Mackay Region Sporting News & Results

Tip Top Form On Townsville Tables

Tip Top Form On Townsville Tables

Mackay’s veteran table tennis players made up for the lack of a national championship by putting on a strong effort at Townsville’s 90th anniversary celebrations.

Read the full story
Canapes And Cricket For Inaugural Mackay Teal Heels

Canapes And Cricket For Inaugural Mackay Teal Heels

The Brisbane Heat’s biggest charity event for Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA), Teal Heels, is landing in Mackay for the first time on Saturday 20 November. The cocktail fundraiser, which is a sell-out event each year at the Gabba, raises funds for ovarian cancer research and patient support. With only 100 spots up for grabs, tickets to the event at Harrup Park Country Club are predicted to sell fast.

Read the full story
A Lifetime Of Achievement On And Off The Court

A Lifetime Of Achievement On And Off The Court

This month, players and officials of Mackay Basketball’s Ladies Daytime League got together to say happy birthday to basketball legend Harry Dean after a morning game. Harry, who enjoys his Wednesday morning refereeing duties for the Ladies League, where he has been helping out since 2010, is now in his 80’s and with an impressive history of voluntary service to Mackay Basketball.

Read the full story
Mackay Cricketers Win State’s

Mackay Cricketers Win State’s

Two groups of cricketers from Mercy and St Patrick’s College took to the fields of Brisbane early this month, representing their schools in the Queensland Cricket T20 StreetSmarts State Challenge Championships.

Read the full story
Advertising Banner

In Pictures – Make Your Wake On The Lake

October 28, 2021

Image: Wake boarders of all ages make the most of the world class wake park in Mackay. Photos: Amanda Wright

No boat? No problem!

Wakehouse Australia makes it easier to experience the thrill of wakeboarding, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. No fancy equipment necessary, Wakehouse provides everything you need to skim across the water.

If you’re not quite ready to grip it and rip it, you can watch the thrills and spills for yourself. The onsite café is open to the public, making for an enjoyable meal out with the added bonus of live entertainment on the lake.

Wakehouse Australia won gold for Adventure Tourism at the 2021 Mackay Isaac Region Tourism Awards, cementing it as a valuable asset for sport and recreation in Mackay.

Beginners are encouraged to give the sport a go by starting on a knee board before progressing to upright wakeboarding. After that, the sky’s the limit when it comes to jumps and tricks.

Read More

North Australian Championship Weekend In Mackay

October 28, 2021

The best of the best surf lifesavers and athletes in North Queensland have arrived at Mackay Surf Club to battle over the three big days of competition at the North Australian Championships, held in Mackay for the 31st time today.

The 2021 North Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships attracts competitors from Queensland and Northern Territory, providing an opportunity to unite over three days showcasing one of Queensland’s most iconic volunteer movements.

The more than 600 competitors from the Gold Coast up to Cairns and across to Darwin and Broome, competing for the coveted title of Northern Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships at this iconic lifesaving event.

After a turbulent COVID lessening the numbers of attendees, the event is slowly returning to its rightful place as one of the premier lifesaving events.

Athletes from Hervey Bay, Port Douglas, Mackay, the Whitsundays and more will compete in full suites of events including beach flags and sprints, belt rescue, ski, Surf Ironman and Ironwoman events. The competition also features an IRB competition, surf boat competition, pool rescue competition and Champion Lifesaver.

It comes as another welcome boost to the recovering Mackay Region, with the whole of the Sugar City delighted to welcome visitors back for the historic 2021 iteration of the North Australia Championships.

Around 20 surf boat crews are gearing up to take on the state champions, Mackay’s very own box bellies.

“This should provide some really good entertainment for those watching on the beach and I wish our competitors and those of our regional clubs Eimeo and Sarina the best of luck,” Director of Surf Sports at Mackay Surf lifesaving Club, Josh Grant said.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing how our little, and bigger, champions [in Nippers and Masters] go after training for months under the supervision of head coach and team manager Greg Born, a successful competitor himself.”

The Club is ecstatic to be hosting The Nth Aussie Championships again and can’t thank enough their planning committee, dedicated workforce, water safety and officials, sponsors, volunteers, parents and most importantly our competitors for making this great weekend possible.

A weekend of exceptional competition, the club asks that, if you would like any more information on this event, please to contact the Director of Surf Sports Josh Grant on

The rich lifesaving community of Mackay is prepared to give their all and show why we are still the State Champions – get out there and support them at Mackay Aquatics and Recreation Complex on the 29th and Mackay Harbour Beach on the 30th and 31st.

Read More

Touch Football’s Future Mackay Stars

October 28, 2021

A group of Mackay’s young athletes headed North to Townsville, representing the Capricornia Region in the 10–12-year-old boys and girls 4-day Touch Football State Championships carnival in Townsville earlier this month.

