Christmas came early at Sarina Bowls Club last week.
The club hosted a Christmas in July celebration and 99 ladies, many in festive dress, joined in the fun.
A two-hour game of bowls was followed by a delicious two-course lunch, with Sarina’s Red Hatter groups joining in for the festivities.
The ladies got lots of attention from the magnificent male waiters, and it’s doubtful if anyone went home disappointed.
A special visit from Santa made the ladies’ day with several having their photo taken with him and getting hugs. The day finished with a cent sale of about 100 items, many homemade by the Sarina bowls ladies.
Caption: Ron Perkins and Brian Adams are Sarina Bowls Club’s men’s A grade pairs champions.
Sarina Bowls Club’s new A grade men’s pairs champions are Ron Perkins and Brian Adams.
They beat Trevor Bird and Bruce Archer 21-15 in the final, both teams putting in a great effort with some quality bowls.
Men’s A Singles, Semi Final: Brad Bettieins d Bill Roots 25-16.
Men’s Senior Singles: Ian Henshaw d Kevin Barnes 25-9; Bruce Archer d John Willan 26-6, Doug Giddings d Mick Gidley 25-16, Bruce Archer d Ian Henshaw 26-14.
Men’s B Pairs: Harold Mansfield, Ross O`Neil d Brad Bettiens, Luke Mills 26-12.
Ladies Consistency: Rita Hughes d Ann O`Shea 144-56, Chris Smith d Doris Wray 134-66.
By Rita Hughes
An economic boom of $8.1bn producing 90,000 jobs for Queensland alone has been predicted after the announcement that Brisbane would be the host city of the 2032 Olympic Games.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said that hosting the Olympics will put Queensland on the map internationally, reaping huge economic benefits and will create opportunities here in Mackay, beyond the predicted boost to tourism.
“I’ll be pushing for Mackay to host an Olympic squad training base where athletes can train at our world-class sporting facilities like the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex and the new Harrup Park arena which has TV network televising facilities,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“There’ll also be huge opportunities for the whole of the Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions, with more tourism, a chance for local businesses to supply equipment and services for the Games, and for our exports and locally-made products to be recognised to a worldwide audience.
“It’s a fantastic announcement for sports lovers and every Queenslander, and I'm so excited. In 2032 we’ll hold the best Olympics yet,” she said.
The Olympics are estimated by the KPMG to produce economic benefits of $17.6bn for Australia, creating 120,000 jobs Australia-wide.
A Mackay Local, known at school and among mates as somewhat of a troublemaker, headed south when he was 15 and began a journey to becoming a professional athlete, and is now one of the hottest prospects in Australian MMA.
He has the mentality, he has the desire, and Lachlan Stitt is making Mackay proud on the national stage, being crowned Australian Welterweight Amateur Champion. The fighter has big aspirations, having just made the big move to professional MMA, and eventually with plans to move onto Vegas.
He started fighting when he was 16, having seen it on the TV Pay-Per-View and remembers being a little kid watching Wednesday night fights.
“I couldn’t believe it was a real thing – watching WWE, you can tell that’s fake – and I was just fascinated by [MMA],” Lachlan said.
“Watching MMA is unreal, it’s crazy that you can do this stuff; the knowledge, the technique, it’s fascinating.”
He’s a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, having recently been promoted and he’s a self-proclaimed ‘striker’, although he has excellent cage control, which helped him win the Welterweight Australian Amateur Championship.
His striking is where his nickname ‘DEADSHOT’ comes from.
“I never miss. When I aim, I connect – of my nine wins, seven of them are knockouts,” Lachlan said.
“My head coach gave me that nickname and it stuck.”
He trains twice a day, seven days a week now that he has made the transition to pro, and for Lachlan it was never a question of not making that transition.
“It’s full time for me now, and I have an electrician’s apprenticeship to fall back on,” Lachlan said.
“It wasn’t a hard decision; it was always the plan since I started. I knew I was going to do this; this is what I’m passionate about and I was only doing [the apprenticeship] as a backup plan.”
