Grommets 20 years young

THE Granny Grommets, Albany’s most beloved community and sporting group, celebrates 20 years this Saturday.

The group formed from an over-50 recreational group in 1999 and continues to go from strength-to-strength now boasting about 80 members.

It’s oldest member, 85-year-old Margaret White, only took up body-boarding 10 years ago.

There are currently four octogenarians in the group.

Since the group formed, it has clocked up some impressive publicity featuring on popular cooking and lifestyle series Surfing the Menu presented by renowned chefs Curtis Stone and Ben O’Donoghue.

They have also featured in numerous newspapers including The Australian, were interviewed by media personality George Negus, had a book written about them by local author Diane Wolfer as well as launching their own cookbook.

The Granny Grommets also raise funds for major charities.

The members have been coached by Albany surfing legend Tony Harrison who also schools them on how to handle rips, study the tides and water safety.

In appreciation of his services and dedication, the group nominated him for Australia Day honours where he was successful in being named a Western Australian Premier’s Active Award winner.

A highlight for members is the annual surf trip where the group camp out at Bremer Bay to surf all day, then swap stories around the campfire drinking mulled wine.

Lyn Brady summed up the group’s philosophy saying is was “all about ageing with attitude”.

The groups meets for a surf every Friday morning, rain, hail or shine, at Surfers carpark, east of Middleton Beach.

The celebrations commence at 11am at the Stirling Club on Saturday.

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Peaks climb to the top

MANYPEAKS remain unbeaten and a game clear on top of the ladder after they defeated Mt Barker by 84 points on Saturday in the Albany Cricket Association A-Grade competition.

Inspirational captain Aran Tilbury finally found some form top scoring with a scintillating 42.

Plenty of others got starts including Jack Dawson (35), Declan McNamara (34) and Kieren Howie (30 not out).

Manypeaks finished on 8/205 after their 45 overs with an astonishing 29 wides boosting their total.

Noah Middleton with 2/35 off nine overs and Jeremy Wood, 2/38, were the pick of the bowlers.

Mt Barker’s chase started horribly, losing three quick wickets before Wood steadied the ship, bringing up a well-compiled half-century.

But he was run out soon after on 53, and then McNamara came on to clean up the tail, finishing with the impressive figures of 4/26.

Collingwood Park won their first game of the year defeating the winless Denmark by 79 runs at McLean Park on Saturday.

Openers Mathew Heberle and Jesse Spaanderman were back in the pavilion in quick time but that only brought out the in-form Nathan Dovey who smashed a quick-fire 90, after a marvelous 81 last week.

Nathan Degraaf made 32 and Adam Ditchburn hit out late in the order making 39 valuable runs.

Bradley Stewart was almost unplayable finishing with 4/19 off his nine overs while Graeme King and Aden Montague both took a couple of scalps.

Demark’s innings started brightly with Daniel Robson taking to the attack and Park’s total of 209 looking in reach as they raced to 2/91.

But once Robson was caught on 57, the wheels collapsed as they lost 7/39 to be all out for 130.

Spaanderman did most of the damage as he mopped up the tail taking 4/15.

The Railways and Royals match was abandoned before a ball was bowled with pitch conditions considered too dangerous.

Next week, matches will be played on Sunday due to the Albany Agricultural Show.

Mt Barker take on Railways, Denmark play Manypeaks and Collingwood Park clash with Royals.

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Team Indigenous roller derby clash

ALBANY Roller Derby League’s final game of the year is set to be a special one.

The club has invited Team Indigenous Dreaming, a group of indigenous athletes from across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius and Singapore, to play their first ever Western Australia game in Albany.

ARDL President Natalie Jarvis said the highly anticipated event would cap off an already excellent year for the League and celebrate diversity in the sport.

“We have had a great year with a lot of gameplay across WA, a lot of wins and some losses,” she said.

“Having Team Indigenous come together for the first time in WA to play is amazing.”

The November 16 game will officially begin at 7pm following a Welcome to Country by Elder Vernice Gillies.

It will be followed on Sunday by a free skating workshop and barbecue lunch for teens and Aboriginal young people aged seven to 17.

Team Indigenous Dreaming’s Cassandra Edwards said the two roller derby groups would donate match proceeds to the Baldjamaar Foundation, a local Aboriginal service providing programs for at-risk Indigenous youth.

“Our aim is to create visibility for Indigenous skaters in roller derby and to raise awareness about and support issues that affect our people,” Ms Edwards said.

“It’s so important for us to be able to come together and Albany are a wonderful league who are doing a lot of hard work in the roller derby community for various groups with diverse backgrounds.

“For us, it’s never about the points on the scoreboard but about being together and supporting each other and the community we’re in.”

The Albany showdown will mark the second time Team Indigenous Dreaming’s far-flung members have come together to play.

Their first game was in late 2018 for the sport’s Australian National Championships.

“We are hoping for a big crowd to cheer both teams on and showcase women in sports and more specifically indigenous women in sports,” Ms Jarvis said.

“We strongly believe that you can’t be what you can’t see.”

