GSG girls gallop for gold

SELECTED Great Southern Grammar equestrian students will represent WA in Queensland in September for the 2017 Australian Interschool Equestrian Championships.

To secure a place in the championships, Evangeline Milne, Bella Rae, Satinka Putland, Georgia O’Meara and Olivia Miller competed against schools from across Western Australia and secured awards for Champion Country School, Champion Overall Secondary School and Champion Country Rider.

The secondary students have years of combined experience in equestrian performance between them, and continue to prove their talent with multiple state titles under their belts.

“I have been doing dressage since I was eight, began competing at state level with my club at 11, and started equestrian with Great Southern Grammar when I was 12,” Satinka Putland said.

“This is my first overall championship and I am very excited.”

GSG principal Mark Sawle said he was very proud of the students, who exceeded expectations to take out multiple awards.

“The girls have carried themselves very well and have inspired other students to pursue their goals,” he said. “This team will represent both our school and the state, which we are very proud of.”

The equestrian program is offered to year nine to 12 students at Great Southern Grammar and has been running since 2007.

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Future soccer stars learn from the best

YOUNG aspiring soccer stars had their dreams come true last week with a J & J Football Training clinic featuring international football powerhouse Branko Jelic and UEFA pro-diploma accredited coach Adi Juric.

Set over three days, the clinic saw 60 soccer fanatics ranging from five to 16 years of age developing basic soccer techniques, agility and leadership qualities.

Juric said the training clinic had been brought to Albany simply by local interest and support.

“We ran a clinic at Easter with about 30 kids which was successful, so we put out an expression of interest three weeks ago to see whether people would be interested in another clinic,” he said.

“We had 60 boys and girls express their interest, hence we are here today.”

J & J Football Training clinics are being asked to come back to Albany in September, and are also looking at the possibility of a clinic at Christmas time.

“We have been told by locals that we have become part of Albany, we aren’t just visitors,” Juric said.

With nine 45-minute sessions over the course of the clinic, Juric said the key to football training was intensity.

“We are very intense. There is no point in being light. International training is tough and we want to give the children a hint of what training is like at a national and international level,” Juric said.

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ASHS Country Week spirit

AN EXHILARATING week of sports saw Albany Senior High School take second place overall in the 2017 Senior High Schools Country Week in Perth last week.

A mere four points separated notorious rivals Bunbury Senior High School and ASHS for first place. GSG placed third, 31 points behind ASHS.

Coordinated by School Sport WA, Great Southern secondary students from ASHS, NASHS, Great Southern Grammar, Mount Barker Community College, Katanning SHS and Denmark High School joined regional students from across Western Australia at Country Week.

Students participated in basketball, dance, football, hockey, netball, soccer, speech and debating, touch rugby and volleyball.

ASHS Principal Jenny Firth said she was proud of the ASHS students and community efforts over the week.

“Our strength is definitely in utilising community coaches whose skills and

expertise have allowed our students to develop great techniques,” Ms Firth said.

“We are very appreciative of the Albany community.”

Ms Firth said that ASHS students again proved they were not a team of champions, but a champion team.

“A dramatic final from the girls AFL and impressive performances from our dance team were some of the highlights of the week; however, our strengths in soccer and hockey shone through,” she said.

Wins for Albany Senior High School included boys and girls AFL, boys soccer, mixed touch rug- by, girls basketball and boys volleyball.

Boys soccer captain Scott Fielding said students proved their worth with persistence and stamina.

“Everyone gave 100 percent every day in every game,” Scott said.

“They embraced the ASHS Country Week spirit and pushed through the fatigue and pain to do our school proud.”
Results from other Great Southern teams included medals for North Albany Senior High School across sports, with gold in boys B division soccer, girls C division soccer and girls D division basketball.

GSG brought home medals for boys A divi- sion basketball and were the champion school for speech and debating.

Mount Barker Community College was represented by a small squad and were awarded second in boys D division soccer and third in boys D division volleyball.

