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Southern Cross crowned surfing’s best at university championships

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Southern Cross crowned surfing’s best at university championships

Southern Cross University is the country’s greatest competitive surfing university after claiming its ninth title at the UniSport Nationals Surfing Championships on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The result at Coolum Beach puts Southern Cross ahead of closest rival the University of Wollongong with eight titles.

Southern Cross University was also crowned Overall Women’s Champions after the two-day competition.

Leading from the front was Team SCU captain Brittani Nicholl, who took out the Women’s Longboard National title and finished fourth in the Shortboard division. The Digital Media and Communications student is a former World Surf League Qualifying Series (WSL QS) pro surfer who has also represented and captained Team Australia in the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Championships.

“Surfing is a strength of Southern Cross University,” said Brittani, who belongs to the University’s Elite Athlete Program.

“It is one of those sports we do well in, so for us to bring home that title it felt special, not only individually but as a team. It felt good to know we are the best university when it comes to surfing.”

Brittani said it was exciting to be back competing in a team event.

“We’re feeling pretty satisfied. We only had a small team of five this year, off the back of COVID. To be able to compete against other unis with much bigger teams and still walk away with the win, we’re pretty happy with that one.”

 

 

Team SCU overcame small, challenging surf conditions to take home a swag of solid results.

 

  • Brittani Nicholl (Digital Media & Communications) Elite Athlete Program
  • 1st Women’s Longboard
  • 4th Women’s Shortboard
  • Maddie Parker (Education) Elite Athlete Program
  • 3rd Women’s Shortboard
  • 3rd Women’s Longboard
  • 4th Women’s Bodyboard
  • Ruben Brinsmead (Sport & Exercise Science graduate; now studying Master of Teaching)
  • 3rd Men’s Bodyboard
  • 4th Men’s Shortboard
  • Semi-finalist, Men’s Longboard
  • Mitch Barraclough (Clinical Sciences (Osteopathy))
  • Semi-finalist Men’s Shortboard
  • Jesse Carrasco (Nursing)
  • Quarter-finalist, Men’s Longboard
  • Southern Cross also placed third in the Team Challenge, a fun event where four surfers compete in three disciplines (men’s and women’s shortboard, longboard, bodyboard). Each team has 60 minutes for each surfer to catch two waves. The winner is the team with the highest accumulate wave scores.

    Dave Graham, the University’s Sport & Recreation Officer and Elite Athlete Program coordinator, was chuffed to see Southern Cross showcase its surfing prowess and once again take home the overall champion’s trophy.

    “This is the sixth time in the past 10 years that SCU has won the overall surfing championship and the ninth time we have taken it out since the annual university student surfing competition 1994,” said Dave.

    “In my eyes, it gives us the right to claim that SCU is the #1 Surfing Uni in Australia!”

    Brittani said the University’s campus locations at some of the best surf spots along Australia’s east coast was the ideal playground.

    “I think our location does play a factor in the strength of surfing at Southern Cross. Beaches at the Coffs Coast, on the NSW Far North Coast and on the Gold Coast are all surfing hubs. With people surfing and studying, it’s great to have that study/life balance.”

    As well as completing her Digital Media & Communications studies through the University’s Elite Athlete Program, Brittani runs her own business Britt Nicholl Services as a surf coach, works with Surfing NSW across multiple roles including event commentary, and also works with Surfing Australia.

    “It’s great to have a uni like SCU behind you as an athlete, to know you have that support. Dave Graham is pretty amazing, always open for discussion in terms of support,” said Brittani.

    “As an athlete you’re travelling around the country or the world while trying to balance competing, training and study. Just to be at a uni that has that program and the flexibility to be able to understand those commitments and help you make it work is refreshing.”

    Elite Athlete Program at Southern Cross University
    Southern Cross University’s Elite Athlete and Performer Program has been designed to support and encourage students to achieve academic excellence whilst pursuing a sporting career.

    Commonwealth Games boxing gold medallist Shelley Watts, surfers Bec Woods and Ellie Brooks, middle distance runner Simon Rogers, swimmer Moesha Johnson and golfer Eleka Moore are some who have benefited from the University’s Elite Athlete Program.

    Photos:
    * Team SCU celebrates the win (from left) Maddie Parker, Brittani Nicholl, Jesse Carrasco and Ruben Brinsmead (missing Mitch Barraclough). (Credit Southern Cross University).
    * Brittani Nicholl competing in the shortboard event (Credit UniSport).