For Lachlan, it’s about putting his most physically perfected self against someone else’s, but he loves MMA enormously for every aspect.
“I love the humbleness [of MMA], it’s a very humbling experience.”
“When you fight a real fighter, you get your arse handed to you, it could be by a little kid and I don’t think normal people understand that.”
“You could be getting whipped by a little kid!
“Some people fight with anger – I had a good upbringing and I love testing myself against the other person.
“Everyone has their own demons but ultimately, testing myself is what really drives me.”
He’s training with high level guys, like ex-champion Robert Whittaker, a previous UFC Middleweight Champion, and each and every one of them believes in him and his ability.
“I’m getting quality training down here and facilities down here are amazing – Triple X, my gym, I wouldn’t get where I am without those guys there,” he said.
Lachlan is a Northern Beaches graduate that has a deep connection to his roots, coming back here to train often, and he’s been making waves on the Welterweight stage, but COVID has been a difficult period, as it has been for all athletes.
“I just came off my last fight for the Australian title in early June and straight after that we went into local, when I would like to keep the ball rolling in a way,” he said.
“That’s why we decided to make that transition to pro.”
His goals are to make it all the way to the UFC and make it to the very top of the game. He’s still in contact with his Mackay family and friends, especially those down at Mackay MMA, like David Gunn.
“My dad still lives there and my grandparents, it’s been hard over the last 18 months but when I’m there I train with some of my old friends,” he said.
“I always go down and train with them.
“It’s always good to come home and I’ll never forget my roots. My mums’ side of the family – my grandparents are very well known as Townsends, and it’s good to not be the only well known member of the family!”
Lachlan wants to make it to Vegas, and he’s certainly on the right path – there’s a contingent of in-gym professionals and experienced pros that believe in him, as well as a huge group of locals who are cheering him on.
Mackay can claim a sliver of Australia’s first Tokyo Olympic Gold when Former Mackay Swimming Academy swimmer Meg Harris won gold in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay with her teammates Bronte Campbell, Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon.
The quad squad became the first team to swim under 3:30, with their blistering time of 3:29.69 to break the world record.
Meg Harris, at just 19 years of age, joins our local swimming legends who have made Mackay proud at the Olympics including Madam Butterfly Susie O’Neill, Geoff Huegill and Mackay Council’s Linda Single who also won Olympic gold in the relay.
Meg, a former Holy Spirit College student, is now part of the illustrious St Peters Western Swim Club, coached by Dean Boxall. The team trained at Mackay earlier this year, making the most of our world-class Mackay Aquatic Recreation Complex facility in preparation for Olympic trials.
Meg’s inclusion in the Australian squad came as a shock for the swimmer, who was grateful for the opportunity to represent her country. The opportunity to swim in the heat alongside some of her heroes was a big moment for her, made momentous when she was told she would be swimming in the final.
“Incredible. There is no feeling like it. Last night swimming with Maddie I walked out and it was insane. Then to get the opportunity to do it again in the final is even better,” Meg said in her gold medal winning interview.
Meg’s road to Tokyo started in Mackay at the Marlin Swim Centre and Pioneer Swimming Club, before joining the Mackay Swimming Academy under coach Pat Wright. The beaches were also a fundamental part of her upbringing, with Meg becoming a Nipper with Eimeo Surf Lifesaving Club.
Teammate Cate Campbell became the fourth Aussie in history to win three Olympic gold medals in the same event. Collecting their medals from a tray because of social distancing rules, the four Australians presented each other with their prizes in what already ranks as one of the most touching moments of the Tokyo Games.
Under 12 Pearls took on Moranbah Sharks in a top of the table clash in Round 9. The Pearls returned from a two week break ready to work hard. Fantastic footwork and circle movement combined with determined defence at the other end of the court saw the Pearls come away victors, 17-10. MVP was awarded to Peppa Geisel.
Under 14 Tsunamis came up against third place Storm Hurricanes for the second time this season. A tough start to the game with the Hurricanes defence proving too good in the first half keeping the Tsunamis scoreless. The team fought hard in the second half to bring the ball down court and into the attacking circle, eventually breaking the line of defence to put 14 goals on the board. Even with a surge in the second half the Tsunamis were too far behind to come back for a win. MVP was awarded to Ellsie Hinton and Maeve Hornstra.