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Jordan kicks a goal for Great Southern

ALBANY’s Jordan Clark was the only player from the Great Southern to play for WA in the state 17s football fixture against South Australia at Arena Joondalup last weekend.

He scored one goal for WA, with 14 possessions and eight tackles to his credit, moving from the midfield to the forward line in the last quarter.

Jordan said he was proud to wear the state jumper again.

“It’s such a great opportunity that so many kids miss out on,” he said.

“Having the chance to represent your state is a proud achievement that I don’t take for granted. “My performance from my perspective was solid and well rounded.”

In a tight match, SA ran out winners 13.7 (85) to WA 10.10 (76).

The game was Jordan’s fourth for WA, following three games for the WA State 16s in 2016.

He was the competition’s only player from the Great Southern this year in the 16s, 17s and 18s age groups.

Now a year 11 boarder at Guildford Grammar, Jordan is also a cricket international.

He represented Australia in the under 16s against Pakistan in Dubai, where he collected five wickets, including a hat trick.

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Katanning sports leader recognised

THE tireless hours spent organising sporting associations and events by local Katanning resident Tania Wolfe was recognised last week when she was awarded the Mike Stidwell medal.

Approximately 70 guests attended the presentation night at the new Centennial Stadium on Wednesday.

The Mike Stidwell medal seeks to acknowledge a person who has performed outstanding service to sport and recreation administration in the Great Southern region.

Mike Stidwell was the regional manager of the ministry of sport and recreation from 1979 to 2000, and his memory of selfless, long-term contributions to sport and recreation lives on with the presentation of this award.

Ms Wolfe’s contributions included working with the Katanning Junior and Senior Basketball Associations, the Katanning Squash Club, the Katanning and Wagin Swim Clubs, the Australs and Wanderers Football Clubs, the Katanning Netball Association, the Olympians Netball Group, the Katanning Gymnastics Club and the Katanning Badminton Group.

Coach extraordinaire Ric Charlesworth was the guest speaker at the event.

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Memorial to north

NORTH Albany claimed the annual Jo Burling Memorial match over Spencer Park, 3-1 in Saturday’s Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A grade match.

The annual fixture which commemorates Burling’s contribution to hockey in the Great Southern is one of the highlights in the association’s cancer awareness round. After an even start to the match, North Albany broke the deadlock 20 minutes into the first half and followed it up with another goal just five minutes later.

With the match slipping away, Park, sporting pink playing tops for the occasion, increased their intensity and replied with a goal from Kirby Williams before half-time to edge back the score to 2-1.

Tallulah Gouldthorp sealed the result with her second goal to hand North Albany the 3-1 victory.

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Sharks lose their bite

ON Sunday, North Albany were looking to build on the momentum gained last week when their first win of the season saw them beat Albany at Centennial Stadium.

The reigning premiers ran out of that match convincing winners by 105 points.

Heading into this round three game against Albany Sharks, North Albany were forced to make a number of changes; Dom Knight, Luke Cameron had both suffered injuries against the Magpies while Matt Orzel was rested.

This opened the door for the premiers to debut Taj Williams, Kohen Lemin, Angus McKercher and Tom Bigwood.

On a warm day and in front of a decent-sized crowd, North Albany made a strong start to the game hitting the scoreboard first.

It was then a hard-fought first quarter with both sides applying great pressure.

The visitors came out on top at the siren, to go in at the first change up 16 points, 4.6 (30) to 2.2 (14).

Sharks started the second quarter as they had finished the first – by kicking the first major when Shaquille Narrier slotted one through from a tight angle.

However, the Kangas found their aim and kicked six goals straight to two one and finished the term 10.6 (66) to 4.3 (27).

After the long break North Albany had much of the play and although they made the Sharks pay by adding another six goals they also added eight behinds. So possessive of the ball were the Kangas, that the Sharks were only able to add two behinds to their score.

It was damage limitations in the final quarter for the home side in the hope they didn’t suffer a third consecutive lost by 100 points or more.