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Commonwealth Games 2022 – Birmingham Update – Day 6

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Birmingham Update – Day 6

The Aussies have added 17 medals to their tally, with four gold, six silver and seven bronze on Day 6 in Birmingham.

Our swimmers capped off their dominance in the pool with nine more medals, three each of gold, silver and bronze.

Ariarne Titmus finished her extraordinary Games campaign with gold and a Games record in the 400m freestyle (3:58.06) to take the 200m, 400m and 800m treble.

Sam Short stormed home to win his first individual gold medal, the 1500m freestyle, in his debut Games. The team of Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon and Mollie O’Callaghan triumphed in the 4 x 100m medley relay.

In the men’s 4 x 100m medley relay, Bradley Woodward, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple and Kyle Chalmers narrowly missed gold by 0.08 seconds, to finish with silver.

Silver medals also went to Ben Hance in the 200m freestyle S14 and Mollie O’Callaghan in the 50m backstroke, while Jack Ireland (200m freestyle S14) and Kiah Melverton (400m freestyle) will bring home bronze.

With 30,000 people in the stands at Alexander Stadium, sprinter Evan O’Hanlon claimed the Australian athletics team’s 200th Commonwealth Games gold medal.

O’Hanlon clocked a Commonwealth Games record and a season-best in winning the men’s T37/T38 100m sprint, while Brandon Starc has leaped to silver in the high jump, clearing 2.25m.

Heptathlete Taneille Crase has finished fifth in one of the most gruelling events at the Games. Crase produced a personal best of 6.23m in the long jump and a time of 2:19:50 in the 800m.

Lining up as one of the fastest men in the world, “The Flying Mullet”, Rohan Browning, ran sixth in the 100m final, just 0.18 seconds behind the winner, Ferdinand Omanyala from Kenya. Browning was the first Aussie to make the men’s 100m final since 2010.

And Isobel Batt-Doyle was eighth across the line in the women’s 10,000m.

Our oldest team member and national treasure, 63-year-old lawn bowler Cheryl Lindfield, has made a remarkable Commonwealth Games debut, winning the silver medal in the Para-pairs B6/B8 with partner Serena Bonnell. They led 2-1 after three ends before Scotland broke away to a 17-5 victory.

Earlier in the day, lawn bowler Aaron Wilson continued to build on his men’s singles title defence as he defeated Kenya’s Cephas Kimwaki Kimani 21-15 to sit atop Group A.

Women’s singles gold medallist Ellen Ryan and her teammate Kristina Krstic had a sensational morning in the pairs with two wins: 21-15 over Wales and a 40-6 demolition of Canada, to ensure their place in the knockout stages of the competition.

In the women’s triples, Lynsey Clarke, Natasha Van Eldik and Rebecca Van Asch started the day with a 29-8 win over the Falkland Islands before a 17-12 loss to South Africa. And in the vision-impaired mixed pairs, Jake Fehlberg and Helen Boardman came from behind to beat South Africa.

In her Games debut, 21-year-old Zoe Cuthbert felt the support from home as she took the silver in the women’s cross-country final (bike). In the men’s event Sam Fox finished sixth, ahead of Daniel McConnell in seventh place, who was competing in his third Games.

The weightlifting arena was the place to be with music and cheers you could hear all over Birmingham. Charisma Amoe-Tarrant embraced the crowd, winning bronze with a 100kg snatch and 139kg clean and jerk. She adds this to her silver in 2018 when she represented Nauru. Jackson Young was fifth in the men’s 109kg, with a 145kg snatch and 202kg clean and jerk. Suamili Nanai finished in sixth position, lifting 160kg in the snatch and 201kg in the clean and jerk.

The judo squad has notched up three more medals to end their successful Games campaign. Harry Cassar, Abigail Paduch and Liam Park won bronze in the men’s 90kg, women’s 78kg and men’s 100kg categories. The judokas leave Birmingham with two gold medals and eight bronze.

The Hockeyroos are yet to concede a goal in Birmingham, defeating Scotland 2-0 in their fourth pool match. Moving into the semi-final, they sit on top of the women’s pool B table. The Kookaburras also remain undefeated in the men’s tournament, with a 3-0 win over South Africa. They will face Pakistan in their final pool match tomorrow.

Boxers Kaye Frances Scott, Caitlin Parker and Callum Peters all had wins in their women’s light middleweight, women’s middleweight, and men’s middleweight categories respectively.

