Tigers for life

THE emotion of Richmond’s drought-breaking AFL premiership win last Saturday was too much to hold back for rusted-on Tigers supporters Professor of Aboriginal Studies Len Collard and his wife Lisa.

The pair were in Albany for the weekend and were overwhelmed as they celebrated the Tigers’ 48-point win over the Adelaide Crows at Six Degrees bar.

While the Tigers’ last premiership in 1980 was in the back of most fans’ minds throughout the day, it was the recollection of Richmond’s defeat at the hands of Carlton in 1982 that spilled over into tears for the Collards.

Prof Collard’s brother-in-law, the late Maurice Rioli, won the Norm Smith medal in that match and was the first player in VFL history to be awarded the best-on-ground in a losing side.

Prof Collard recalled Rioli’s response to the agony of losing the grand final, but winning the heralded Norm Smith.

“We were all there at his house, and when Maurice got home after that battle against Carlton, he took the medal off his neck and threw it in the fire,” an emotional Prof Collard recalled.

“He was so pissed off that he was the best player on the ground, but lost the grand final. That medal wasn’t enough. It just wasn’t enough.”

Prof Collard said the Tigers victory on Saturday was “a family thing”, with the Rioli name continuing its contribution, with great-nephew Daniel Rioli lining up for Richmond.

“It is so important to us,” he said.

“Maurice set the precedent for Tiwi Islanders, and to have young Dan and Cyril following in the footsteps of their uncle and continue the Riolis’ contribution to Australian Rules Football is very special.”

Continue Reading

Rising star

GREAT Southern Grammar year 11 student Zainel Bin-Busu is raising funds to participate with his school at a cricket tournament in Dubai next April.

Zainel is a member of a well-known Aboriginal family in Kununurra and has been at the school for four years on a scholarship.

He is one of 13 boys selected for the Great Southern Grammar team, which will travel to the United Arab Emirates to compete with teams from Dubai’s local academies and schools.

“The cost is $4000, but I’m going to fundraise $2000 and my parents are going to pay the other $2000,” he said.

“I’ve never been overseas before, so it is something I’m really looking forward to, and also a new sport.

“I haven’t really taken much part in cricket other than doing it here at school. That’s really exciting for me.”

During his time at Grammar, Zainel said he had discovered an unexpected strength as a leg spin bowler.

“I am now a Year 11 student hoping for a career in sport,” he said.

“I am strongly involved and very committed to the sporting life in the community, and at school I enjoy playing a range of sports.

“I also study sport related subjects such as Physical Education Studies, Outdoor Education and Sport Coaching, which is a Cert II course I’m currently studying at TAFE one day a week.”

He has represented his house in swimming, cross country and athletics and his school in the local basketball competition and Country Week football.

He said he had already raised more than $1500 of the target $2000, with many donations coming from well-wishers in the Kimberley.

“It would be good if people can make any donation. I’ll be truly grateful for that,” he said.

Zainel is fundraising via the internet app Gofundme.

People wishing to donate may find his campaign at gofundme.com/zainels-school-cricket-tour

Continue Reading

Fighting with team spirit

ENDLESS team spirit was the driving force behind Albany Fight Fit’s bags of medals last weekend, when the young martial arts pupils challenged Perth students in an inter-club tournament.

Albany Fight Fit owner and instructor Daniel McGrath led a team of 20 children for a two-day martial arts competition at the Innovative Martial Arts studio in Canning Vale.

Students participated in pattern work and sparring, and won themselves a multitude of individual and team medals and certificates.

“They all had such a great attitude,” Mr McGrath said.

“I was really impressed by all the kids because they were cheering for everyone the whole time and had a really great team spirit.

“One young competitor from the opposite team was losing her fight, but my kids kept cheering her on and it was just really great.”

The youngest Albany Fight Fit competitor was Jade Wilkinson, at just four years old.

“Jade was a bit nervous to begin with and needed some of my help, but then her confidence went through the roof and she was fantastic,” Mr McGrath said.