This wasn’t to be as North Albany once again contained the ball allowing Sharks just one scoring shot – a goal, while adding another six goals six to win 5.5 (35) to 20.20 (140).

The match produced a long list of goal-scorers for the red and white side with 11 different names.

Jake Becroft was top with five followed by Corey Hitchcock with two. The former along with Grant Corcoran and Jack Mcphee featured in the winning side’s best.

For the home side, Shaquille Narrier kicked four of the team’s five goals with Michael Simpson getting the other.

Narrier took home the Best on Ground for Sharks with Fraser Eaton and James Eaton also stand-out performers.

In last Saturday’s games, Railways headed down to McLean Park to take on Denmark-Walpole.

After a poor first term, trailing by 25 points, they came away with a 49-point win, 19.12 (126) to 12.7 (79). Coen Marwick had a good day out with six goals.

Unbeaten sides Royals and Mt Barker faced off at Centennial Stadium with the Lions gaining the upper hand early and never really gave last year’s grand finalists a chance, winning 8.14 (62) to 4.3 (27). Samuel Baddeley-Holmes was the only multiple goal-scorer of the match, kicking four.

This weekend’s matches will be highlighted by the grand final rematch between North Albany and Mt Barker at Collingwood Park on Sunday.

There will be two Saturday games.

Denmark-Walpole will be looking to cause an upset when they host Royals, and Railways will take on Albany at Tigerland.

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Kangas take Pies

By SHELDON NOUCHY

IN a hard-fought game, North Albany showed why they’re the reigning premiers, booting five unanswered last quarter goals to claim a 38-point victory over Denmark-Walpole.

Before the first bounce both teams lined up in the centre of Collingwood Park to pay their respects to Denmark-Walpole life member Phil Middleton who passed away earlier in the week.

As the game got under way and both sides applied immense pressure they both struggled to gain the advantage over the other, but Denmark-Walpole kicked the first six pointer of the game.

This would start a fairly quick succession of goals at either end as the first quarter ended.

Trailing by just one goal at the start of the second quarter the Magpies withstood some early pressure to kick the first two goals and take a narrow lead.

North Albany had plenty of the ball and chances but inaccuracy would see them trail by four points as the half-time siren sounded.

As they had done all day Denmark-Walpole kept the pressure on the home side in the third quarter despite being out-scored, 3.2 to 2.1.

This pressure would see the side go into the third quarter break just three points down.

The main message at the last change from coach Craig Drew was just two words “work rate”.

The players would respond, kicking eight goals, seven to just two behinds to register their first win of the season, 13.16 (94) – 8.8 (56).

Last year’s grand final Best on Ground Jack Mcphee showed he hadn’t lost any form over the off-season by allowing key Magpie Shayne Zanetti to have minimal effect on the game.

Goalscorers Luke Chambers and Nicholas Barrow along with Matthew Orzel were the other top performers for the Kangas.

Jak Phillips was the Best on Ground for the visitors along with Tyler Stone who kicked three goals.

Former Railways’ player Paris Ropiha kicked two to also be in the Magpies best.

In Saturday’s game at Sounness Park, Mt Barker showed they mean business this season with a 172 point win over Albany, 30.24 (204) – 5.2 (32).

Kym Monteath was the leading goal-kicker with 11 goals and Daniel Parker booted nine.

Royals played their first home game at Centennial Stadium against Railways on Sunday. The Lions had a big 10-goal second-half and came away with a 45-point win, 14.13 (97) – 8.4 (52). Royals’ player Taylor Powell kicked three majors.

Round three will see the two undefeated sides – Royals and Mt Barker – face off at Centennial Stadium and Denmark-Walpole will host Railways on Saturday.

On Sunda the Albany vs North Albany derby at Centennial Stadium will be played.

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Harbour masters

By ANTHONY PROBERT

VISITING swimmer Nicola Fraschini overcame choppy conditions at Princess Royal Harbour on Saturday to claim individual honours in the Albany Masters Harbour Swim.