Saturday afternoon saw the Whitsunday Brahmans host their 2021 Sponsors Day at Les Stagg Oval as they took on the 2020 Premiers Wests Tigers.
The afternoon kicked off with a young and enthusiastic Whitsunday Picture Framing & Gallery Under 20 Brahmans who took it right up to the 2nd placed Tigers side. After conceding an early try, the team dominated West's and fought back to lead at half time. Two early tries to the Tigers early on in the second half turned the momentum, which carried to an unfortunate 30 - 10 final score line.
Stand out players for the Brahmans were Lock Jack Dwyer who toiled hard all game up the middle as well as half Lochie Wake and centre Jayden Lane returning from injury.
Powered by Murphy Reserve Grade Brahmans were keen to make it back-to-back wins against the 4th placed Tigers and blasted their opposition in the opening half, scoring 6 unanswered tries to lead 30-0 at the half time break. Wests mounted a comeback of sorts, getting just 8 points shy of the Brahmans before the full-time siren, but it was never really in doubt. Nutrien Ag Solutions Reserve Grade Player of the Match was Cody Williams.
The Metropole Hotel A Grade Brahmans were the final game of the evening, taking on the 2nd placed and 2020 Premiers Wests Tigers. Despite missing several players from their winning side which took on Souths Sharks last week the Brahmans began the clash with confidence in opening exchanges. At the Tigers led 16-0. Tigers crossed for another 2 tries before full time, but it was a closer game than the score line reads.
Prop Isaac Richardson was awarded Man of the Match Honours for his tireless efforts in the middle. Brahmans have a bye before taking on Carltons Devils and Magpies in the final two rounds of 2021.
Contributed by Bryce Fraser
Eight weeks ago, eighteen Proserpine High Students put their hands up for a chance to represent their school in a Mackay District competition, yet none of these students had ever played bowls.
On Friday 16 July last week at Airlie Beach Bowls Club, two of those very Proserpine High Students, Elliott Nuske and Gareth O’Sheehy bowled the District finals, competing on behalf of their school with a chance to represent the Mackay District in Brisbane.
“We joined as a bit of a mess around – but it ended up being pretty serious!” Gareth said.
These two Proserpine prodigies went from chucking the bowls to become deftly handed players of the game.
Louise Mahony, who brought the two boys to Airlie Beach Bowls Club as part of their Secondary School Cup was particularly impressed.
“Their standard of play, their discussion of the game and what should go where – these guys have picked that up so fast it’s incredible,” Louise said.
“The older guys here are standing there gobsmacked; these kids are playing division one standard.”
They faced off against Toby Craig and Harry Craig in the final - two brothers who have their own story of excellence.
Toby had his partner drop out the night before, so his little brother was a ring in, having never played in a competitive series before.
It was destined to be a strange final – and it certainly was, as it finished a complete tie.
It was decided that the boys would play a final set, and sadly for the Proserpine High boys it wouldn’t be their day, as they lost out to an excellent performance from the Craig brothers.
“Harry will be coming with us to Brisbane, but I think he should stop playing now – one game, one trophy!” said Toby.
The boys performed so well that both groups are being sent to Brisbane to represent Mackay District, and each of them certainly has a bright future ahead.
Saturday Scroungers had 19 players. Ray Edwards won the final round versus Brett Parker, and Rick Galea.
Disability Games are being played at South Suburban and Mackay City from Monday 19th July through to 22nd July 2021. Noel Crosbie, Di and Russ Jackson from Airlie are competing. Good luck to them. Results are available on BQ website, and some games will be live-streamed.