The Albany Fight Fit team included students ranging from four to 16 years old, and between them were awarded 18 gold medals.

Continue Reading

Thrills and hills for urban daredevils

MOUNTAIN bike thrill seekers from across the state will defy gravity and test the limits of their bikes next weekend at the exciting Southern MTB Albany extravaganza.

The September 22-24 event will include a cross country race, a jump competition, a child-friendly urban ride and the epic urban downhill.

President of the Albany Mountain Bike Club Phil Stan-Bishop said there were already more than 100 people registered for the cross-country race.

“We have plenty of Albany locals registered, as well as people from as far as Perth and Kalgoorlie showing interest in the event,” he said.

“There’s even a team from the HMAS Anzac coming to take part.”

This year’s cross-country event offers two options to participants – 37km or 50km.

“It’s great because it opens up the competition to a larger spectrum of people, so we can encompass more participants into the race,” Mr Stan- Bishop said.

This year’s tracks, despite being under tight wraps, sound like a thrill seeker’s paradise.

“There will be a gravity focus and more runs, but that’s all I can really say,” Mr Stan-Bishop said.

“One of the focuses of the tracks this year is also being walkable, so spectators can easily watch the action.”

Participants will attempt challenging climbs and steep descents, as well as a few new surprises along the way.

“The competition in the Albany Town Square will feature a tiered jump, so that will be something a bit different,” Mr Stan-Bishop said.

However, the efficient running of the Southern MTB will only be possible with volunteers, which Mr Stan-Bishop said there was a lack of.

“We really need more local volunteers to help with marshalling and setting up the areas, otherwise the event won’t run smoothly,” he said.

“There is a 30 per cent discount offered to volunteers for their registration into one of the events.

“We really encourage people to get online and register as a volunteer.”

To help out at the 2017 Southern MTB, visit southernmtb.com.au/volunteer and follow the prompts.

The full timetable can be found online at southern-mtb.com.au.

Continue Reading

Peter’s the skipper

ALBANY table tennis stalwart Peter Muller has been selected as the captain of the state Over 75’s mens team that will compete at the Australian Open Veterans Table Tennis Championships in October.

Mr Muller will be whipping his team into shape and making sure they come home with some medals.

“I was selected because I’m the best able to organise the team, I guess,” he said.

“I’ve got to make sure everyone gets to their events on time.

“It’s nice to have been given the responsibility to be the captain.”

Competing in the championships is nothing new for Muller, with this event being the first he’s competed in for two years.

“After my wife got sick, I needed to care for her,” he said.

“It’s been two years, but it’s good to get back into the game.”

Mr Muller has been playing table tennis since he was 18 years old and has coached teams of all ages from Perth and Albany.

“I coached juniors in Perth and even some seniors on a couple of occasions,” he said.

“After moving to Albany though, I’ve spent most of my time trying to resurrect the Albany club.”

Mr Muller will also be competing in the Smarter than Smoking 2017 Western Australian Open Table Tennis Championships in Perth that commences this weekend.

Continue Reading

Tommy G brings home another bag

IT was another swim meet and another bag of medals for 13-year-old Tom Gawned last weekend.

The Great Southern Grammar student travelled with the Albany Swim Club to the WA State Open and Age Short Course Championships in Perth and cleaned up.

The jack-of-all-trades swimmer came away with three gold medals, three silver and one bronze from his hectic schedule of seven events.

Just to top it off, Tom broke the state record in his age division in the 50m freestyle, which was set 10 years ago.

Albany Swim Club coach Marshall McAleese said that the future looked bright for Tom.

“He’s a really good kid with a talent for swimming,” he said.

“We just need to keep improving and keep the momentum going.”

Tom will get the chance to measure up against some of the best young swimmers in the world at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide from December 3 to 9, when he represents WA.

Tom was joined on the podium by fellow Albany Swim Club members Teleya Beattie and Gabriela Cannon who were also amongst the medals.