Fraschini crossed the line in 49mins 26 secs in the 4km race from Princess Royal Sailing Club to the Anzac Peace Park.

He said the water temperature of around 19 degrees was not as cold as he was expecting and the south-easterly wind direction assisted in crossing the harbour, although it pushed most swimmers slightly off-course towards the end of the race.

Fraschini has international swimming experience, having swam in his home country of Italy and later in South Korea.

He gave the sport away for 10 years before returning to the water last year.

The 35-year-old was in Albany in January for the Swimming WA Open Water Series at Middleton Beach, where he won the men’s open 2.5km event.

After recovering from the race he had planned to spend some time in Denmark with his wife before returning to Perth.

Rebecca Weller was the first female swimmer out of the water, winning the 18-24 years category and crossed the line second overall in a time of 51mins 59 secs, just over two minutes behind Fraschini.

The pair collected $300 prize money and a medal for their efforts.

Paul Blackbeard, swimming in the 55-59 age bracket, placed third overall with a time of 52 mins 23 seconds.

In other categories, Snappers won the team race in 1 hour 4mins, ahead of The Strokes in 1 hour 12mins, while Lex Robertson won the wetsuit division in 54 mins 50 seconds.

Despite the cool overcast conditions and the increasing south-easterly wind, the event maintained its popularity this year with local and visiting open-water swimmers.

Albany Surf Life Saving and Albany Sea Rescue Squad assisted with the event.

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Games have run course

THE WA State Masters Games (WASMG) are looking to end with organisers choosing to wind up the entity due to a lack of interest.

The competitive sporting event for seniors has been held in Albany every two years since its inception in 1990, but has dwindled steadily over the past few events with only three sports taking part.

The committee tried to hold its annual general meeting on April 11 but was unable to reach the quorum of seven members.

It then held a general meeting and passed a resolution that the WASMG Inc be wound up under Department of Commerce guidelines at a future extraordinary meeting.

The entity has no debts and will seek to disperse its remaining funds and property to the three remaining sports involved being the Albany Athletics Club, Albany Rowing Club and the Gomm Park Croquet Club.

WASMG representative Carey Dickason said she was sad to see the games go, but the current committee could only do so much.

“When you’re battling to get a committee together, it gives you an indication that there’s a lack of interest,” she said.

“There has been no in-fighting or anything like that.

“The support from the volunteers has been wonderful.

“We are all just a bit battle-weary.”

The games were introduced to provide sporting opportunities for veteran athletes and competition was typically held

in the off-peak winter months so the influx of visitors could be accommodated.

There were 786 registered participants across 22 sports in the first games held in May, 1990 with sports ranging from lawn bowls to weight lifting.

Albany MLA Peter Watson competed in the games and had fond memories of racing in the 1500m.

“It is disappointing that the games have come to an end. I know for a long period of time the volunteers have been working very hard to keep it going,” he said.

“It’s a lot harder to attract the sorts of numbers to town now than it was 10 years ago.”

“There’s just so much more on offer now, not just locally, but state-wide and even nationally.”

Ms Dickason said external funding had dried up in later years, making it more difficult to gain interest in the event.

“The department (of Sport and Recreation) were right behind it, and it was well supported by the City of Albany,” she said.

“But it’s not just a problem with funding. There is just a general lack of interest.”

Department of Sport and Recreation regional manager Great Southern Chris Thompson said while it was sad to see the games fold, he was pleased with the participation rate for seniors in sport locally.

“It’s always sad to see these things come to an end. Hats off to the volunteers who enabled it to run as long as it has,” he said.

“We’ve still got a healthy population of older athletes. You only need to walk through Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre on any given day to see the number of programs there are.

“There is probably a need for structured sport for veterans to evolve.

“Like any product, it’s cyclical.”

The WASMG Inc will hold its extraordinary meeting on April 26 to vote on the resolution to voluntarily cancel the association’s incorporation and disperse its remaining funds and property.

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