Men’s Championship singles round 3 is scheduled for on or before 1.30 pm on 31st July. Round 4 quarter final to be played on or before August 1st. Results available: Round 1: Rick Galea defeated Steve Tattam 25-14. Bob McMahon and Man Isgro remain to play. Round 2: David Dias defeated Peter Barrett 25-21, Ted Cullen defeated Mark Mawson 25-14, Russ Jackson defeated Gary Smith 25-20. Tony Whitehorn defeated Ray Edwards 25-16. Steve Lawrie and Noel Crosbie scheduled for 24th July. Round 3: Neil Moore defeated Andy McDougall 25-18. David Dias and Ted Cullen have their game scheduled 22nd July.
Business House Bowls new season started Wednesday 14th July. A new team “Traders Pete” was welcomed. Winning team on the night Whitsunday Gold A.
Queensland Secondary School Cup final resulted in Proserpine State High and St Catherine’s Catholic College both winning the right to play in the Brisbane finals. Winners in Airlie Beach were Tobey and H Craig, both from St Cath’s.
Wednesday social bowls 6 rinks of triples games were played. It was a stick draw competition. The winning team was skipped by Brett Parker who defeated the team skipped by Col Morris.
Sunday social bowls games were four games of triples and one of pairs. Winning team was Jim Cairns, Leigh Hardingham and Leon Wilson, who defeated Mark Mawson, Kay Taylor, and Mark Pepyat on a count back of ends.
With the Tokyo Olympics fast approaching, one of our local residents, Tracie Dignan, has bragging rights of her own, having competed in the World Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland in 2003.
Known as both humble and shy, Tracie was a dedicated swimmer, training six days a week in preparation for the Olympics and mastering all four swimming strokes under the watchful eye of mother and coach Marie.
Swimming has never been a race for Tracie, it was about the enjoyment and safe feeling of being in the water.
To this day, Tracie still believes in the motto ‘Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt’.
During her sporting career Tracie overcame shyness to perform in front of huge crowds and says that was more of an achievement to her than winning.
Moving to Bowen in 2004, Tracie left her hometown of Bendigo in Victoria as a hero and despite hanging up the competition swimsuit that year she still reminisces about her amazing experience with memorabilia from all her races hanging proudly from the walls of her parent’s home.
Items include certificates, medals and photos that highlight her brilliant swimming career and uniforms from all levels of representation – State, National and Olympic.
Tracie was nominated in the Australian of the Year Awards in 2004 and invited to further represent Australia at the World Master Games but declined the offer due to logistics.
Today, Tracie enjoys a slower pace, taking leisurely walks and more floating than swimming in the warm, tropical waters of Bowen.
Airlie Beach was host to an incredible weekend with the Tassal Group Airlie Beach Marathon Festival, featuring over 500 runners across all categories, from the mammoth 42.2km Marathon down to the 1.4km Airlie Beach foreshore Magic Mile.
Kicking off on Saturday was the Magic Mile, run across two laps of the Airlie Beach Foreshore to give a fast start to the weekend’s activities, with the lawn in-between the Airlie Sound Stage and playground turned into a hub of activities.
The Magic Mile was hotly contested under the golden Whitsunday sun, which boded well for a fantastic day of racing on Saturday.
At 6:00am the next day, the toughest of competitors lined up ready for the Airlie Beach Marathon, testing their mettle at the foreshore with their own incredible goals in mind.
Food stalls and a bouncing castle slowly filled out the space, and soon it became jam-packed with racegoers and spectators, crammed full of fun and excitement for the day’s festivities.
Then came the half marathon, half marathon relay, 10km fun run, 5km fun run and 5km team challenge.
The kids joined in too with their very own Wilmar 2km Junior Dash and Primary School Challenge as well as the Leader Group 1km Kids Run/Walk.
Before all the festivities, World 113th ranked triathlete Caleb Noble, arrived at the finish line around 8:30am, with a marathon time of 02:31:50.
His time would come in at just over 9 minutes faster than previous record holder Darryl Hill’s time, which stood from 2017.
Coming in behind Caleb were Daniel Bruce at 03:09:52 and Luke Zweers at 03:11:24.
“I usually do the half ironman distance, so I’ve done a few marathons, so I know the pain!” Caleb said.
Caleb said that the location of the race was a big pull for why he wanted to compete and was especially impressed by how well organised the whole event was.