Continue Reading

Kart club to host championships

ALBANY City Kart Club is gearing up for the annual Southern Sprint competition, prior to the WA Karting Championship next month.

The Southern Sprint will be held on August 26 and 27, with the state championships on September 28 to October 1, both to be hosted by Albany.

Karting lovers and drivers from across Perth, Geraldton, Karratha and Esperance will come to Albany to compete in the popular event.

The Albany City Kart Club last held the state championships in 2011, after which the Albany track received a major facelift.

“Our facilities underwent a substantial upgrade in late 2013, with the track being extended from 592m to 935m,” Albany City Kart Club vice president Greg Pearson said.

“The feedback from not only our membership, but from a number of seasoned metro drivers, is that our track is now one of the best, if not the best, in the state.”

The Albany City Kart Club caters for drivers aged seven upwards, in a safe, competitive and well-organised kart racing area.

The race track is 15 minutes from town on Albany Highway, just past Parker Brook Road, before the Albany Airport.

Continue Reading

Celebrations for Bulldogs

GNOWANGERUP Football Club will be celebrating 100 years since their first official season in 1917 on August 19.

To celebrate the occasion, the club will be playing their final game for the season and will use the end-of-season wrap-up as the big shindig.

During the league game against Newdegate, an oval-side bar and marquee will be available to players both past and present as well as club sponsors.

Club president Lachlan Lewis said the night will be a chance for old players to reminisce about the old days, and for locals to celebrate their club’s history.

“It’s a pretty special occasion to celebrate,” he said.

“We’ve had heaps of calls this year about the centenary, and we hope this will live up to the excitement.

“We’ve had heaps of interest from past players, so it’ll be a great opportunity to have a reunion of sorts.”

Plenty of old GFC memorabilia will be on display, as well as a helmsman style auction for 25 centenary jumpers that the club has been wearing this season.

The club will be catering for all generations on the night, with Perth band HUGE performing as well.

GFC would like to urge Gnowangerup locals to attend the celebration.

Additional information is available on their Facebook page.

Continue Reading

Albany’s tradie ninja

SAM Goodall might just be Albany’s favourite tradie.

His claim to newfound fame is his appearance on Australian Ninja Warrior and his progression through to the television show’s grand final.

Fans of the show would recognise Sam from his signature tradie gear; high-vis shirt, socks, and his tradie jocks.

Sam built himself a miniature course on his property to train for the Ninja Warrior course.

“I pretty much did as many chin ups as I could,” he said.

Unfortunately for Sam, he only got as far as grand final’s stage one; however, that’s not stopping him from applying for the next season.

“The semi-final was my best performance,” he said.

“It’s a challenging course and you feel pretty small next to it.

“I told my daughter I would get to the top of Mount Midoriyama, so I have to apply for next year.”

Sam suffered a major blow almost four years ago after breaking his leg in an off-road motorcycle accident.

“I didn’t work for two years and I couldn’t walk properly for a year,” he said.

“I was worried if my leg would last in the competition, but it’s much stronger than it was.”

Australian Ninja Warrior drew controversy in its grand final, with none of the nine competitors finishing stage two and no one actually winning the first season.

Don’t worry, Ninja fans, the show will be back next year, and applications are open until September 3.

Continue Reading

NAIDOC Week footy

THE Southern Districts Junior Football Football Association celebrated its NAIDOC round on Saturday.

Players and coaches at Albany fixtures gathered before their matches to hear words of encouragement from local Noongar sportsman Graeme Simpson, who also played the didgeridoo.

Simpson encouraged the young footballers to think about what it meant to play together as close teammates, particularly in the wintery conditions.

He said that playing sport offered a great opportunity to bring people together “on a level playing field”.

The centre circles of the playing fields were painted in red, black and gold to mark the occasion, and teams were provided with the opportunity of putting forward indigenous players as captains for the coin toss.

The round, developed as part of NAIDOC celebrations, also celebrates the effort of past and present indigenous players.

Denmark’s junior footballers will celebrate their NAIDOC round this weekend.

Continue Reading