Australia’s mixed doubles badminton teams of Tran Hoang Pham/Angela Yu and Lin Ying Xiang/-Gronya Sommerville are both through to the round of 32 after prevailing over the Falkland Islands teams in two sets. Our women’s doubles teams have also progressed, with Angela Yu/Kaitlyn Ea defeating the Maldives and Wendy Chen/Gronya Sommerville beating Pakistan. And both Lin Ying Xiang and Nathan Tang will compete in the men’s singles in the round of 32.

Our women’s T20 cricket side has finished the pool matches undefeated after a comfortable 44-run victory over Pakistan. An unbeaten partnership of 141 from Tahlia McGrath (78 off 51) and Beth Mooney (70 off 49) settled the Aussie innings before McGrath followed up with the ball, snaring 3-11 from three overs.

Beach volleyballers Chris McHugh and Paul Burnett overcame a stiff challenge from Rwanda to seal top spot on the Pool B table with a 21-16, 21-18 win.

In table tennis, Dillon Chambers and Finn Luu blasted through their round robin matches in the men’s singles, storming into the knock-out stages.

And in squash, both pairings of Zac Alexander and Rachael Grinham and defending Commonwealth Games mixed doubles champions Donna Lobban and Cameron Pilley have progressed to the last 16.

The action continues live on 7Plus tonight from 5.30pm AEST.

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Commonwealth Games 2022 Birmingham Update – Day 5

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Birmingham Update – Day 5

Australia has cracked the ton, surpassing 100 medals at Birmingham. Day 5’s events saw 11 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze added to the tally, bringing the total to 106 medals.

In gymnastics, Victorian Kate McDonald has performed a stunning beam routine to take the gold. She finished on 13.466, ahead of our Birmingham breakout star Georgia Godwin (13.433) who adds another silver to her Games collection. Godwin has had a stellar Games, walking away with two golds and three silver medals.

Tyson Bull, who was a late inclusion due to an injury to Jesse Moore, has claimed silver in the men’s horizontal bar. Mitchell Morgans finished fourth in that event and fifth in the men’s parallel bars final.
Emily Whitehead picked up a bronze in the women’s floor routine, while James Bacueti captured bronze in the vault, with Samuel Dick coming in fifth.

One gold and three bronze medals on Day 5 set the judokas up to be our most successful judo team at any Commonwealth Games (currently sitting on seven medals – two golds and five bronze). This is only the second time Australia has won multiple judo golds. Aoife Coughlan celebrated her win in the women’s 70kg class, while Jake Bensted (men’s 73kg class), Katharina Haecker (women’s 63kg) and Uros Nikolic (men’s 81 kg) have all snagged a bronze.

Weightlifter Eileen Cikamatana has become the first woman to win Commonwealth Games gold medals for two different countries, lifting gold for Australia overnight in the women’s 87kg, after her victory for Fiji in the 90kg division at the Gold Coast in 2018. Eileen managed a 110kg snatch and a 145kg clean and jerk, setting two Games records. Ridge Barredo finished fifth in his event with a 136kg snatch and 180kg clean and jerk, while Queenslander Ebony Gorincu finished sixth (93kg snatch and 113kg clean and jerk).

There were medals across the board and in every colour for our four 3×3 basketball teams. The men’s wheelchair 3×3 team won the gold medal in a thrilling final, beating Canada 11-9. The women’s 3×3 wheelchair team have a silver after going down 5-14 to Canada, and the men’s 3×3 team came agonisingly short, with silver after a one-point loss in overtime to England (16-17). The women’s team defeated New Zealand 15-13 to win a bronze.

Another brilliant night in the pool has given Australia six more gold medals. The Aussies had two clean sweeps of the podium: first in the 100m freestyle with 18-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan’s gold, holding off Shayna Jack and Emma McKeon for silver and bronze. It was then 1-2-3 and a new Games record in the 800m freestyle for Ariarne Titmus (8:13.59), Kiah Melverton and Lani Pallister.

In the men’s 100m butterfly S10, Col Pearse won gold, with Alex Saffy claiming silver and William Martin coming in fourth.

Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Dekkers stormed home to win the 200m butterfly, with Brianna Throssell in third place.

Jasmine Greenwood won the women’s 200m individual medley SM10, Keira Stephens captured bronze and Lakeisha Patterson finished fifth.

The 4 x 100m mixed medley relay produced another golden finish for the Aussie team of Kaylee McKeown, Matt Temple, Zac Stubblety-Cook and Emma McKeown.

Matt Temple took silver in the 100m butterfly, with Cody Simpson fifth home. Silvers for Bradley Woodward (200m backstroke) and Samuel Williamson (50m breaststroke) and bronze for Chelsea Hodges (100m breaststroke).