Tickets can be purchased via

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Female football program kicks off

GREAT Southern women hoping to follow in the footsteps of soccer superstars like Sam Kerr have reason to be excited.
A female-only football program launched in Katanning last week has already drawn in more than 20 young women keen on learning the sport and potentially forming a local club.

Football West Great Southern Development Officer Sarthak Mishra, who is coordinating the initiative, said the aim was to build a “sustainable structure” and ongoing league in the town.

“Football West is committed in servicing its regional areas and part of that is to deliver tailored programs in the regions,” he said.

“Ever since we ran a MiniRoos Kick Off program and Street Football in Katanning, we had inquiries about creating an ongoing program.

“This month, the Katanning Leisure Centre reached out to me and mentioned there is a group of girls who want to play.”

According to Football West figures, soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.

There are currently around 40,000 female players in Western Australia marking a near 40 per cent increase from the 2016 to 2018 period.

“That’s an astonishing growth and justifies a strong need to run more and more female-only programs,” Mr Mishra said.

“Having a female-only program in Katanning will provide participants an opportunity to learn and showcase their skills, reduce travelling and enable them to enjoy the sport in a comfortable social setting.

“We also have interest from Albany players to potentially come up and play friendly games in the near future.”

The program’s participants will meet at the Regional Recreation ground adjacent to the Leisure Centre every Monday at 4:30pm.

Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to show up on the day.

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Tigers claw to 3-point win

RAILWAYS snuck home by three points in a thriller against Knights on Tuesday night in round three of the Albany Basketball’s Association Men’s A-League.

Luke Mcguire hit a three-pointer from downtown for Knights with 31 seconds left to give them hope but time ran down with Railways finishing ahead 49-46.

For the victors, Henrick Alforque finished with 13 points, eight from the free throw line, Kyle Smith scored 10 points and Kalin Lane nine.

Mcguire tallied 13 points including two three-pointers and was assisted by Henry Alforque who hit 11 points.

Raiders U18 Boys bounced back from a heavy 33-point defeat last week to record a 43-30 win over Blazers who are yet to win a game.

Liam Murdock and David Arthur were threats throughout the game both finishing with 10 points.

For Blazers, Jeffery Fitzpatrick also scored 10 points while the gifted Stuart Myers finished with six points.

In the final game, Tigers won their first game of the year beating Ambassadors 37-27.

Bodhi Holmes was dominant with 11 points while Tim Button and Corey Hill chipped in with eight apiece.

Ryan Barber with 11 and Caleb Carman with seven points made up the bulk of the Ambassadors score.

In the Women’s A Grade, Panthers continued their unbeaten streak defeating Valkyries 43-36 in a high-quality game.

Panthers had an even mix of scorers led by Ella Scamozzi with 11 and Sheridan Kowald with 10.

Indianna Weeden continued her rich vein of form nailing three three-pointers to lead all scorers with 12 points and Tayeesha Weeden had 10 points.

Kinjarling Storm consolidated second spot with a 35-21 victory over Raiders U18 Girls who remain winless.

Jade Dimer had a blinder nailing 19 points and Narelle Humphries was also on target finishing with 11.

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Rugby carnival kicks goals

JUNIOR rugby teams from across the state converged on Albany last weekend for the city’s long-awaited annual junior rugby carnival.

The two-day tournament saw hundreds turn out to watch players from Dunsborough, Kalamunda, Bunbury, Mandurah, Rockingham, Scarborough, Joondalup, Nedlands, Swanbourne, Palmyra and Albany battle it out on the North Road ovals.

The city’s own U11s Albany Storm took home the much-lauded Nuthall Trophy, while Kalamunda claimed the cup for the U10s and the Associates grabbed it in the U8s.

Nedlands, the Mandurah Pirates and the Scarborough Wests took the Plate for the U8s, U10s and U11s respectively.

Coordinator Julie Hetherington said about 300 kids played at this year’s carnival, which marks the third time the Albany Junior Rugby Club (AJRC) has hosted it.

She said parent volunteers had been amazing in pulling together to get the event organised.

“Our club felt the event was very successful,” she said.

“Many of the other coaches asked what competition our Albany kids compete in and they were amazed we only come together to play a few times a year and that we don’t have designated home grounds.

“Our kids play many other sports and it’s the love of rugby that brings us together. It helps we have fantastic coaches.”

AJRC players will next travel to Bunbury in February and Perth in April for their respective carnivals.

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Soccer star goes for gold

ALBANY youngster Brad Copeland will be jetting off to Thailand next month to compete in this year’s Phuket Football Cup.

The 13-year-old qualified from about 150 other kids during a Football West selection camp at Guildford Grammar in Perth earlier this year and is the only player from Albany chosen for the Gold Fields State Squad.

“My mum messaged me [to tell me I’d been chosen] and I just felt excited and speechless,” Brad told the Weekender.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to get in.”

The tournament, running from November 25 to early December, will see Brad play left defence for the U13s boys’ team alongside 15 other children from regional Western Australia.

It will pit him against talented teams from across Thailand and call on the skills and tactics he has picked up since kicking off his soccer career at the age of seven.

