either.

But Gibson moved both those champions into the second row to accommodate Stevens.

He featured prominently in the club’s biggest moments in the 1970s, playing lock in the 1975 and 1978 Amco Mid-Season Cup final winning teams, five-eighth in the 1974 Wills Pre-Season Cup final victory, at lock in the 1975 grand final, and at halfback in the World Club Challenge one year later, scoring a try.

Injuries slowed down Stumpy’s career later in the 70s, but in 1981 Gibson, now coaching at Parramatta, stunned the league world by luring Stevens out west, where he played in the second row and was a key player in the Eels breakthrough grand final win that year.

The Stumpy Stevens names lives on at the Rebels with Kevin’s son Grant leading the Rebels this season.

In the 2022 grand final win Grant was named player of the match and he continues to play a leading role for the Rebels with his crunching defence and strong ball carrying.

Go to the Roosters website and have your say on who should be the face on the clubs 2025 indigenous jumper.

 

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Roosters put Ghosts down pecking order

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Roosters put Ghosts down pecking order

 

By Tim Howard

The crowd at Grafton Ghosts home ground, Frank McGuren Field were treated to a display of champagne football on Saturday hosting competition favourites the Nambucca Roosters.

Unfortunately for the home crowd most of the champagne was flowing from the Roosters who crushed the Ghosts 62-12.

Nambucca gave the Ghosts a taste of what was to come in the eighth minute when they were hot on attack in the Roosters quarter.

A loose pass fell into the hands of half Logan Jones who found speedy centre Dane Saunders sprinting onto the ball.

He galloped 60 metres to score in the left corner. Fullback and kicker Tyronne Roberts-Davis missed the conversion.

Roberts Davis was in the action again a few minutes later as the Rooster found themselves attacking down the right side in the Ghosts end zone.

Two looping passes back to the left found Roberts-Davis with the ball in centre field.

He punched a grubber kick towards the goal line, which bounced over the fingers of winger Liam Bloomer, but into the arms of Roosters flyer Beau Langford, who touched down about five metres in from touch on the left side of the field.

This time Roberts-Davis was successful with the kick, giving the Roosters a 10-0 lead about 15 minutes in.

From the kick off the Ghosts enjoyed one of their few lucky breaks of the day.

Cooper Woods long kick-off hit the crossbar and bounced into the field of play and Nambucca Jones fumbled his attempt pick up the loose ball.

Bloomer seized on the opportunity and skirted the defence to score in the right corner.

Woods’ kick from the sideline was successful with the Ghosts back in the game at 10-6.

But the advantage was short lived.

From the kick-off they surrendered possession on the first tackle of the set giving Nambucca great field position to work in.

They nearly blew it. Their live-wire lock Jay Melrose was forced to clean up a sloppy pass from dummy half and as he wrestled with the defence, was able to slip a short ball to five-eighth Tyreece Sines.

He dashed across field and was able to reach out and put the ball across the line about 10m in from the right touch line. Roberts-Davis converted for a 16-6 lead.

The Ghosts tried to hit back and were attacking in the Roosters quarter when a short kick for the line bounced up for winger Jack Margetts.

He broke free of a tackle and pass to Jones who showed plenty of pace on a 70m dash to the tryline. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the scoreline at 20-6.

With 10 minutes remaining in the half, the Roosters were in again, this time attacking down the right side of the field.

Melrose turned up in the outside centre position and passed to substitute Toby Batten.

Confronted by a wall of defenders he flung a long ball infield, which Margetts held onto and raced over to score under the posts. The conversion was successful putting the Roosters ahead 26-6.

The Ghosts showed what they could do from the restart when the Roosters knocked the ball dead in goal from the kick off.

They tried a short restart, but the Ghosts regathered and on the next play attacked on the right side of the field.

Woods showed great sleight of hand to deceive the Roosters defence with a short ball to Jake Martin, who raced over to score near the posts.

Woods’ conversion made it 26-12.

The Ghosts looked attack in the final minutes of the half and with two minute left after a wild scuffle on at the sidelines, Roberts-Davis was sent to the sin bin.

But it was the Roosters who had the final say in the half when centre Rhys Hambly was penalised for a high shot on Jones as the halftime hooter sounded.

Batten knocked over the penalty from close range to make the score 28-12.

The Ghosts came out for the second half a player up with Roberts-Davis in the bin for the opening minutes.

But it made little difference to the play.

The Roosters scored again from depth when Sines made a break on half way, found hooker Jacob Welsh backing up, who fought through a tackle and pass infield to Margetts.

The winger dummied, straightened and forced his way across the line just to the left of the posts.

The winger scored his third try five minutes later, again backing up a Welsh break down the right, which gave him a clear run to the line.

Roberts-Davis returned from the bin, happy to have seen his side score twice during his absence.

The game became a procession for the Roosters in the second half with the Roosters scoring almost every time they entered the Ghosts quarter.

Jones evaded three defenders to score in the corner to make it 44-12.

The Roosters reached 50 with another try to Jones backing up a Margetts break down the right wing.

Roberts-Davis next score showed the Roosters at their attacking best.

Running out of their half Sines placed a delightful short kick into space, which Roberts sprinting through, caught on the full.

He threw a dummy to wrong foot the cover and then sprinted 50m to score under the posts.

Sines finished the scoring with another sweeping move into the right corner. Roberts-Davis converted from the sideline to finish the scoring with a couple of minutes left.

The Ghosts were short handed for this crucial game against the competition favourites.

Rugged prop Oliver Percy was out as was hard tackling second rower Cameron Winters.

It forced captain coach Dylan Collett to move from the centres to second row, where he tackled himself to a standstill.

Yet such was the ad-lib style of the Nambucca team that the Ghosts defence up the middle was relatively sound.

Of the 11 tries they conceded three were length of the field breaks, several more were scored from 50 to 60m out and all were scored by the backs.

The Roosters made a mockery of the conventional wisdom of rucking the ball out of defence. Many times they swung the ball wide early in the tackle count and deep in their half.

On attack they moved the ball from one side of the field to the other, searching for gaps.

The South Grafton Rebels continue to struggle going down 30-26 to Sawtell. Both sides scored five tries, but the goal kicking of Sawtell’s Dean Wearing, who kicked five from five, was the difference in the scores.

On Sunday the Ghosts will host Macksville, looking to avenge their bitter 34-22 round five defeat.

It’s a vital game for the fifth-placed Ghosts who trail Macksville by just one point.

The Rebels are on the road to Nambucca and face a mighty task to topple the front runners on their home turf after losing out to the 46-12 at home on May 19.

 

For more sports news, click here.

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