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Sports News

Our para-athletes prepare to shine on international stage

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Our para-athletes prepare to shine on international stage

By Samantha Elley

Two very excited mums, Annette Sky and Kerry Wamstall sit on the sidelines of Riverview Park at South Lismore.

As the shadows lengthen against the setting sun, they are there to support their children, 15-year-old Malachi Canning and 16-year-old Caitlin Bargwanna, who are preparing for their athletics meet at the international Virtus Oceanic Asia Games in Brisbane on 5-12 November.

“(We are) excited that they’ve been chosen in an Australian team,” said Annette.

“They are para athletes and (these games are) only for athletes with intellectual impairment.”

While Malachi has foetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, hearing impairment and a number of other issues, Caitlin has autism.

Both are trying for various athletics events, including sprints, long jump, shotput discus and javelin.

“Malachi has very little competition in Australia so for him it will be good to see where he sits on the world stage,” said Annette.

“And this is the lead up to the global games in France next June.”

While battling regular dialysis treatments Kerry has found it difficult to get Caitlin to her meets.

“I’ve only started dialysis in the last three years so it’s been really hard for me to get her to competitions,” said Kerry.

“But there’s been a level in growth as she’s been attending competitions usually with the support of her brothers.”

There is no doubting the dedication of both Malachi and Caitlin to their sports.

“Malachi already holds an Under 20 record and he currently holds five Australian records for his classification,” said Annette.

“Under 15 and Under 17 Long Jump, Under 17 Discus and Under 17 and Under 20 shotput.”

They have both been competing since they were eight-years-old.

Malachi is a young man of very few words but his face lights up when he talks about the dedication to his sports.

“(When I don’t train) I workout,” he said.

“I do push ups, sit ups, chin ups, 3k-4k runs on the treadmill.”

Caitlin admitted to being very nervous but excited about the upcoming games.

“I am hoping to achieve a personal best in all the events: discus, shot put and javelin and a chance to go to France,” she said.

Fundraising is the biggest concern for Annette and Kerry and while joking about robbing a bank or winning lotto, they know this will be the biggest hurdle for their sporting teenagers.

“I’ve put an application to the Lord Taverner’s for some assistance,” said Kerry.

“And I’m going through the Local Sporting Heroes.”

Annette has approached both Federal MP Kevin Hogan and State MP Janelle Saffin.

If a local company is willing to support or sponsor these two young teenagers in their first international competition, you can contact The Northern Rivers Times.

Local News

Sawtell FC Soar to 5-1 Victory Over Coffs United in Season Opener

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Sawtell FC

Sawtell FC Soar to 5-1 Victory Over Coffs United in Season Opener

 

Sawtell FC made a superb start to the HIT105.5 North Coast Premier League, delivering a commanding 5-1 victory over Coffs City United at Coffs Coast Synthetics on Saturday, April 6.

Persistent rain rendered every grass football field on the Coffs Coast unusable, prompting organisers to relocate the match to the all-weather surface of Coffs Coast Synthetics.

The opening goal came in spectacular fashion as Hugo Alderman (goal included, number 9) unleashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner, igniting Sawtell’s scoring spree.

Coffs United Lions retaliated with a perfectly weighted cross from Blake Townsend, setting up Melad for a clinical volley to equalise.

With both teams displaying attacking intent, the game remained evenly poised at 1-1 after 30 minutes, with opportunities aplenty for both sides.

However, it was Sawtell who seized the initiative before halftime, as Hugo Alderman struck again to give the Scorpions a 2-1 lead going into the break.

At the halftime break, Sawtell coach Rachel Oberleuter delivered an inspiring team talk, fueling her players’ determination for the second half.

Keeden Corliss extended Sawtell’s advantage to 3-1 with a composed finish, from a well worked team goal.

On the day the clocks were turned back, veteran striker Luke France turned back time to deliver vintage finish to make it 4-1 to Sawtell.

The Scorpions sealed their emphatic victory with a fifth goal, courtesy of an unfortunate own goal by the Lions, five minutes from full time.

With momentum on their side, Sawtell now eagerly prepares to face reigning Premiers Northern Storm next week at Toormina Oval, in what promises to be a highly anticipated encounter.

 

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ROOKIE AUSSIE TITLE RAMPAGE

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Ryan Silcock - Photo courtesy of Butcher Photography

ROOKIE AUSSIE TITLE RAMPAGE

 

THERE was no shortage of racing action during last weekend’s Coopers Auto Service Centre supported Australian Modlites Title at Hessions Auto Parts Grafton Speedway, and it was teenage rookie Ryan Silcock who upstaged his more established rivals and came away with the Australian Title honours.

Since debuting in Modlites at the beginning of this season, the Queensland-based Silcock has shown plenty of promise, which included winning the South Australian Title earlier in the season, and the 17-year-old’s rookie season in Modlites went to another level when he drove to victory in last Saturday night’s Australian Title.

Silcock was in outstanding form throughout the two-night Australian Title, where he topped the point standings on night one and then carried that form through to the second and final night by qualifying on pole position for the Australian Title deciding feature race and dominating the entire 25-lap journey. Despite coming out on top, Silcock was very lucky to finish, after he was involved in an incident on lap 21 with the crashing lapped car of B-main qualifier Jacob Carlier, which caused front-end damage to Silcock’s car. In the closing stages, Silcock’s front-end damage got worse, and he greeted the chequered flag on pretty much three wheels, after his inside front wheel had collapsed.