“Beating the record was sort of a bonus too!” Caleb laughed.
Caleb was coming off the back of a bad biking injury, making his record breaking stint even more impressive.
He wasn’t the only record breaker on the day, as local and Whitsunday Running Club member Liv Compton broke the Female Open record with a time of 03:37:30, followed by Kimberley Rheeder 03:43:20 and Anne Breiger 03:44:43 – each of them breaking Patty Jago’s 03:47:23 record from 2018.
Whitsunday Running Club were proud of how the event was run on the day and congratulated all competitors and especially the record breakers.
The ladies from up the Valley know how to roll when it comes to their bowls. The Marian Ladies Bowling Club were victors of the Mackay District Division 2 competition, playing through the competition undefeated.
The competition was held over six home and away games.
Secretary Lyn Jackson said it was a great achievement for the club, who only have 37 ladies who bowl, many of whom don’t play competitively.
The winning team consisted of Judith Miller, Gwen Harberger, Rita Lenahan, Laurel Morrow, Helen Pietzner, Doris Fry, Sandra Zarb, Thelma Johnston and Beryl Markey.
The Marian club also recently concluded its singles competition, with Thelma Johnston defeating Doris Fry in a very close game.
This brings their Champion of Champion events to a close, with the winners soon competing against the winners from other clubs in the Mackay District competition.
1454 - Approximately forty cyclists get underway from the start of the Torque Tyre and Trailer Spares Eungella King and Queen of the Mountain.
2835 - First placegetters for the Mackay Cycling Club, Tracy Falbo and Kyle Marwood, (left) with runners Cristian Smith and Ainslie Heinke (right).
1465 - Over thirty runners sprinted from the Netherdale start line for the 2021 M-Test Eungella King and Queen of the Mountain.
The cool mid-winter mornings make for ideal conditions for one of the hardest annual events on Mackay’s sporting calendar, the annual King and Queen of the Mountain for runners and cyclists.
Held jointly by the Mackay Cycling Club and the Mackay Road Runners, around 80 athletes ascended the Eungella range in a race to the top, from Netherdale to the Eungella Chalet.
All athletes were vying for the prestigious Torque Tyre & Trailer Spares perpetual trophy where the gold medal winners for male and female cyclists and runners are inscribed in history.
A respectful one-minute silence was also observed by all at the start line for former Mackay Road Runners Queen of the Mountain, Laura Pettifer, who tragically passed away in 2008 in a cycling training accident.
A perpetual trophy in her name (Laura Pettifer Inspirational Award) was won by Damien Rutland and Lily Leven.
The M-Test Eungella King and Queen of the Mountain also doubles as one of the Mackay Road Runners' Club Championship events, earning runners valuable open and age category points towards end of year trophies.
The 2021 M-Test King and Queen titles went to Cristian Smith and Ainslie Heinke. Cristian and Ainslie were in superb form as they tackled the challenging peak with Cristian securing the top title on debut. Ainslie scored the gold medal on only her second attempt, placing fifth overall after a great year of racing so far. Additional podium placings and cash prizes went to Mike Scholer (2nd), Ken Tarlington (3rd) and Joe Grech (4th) for the boys and Jose Short (2nd), Lily Leven (3rd) and Alix Ryman (4th) for the girls.
For the cyclists, Kyle Marwood crossed the line first in a time of 22 minutes, 53 seconds. Second was Brendon Brauer in 23:22 and Jarrod Sampson close behind for third in 23:36. Tracy Falbo was first in the ladies division in a time of 29:30 with Tenille Galea second in 32:02 and Susan McDowall third in 34:29.
Rounding out with pulsating rhythmic patterns, smooth moves and sultry sounds, the Festival of Arts is coming to a close and this year it’s the place to swing.
Culminating in a feast of pastries and gourmet delicacies melding with a smorgasbord of musical theatre classics, the Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch is a superb way to wind down what has been a fabulous festival.