The young star, currently playing for Albany Bayswater Soccer Club, said he hope to one-day make a living from his passion, ideally playing for a premier league team.

Brad’s father Danny Copeland said he was very proud of his son and noted he trained at least three times a week during Country Week.

“He’s got a really good kick and when he does something, it’s always 150 per cent,” he said.

“That’s what stands out most.”

Mr Copeland partly credited Brad’s success to his long-time coach Enzo Manera who has worked with him since his early days playing for Yakamia.

Over the past two years, the pair has helped their Bayswater team sail to victory again and again.

“They dominated the first year which upset the locals and this year they did the same,” Mr Copeland said.

Football West’s Sarthak Mishra, who will join Brad in Thailand as the U13s boys’ coach, described him as a “hardworking and skillful player” who loved football.

He said the tournament was an opportunity for the entire squad to play the sport on an international level.

“The event will give them an opportunity to train in a competitive and highly professional manner,” he said.

“Apart from the on-field training, we will conduct team building, mental wellbeing and theory sessions that will enable players to enhance their current skillset and also learn new dimensions of professionalism.”

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Flipping to finals

FLIPPING super star Ruby Beckett has qualified to represent Western Australia in the under 13 trampoline and double mini trampoline at the Australian Championships in Melbourne next year.

The nine-year-old champion has had a strong year so far competing at state level competitions.

During the Judges Invitational last month, Ruby placed third on the trampoline that qualified her for state championships.

Her teammate Chloe Panton also received a perfect score for horizontal displacement during her voluntary routine.

Ruby trains with fellow gymnasts at Flipzone Albany who recently competed at the Great Southern Regional Championships in Katanning.

While there the Albany based team competed in the trampoline and double mini trampoline bringing back five gold medals, six silver medals and two bronze medals.

Flipzone Head Coach Kay Panton said she was very proud of Ruby’s performance.

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Miller saddles up for WA

DENMARK WA College of Agriculture student Olivia Miller spent the first week of her school holidays in Sydney to represent Western Australia at the 2019 National Inter-school Equestrian Championship.

Miller and her horse Endeavour TL competed against the best-performed junior combinations from across the country at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre.

Miller’s selection for the national event comes following wins at the State Interschool Equestrian Festival held in April this year, where she won both the Preliminary and Novice class Championships.

College Principal Kevin Osborne said that the college’s equine program was attractive for students who are seeking to achieve industry competencies in a wide range of equine-based subjects.

Miller said she made the decision to attend the college to undertake the Certificate II Equine studies at the college’s new equestrian centre whilst also completing the challenging Year 12 ATAR program.

At the time of publication Miller was finishing off competing.

Weekender readers will have a full report of how she finished up next week.

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Polonia the premiers

POLONIA and Rovers met in the Great Southern Soccer Association Mens’ Premier Cup Final last weekend with the former team crowned premiers.

Rovers had a shaky start to the season but proved to be the dark horse and came through to the finals with a single goal.

As soon as the whistle was blown both teams were on the attack, a fast-paced game perfect for the crowd that had gathered.

Within five minutes, Rovers had made three goal attempts, a goal from Polonia’s Tom Carrington, also the player of the match, in just the seventh minute was all that Polonia needed.

Rovers’ young players Lucas Wrigley and Daniel Lee were a constant worry for the Polonia defence with Wrigley continually making goal opportunities for the Rovers.

The frustration for Rovers was evident by the collection of yellow cards issued early in the second half.

Rovers brought in reinforcements from their substitute bench in a final bid to equalise the score.

Polonia however had other ideas and provided a strong defence to prevent them, including some impressive saves from their keeper Phil Udecz.

It seemed in the dying minutes that Rovers were certain to score, however it was not to be and Polonia were confirmed the winners when the whistle blew at full time, 1 to 0.

The Men’s were not the only Cup upsets this year.

In the Women’s Premier League, Phoenix had an amazing cup journey early on, competing in a fierce contest with Denmark who could feel pretty certain to have a good shot at the cup.

Phoenix caused a major upset in the semis, winning the game in a penalty shootout.

Port Albany were then their opponents, Phoenix playing a strong game and winning their cup campaign with a solid 5 to 0.

In the Men’s Reserves, Bayswater, the League winners, prevented Polonia from adding a second cup to their cabinet, instead adding a second to their own, 2 to 0.

In the Women’s Reserves, Mount Barker who were previously a Premier team last year and had to rebuild their team, proved they had done their hard work in training in the season, faced off against league favourites Denmark who were eager to win, 1 to 0.

The Denmark side had to hold their defence for the rest of the game, a difficult task but not for Denmark who were able to secure the cup.

In the Socials, the men’s Rovers Vets, who had played a solid game in the previous semi, found themselves unable to field a full team.

So the Old Boys were awarded the cup by forfeit, a team formed for the day and all 19 players from the Old Boys got the chance to play in their final as a scratch match.

Polonia had their third team in the final, represented by the Social Women with Great Southern Grammar as their opponents.

However Grammar proved to be the stronger side on the night by netting six goals to Polonia’s two.

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