Despite his very best efforts, one of the event’s pre-event favourites and current NSW, Queensland and Victorian Champion in Corey Stein, who had chased after Silcock when he moved up to second on lap 16, had to settle for second, while third place on the podium was taken out by Terry Leerentveld. The former Australian Title holder sat in second behind Silcock for the first half of the race, before he was passed by Stein for second place. The top-five finishers were completed by another ex-Australian Title holder in Kyle Honour and Mitch Pammenter in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Nathan Politch, Zak Hudson, Chris Corbett, defending Australian Champion Sam Gollschewsky and Tyson Snow rounded out the top-10 finishes in the Australian Title. In what was a solid performance, V8 Dirt Modifieds regular Chris Corbett, who was driving the Will Butler-owned car in a cameo Modlites appearance, ended up finishing in eighth and also the highest placed NSW-based driver, after he had started on the second row. Finishing just behind Corbett, Gollschewsky had an unhappy Australian Title defence, where he had started the feature race from position nine and that was where he ended up finishing.

The Firecracker 50 Lapper for RSA Four Cylinder Sedans was fought out on the Saturday night, and it saw the race run without a single stoppage and the win went to teenager Jeremy Wade. Brodie King was the next best in second and the only other driver on the lead lap, while third place on the podium was filled by Dallas Barnier. Nathan Harper and Kyhe MacDonald completed the top-five finishers. On the Friday night, Isobelle Jennar was the feature race winner in the RSA Four Cylinder Sedans, and she downed Jeremy Wade and veteran Keith Urquart at the completion of the 15-lap event.

The support classes resulted in the feature races shared between Kevin Britten (V8 Dirt Modifieds), Paul Reeves (AMCA Nationals), Brock Stubbs (SSA Junior Sedans – both Friday and Saturday night), Hayden Fleming (RSA Junior Sedans) and Kaleb Daly (RSA Street Stockers).

The eighth and final 2023-24 season race meeting at Hessions Auto Parts Grafton Speedway is going to be held on the Saturday night of May 25, where the headlining act is the annual Stocksville 100 Lapper for the RSA Street Stockers, along with the support classes of AMCA Nationals, Modlites, Production Sedans, RSA Four Cylinder Sedans and Junior Sedans

Grafton Speedway would like to thank Hessions Auto Parts for their 2023-24 season support. Based in Grafton, along with their nearby Coffs Harbour location, Hessions Auto Parts stock a wide range of parts and accessories at competitive prices. To find out more about Hessions Auto Parts, contact them on 0266 423 085 (Grafton) and 0256 456 361 (Coffs Harbour) or visit their website at hessionsautoparts.com.au.

 

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COMMUNITY SEASON KICKS OFF WITH 10,000 MORE FREE FOOTBALLS AS NEWCASTLE PERMANENT CONTINUES PARTNERSHIP

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Northern NSW Football

COMMUNITY SEASON KICKS OFF WITH 10,000 MORE FREE FOOTBALLS AS NEWCASTLE PERMANENT CONTINUES PARTNERSHIP

 

The 2024 community football season officially kicks off across the northern NSW region this weekend, with another 10,000 free footballs to be distributed to entry-level MiniRoos players.

The partnership between Northern NSW Football and Newcastle Permanent has supplied more than 125,000 free footballs to MiniRoos players since 2008 as well as vital football equipment to clubs across the seven member zones.

Newcastle Permanent will proudly continue as NNSWF’s major partner of community football for a 17th year.

The community football season starts across Football Far North Coast, North Coast Football, Football Mid North Coast and NNSWF – Northern Inland member zones this weekend.

Community football kicked off across the Hunter region with the start of the Zone Football League competition a fortnight ago.

Registrations have soared across northern NSW this season, with an incredible 53,990 participants registered as of 2 March. This number represents a 12 per cent increase compared to the same time last year, making 2024 the biggest year for football in the region ever.

Female participants make up 15,323 of total registrations, or 28 per cent. This is a 22 per cent increase on the same time last year.

Northern NSW Football CEO Peter Haynes said Newcastle Permanent were a valued, long-term major partner.

“We are thrilled that Newcastle Permanent will continue as our major partner of community football,” Haynes said

“This partnership has been ongoing for almost two decades now and in that time Newcastle Permanent’s support has ensured that the region’s largest sport remains affordable, fun and safe.

“We saw record participation rates across the region in 2023 and incredibly we have broken that record again so we look forward to another fantastic year of football. We wish every player, coach, match official and volunteer all the very best for the season ahead.”

Newcastle Permanent Chief Distribution Officer Paul Juergens said that 2024 would be another fantastic year for grassroots football.

“Being involved with an organisation that promotes teamwork, social connections and physical activity makes this partnership with Northern NSW Football a very proud one for us,” Juergens said.

“With more than 125,000 free footballs distributed to entry-level players through this partnership, we know there are so many more kids who can experience the simple joy of having a kick around with their mates.

“We’ve been supporting Northern NSW Football since 2008 and we’re looking forward to another spectacular season in 2024.”

Newcastle Permanent also holds the naming rights to senior community football grand finals across Northern NSW Football’s seven member zones, NNSWF’s Primary School Gala days and NNSWF’s Junior Development League as part of the partnership.

 

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