Running from 11am to 1pm on Sunday, 25 July, the legendary event will feature plenty of suave moves thanks to Dale Pengelly’s The Lounge Suite, a show full of timeless swing music and musical theatre classics.
With help from his showgirls, The Loungin' Ladies, Pengelly will deliver an all singing, all dancing, storytelling revue.
He describes the show as stories on stage, about people he has shared the stage with.
“It’s sort of anecdotal – it includes stories about Rhonda Burchmore, David Atkins, Todd McKenney and Donald O’Connor to name a few,” Pengelly said.
“This show features songs from the Ultimate Rat Pack, with tunes from Frankie, Deano and Sammy as well as Nat King Cole, Peter Allen and Gene Kelly,” he said.
“If the audience gets half as much enjoyment and entertainment out of the show as we have putting it together, it’s going to be a great time.”
Mayor Greg Williamson said this year’s menu was a delicious mix of pastries and gourmet dishes.
“Petite bacon and egg tarts; salmon blini with herbed cream cheese, fried capers and dill; croissants; parmesan scrambled eggs and Mexican salsa mini burritos; fruit skewers and pastries – it’s a tremendous feast!” he said.
“Honestly, it’s called a brunch for a reason – it really is two meals in one!”
Ticket sales closed last week after a phenomenal response.
A gutsy Mackay Cutters contingent put in a valiant effort against the Norths Devils in Dysart last weekend as Country Round saw the teams head inland to bring an epic clash to the Coalfields.
Sitting at the top of the table winning 12 from 13 matches, Norths Devils were always going to be stiff competition for the Cutters. That didn’t stop the home side from putting up a fight, staying in contention for most of the game. It was only in the last 10 minutes when the Devils showed their strength by running in three late tries, to take the score to a convincing 40-16.
The Devils opened their scoring in only the second minute with Captain Jack Ahearn planting one behind the posts in a dream start for the visitors.
But then momentum swung the way of the Cutters. Captain Ross Bella continued to lead from the front for the Cutters by scoring a try in the 20th minute to give the Mackay side the lead, following from a Josh Smith try in the 16th minute. The Cutters kept the Devils to within six points until the final 10 minutes blew the scoreline out.
The Devils came back when Winger Jon Reuben scored the first of his two tries with a brilliant chip and chase. Norths crossed again to take the Devils to 18-10 at the half.
Blake Atherton crossed for the Cutters in the second half to keep them in contention, but it would be the only points the home side would score before a trifecta of tries to Norths secured the dominance the Devils have shown throughout the competition.
This Saturday the Cutters travel to Runaway Bay to take on the PNG Hunters at Bycroft Oval, kickoff at 3pm.
The NBL1 North ladder-leading Logan Thunder showed why they’re at the top of the table, defeating both the Mackay Meteors and Meteorettes at the Crater in Mackay last weekend.
The women suffered their biggest defeat all season, going down to the dominant Logan side 92-47. The Mackay side lacked the spark that had so far seen them successful all season apart from their last two games where they took heavy defeats.
With Olympian Cayla George’s departure a few weeks ago to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics at the Opals training camp in the USA, the Meteorettes haven’t been able to find winning form.
WNBL star Mikaela Dombkins has joined the Meteorettes to bolster the experience gap that George left, but it was Skye Rees, Sara Storeshaw and Jacqui Zelenka who made the biggest impact against the Thunder.
Rees, Storeshaw and Zelenka each scoring 10 points for the Meteorettes.
The Meteors had a closer game in what was a final minute thriller with the Thunder just muscling over Mackay 93-89.
Emmanuel Malou had a blistering game with 28 points and 6 rebounds and NBA star Jerron Jamerson continued his fine form contributing 21 points and 3 rebounds. Stats were rounded out with Viliami Foketi landing 13 points and 2 rebounds.
The teams enjoyed post-game presentations where the Stellarossa ‘Star of the Night’ was awarded to Jerron Jamerson for the Meteors and Skye Rees for the Meteorettes. The Harrup Park Coaches Awards went to Emmanual Malou and Jacqui Zelenka. Best off the Bench were awarded to Phoebe Holmes and Freddy Webb.