Alexander Stadium opened its doors with Aussies in action everywhere you looked in the track and field events.

High-flyer Nina Kennedy has picked up gold in the women’s pole vault, clearing a height of 4.6m.

Jaydon Page sprinted to silver in the men’s T45-47 100m final, while Rhiannon Clarke took the bronze in the women’s T37-38 100m.

A mighty throw of 56.85m saw Taryn Gollshewsky finish fourth in the women’s discus final. Ky Robinson finished sixth in the 10,000m final with a personal best time of 27:44.33.

Coming fifth in the women’s T33-34 100m final, Sarah Clifton-Bligh’s time of 22.71 set a Games record for the T33 class.

Heptathlete Taneille Crase is sitting in third place after the first day of the event that featured 100m hurdles, 200m, high jump and shot put. The heptathlon continues tomorrow with long jump, javelin and the 800m.

Aussie duo Damien Delgado and Chris Flavel took the silver medal in the men’s lawn bowls Para-pairs event won 16-7 by Scotland. Defending champion Aaron “Disco” Wilson has cruised through the first round of the singles, with a 21-9 win over Phillip Jim from the Cook Islands. The women’s triples team of Lynsey Clarke, Natasha van Eldik and Rebecca van Asch scored a 22-11 win over Singapore while the women’s pairs team of Kristina Krstic and Ellen Ryan beat Brunei Darussalam 24-14.

Beach volleyballers Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar continued their perfect winning streak with a 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.

The Hockeyroos have secured their third straight win, with a 1-0 victory over New Zealand, the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallists.

The Diamonds continue to dominate the netball court, overcoming a threat from Wales in the first quarter to cruise to a 79-33 win. Cara Koenan was unstoppable with 49 goals, and Gretel Bueta scored 26.

Australian light-middleweight boxer Taha Ahmad put up a brave fight but couldn’t stop Mervin St Clair of Mauritius.

Catch all the action on Day 6 of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games from 5.30pm AEST live on 7Plus.

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90th year for Waratahs

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90th year for Waratahs

By Samantha Elley

In the 90 years the Waratah Hockey Club has been in existence, it has only had two treasurers, both dedicated to the role.

Father and son team Ted and Len Irby are representative of the love for the club shown since it was established in 1932. Ted held the role from 1961 to 1975.

Len followed him after than and still holds the role today.

“In the 1920s, Burringbar was renowned for its successful football and cricket teams,” said current president Alex Hetherington.

“Kids would play hockey at school, with sticks made from lantana and using a tennis ball.

“It wasn’t until the arrival of the Mastertons that the first men’s hockey team was formed.”

Sam Masterton became the founding president of the Burringbar Hockey Club and would hold that position for the next 37 years.

In 1934 a women’s team was formed, but by 1939 hockey was on hold due to World War Two.

The next game by the club wouldn’t happen until 1947 and by this stage, although still known as the Burringbar Hockey Club, they were about to join with a number of other local teams and be called the Waratah Hockey Club for the first time.

From there the club went from strength to strength and Alex remembers a very strong culture of hockey in the area when he was growing up.

“There was a time where it was said, if you were born in Burringbar, you were born with a hockey stick in your hand,” he said.

“Between 2005-2012 the men’s hockey teams always made the grand finals.

“Back then we had a junior team for every age group and three men’s teams, including one in A-grade.”

While the hey days of the hockey club have dropped off, Alex said there is a young group of players coming through, willing to take the reins of running the club.

“This is my first year as president as many of the older members wanted to step down,” he said.

To celebrate 90 years of hockey in Burringbar, the men’s and women’s teams will be playing this weekend on the grass at the Burringbar Sports Fields, rather than on the normal astro turf.

“On the October long weekend, we have a lot of celebrations planned,” said Alex.

“Our banquet has been sold out, but we have a fun day happening on the Sunday and past and present members are all welcome to attend.

“There will also be a red and white night at the pub.”

As president, Alex’s goal is to help young children playing hockey, by making it as affordable as possible for those who want to get involved.

“This year we have been working to get sponsors to make it easier for kids to play,” he said.

“Murwillumbah Central Rotary Club donated $2,000 for juniors and by doing that, they didn’t have to pay turf fees, only registration.”

If you would like to know more about the Waratah Hockey Club’s 90th year celebrations or would like to sponsor young people to play hockey, you can contact Alex Hetherington on 0431 761 295.

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