Five boys, who are part of local Mackay club systems, often play Touch Football in their off-season, and were selected for Capricornia trials where they became part of a team consisting of 12 boys. Some from Mackay, some Rockhampton, and some from Emerald.

The Mackay boys, Darcy Cabassi, Nate Frost, Mason Muscat, Riley Meigan, and Harper Shields, participated in the 4-day tournament which was host to 12 regions across Queensland, including teams from out west, further north and even metropolitan areas.

“When you meet these teams, you’re never sure what you’re going to go up against,

Harper Shield’s mother Cleilia said.

It was the first time in a few years of the competition where a large contingent of it was made up of Mackay boys – usually, the side is dominated by kids from Rocky.

For the girls side, two of its team of 12 was comprised of Mackay girls, and they would eventually come fourth in the tournament, as well as winning the ShootOut Trophy.

The Boys smashed through the 11 game competition, losing only once and drawing only once.

The finals posed a daunting challenge where they would come up against Darling Downs, a team that was undefeated to that point.

The Capricornia side went on to clinch the title of State Champions; an achievement unrivalled for seven years.

“The boys were so excited; they showed up with no expectations but to play the sport and be happy to have made the side,” Cleilia said.

“They went home very happy.”

The boys knew each other from club level, and took their cohesion from the local Mackay sides into the big leagues, showing the rest of Queensland that Capricornia can wrestle with the best of them.

Read More

Springtime Sensation At Sarina Bowls Club

October 7, 2021

Sarina Bowls Club was a hive of activity and a sea of colour hosting a two-day springtime mixed carnival on the weekend.

Twenty-two teams competed with some travelling from Brisbane, Maryborough, Mt Larcom and Gladstone and Mackay clubs.

Great weather, bowling, laughter and comradeship proved a winner over the weekend.

Five round wins and five place getters gave everyone a chance of taking a slice of the prize money, sponsored by Van Damme Plant Hire.

Mackay Club’s Mick and Delia Walsh and Mick and Val Pilcher won from Sarina’s Ian Gardner, Ian and Ivy Henshaw and Rita Hughes.

Third was Bruce Archer’s team from Sarina, fourth Gary Petersen’s from Suburban and fifth Chris Gee’s from Northern Beaches.

Sarina ladies also enjoyed a full day of club selected 2-bowl triples, a knockout event with the last two winning teams making the final.  

Robyn Large, Rita Hughes and Ivy Henshaw defeated Penny Roots, Ethel Gaw and Heather Jones.

To top off the weekend there was a great final in the men’s B Grade champion of champions, Sarina’s Brad Bettiens defeated by a young upcoming champion North Mackay bowler Clinton Vassie 25-22.

Contributed by Rita Hughes

Read More

Bless The Fuzzy, Feathered And Furry

October 7, 2021

A Pet Blessing at St Charles Anglican Church will take place this weekend, where guests are invited to attend with or without pets of any kind.

Pets are a beloved part of our family. Every pet-owner knows that our animals play a key role in our lives and those who live alone and have a pet develop a very special bond.

“This will be a wonderful celebration to give thanks for those companion animals that have enriched our lives,” a Church spokesperson said.

Every year in October on or near the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, St Charles’ holds a special service where you are encouraged to bring your pets in to be blessed by Rev John McKim.

The service will take place on Saturday, 9 October and commence at 5:30pm, followed by a sausage sizzle.

The Mackay Anglican Cluster encompasses Holy Trinity, St Ambrose and St Charles Anglican churches and everyone is welcome to join at any time.

Location: St Charles Anglican Church - Corner of Nebo Rd and McGinn St.

Read More

Stroke Of Class For Mackay On Mary River

October 7, 2021

Six members of Mackay Rowing Club travelled to Maryborough last weekend to compete in the 140th Anniversary of the Hyne Bridge to Bridge event, hosted by the Wide Bay Rowing Club.  

The event was a 13.6km head race starting and finishing at the Granville bridge with the Mary River in-between. The rowing conditions were perfect on the day, on what some say is the best rowing time trial course in Queensland.

Mackay Consolidated 4 x & 4 – Boat Class with rowers Mick Wohlfahrt, Tony Lloyd, Terry Jamieson and Bert Sadleir placed 7th, and the Consolidated 4 x & 4 – Boat Class mix with Marie Symonds, Cam Waterson (WideBay), Jim Stafford (WideBay), Sabina Lloyd and coxswain Isabell (WideBay) placed 8th.

It was a great weekend had by all. Congratulations to Mackay Rowing Club and all other clubs that competed in the annual event.

Read More

Sugar City Classic

October 7, 2021

At the end of 3 big days of hotly contested BMX racing at the 2021 Sugar City Classic, Jayce Cunning from the Suncoast Hinterland BMX Club was victorious in the Superclass Men in Mackay.

It was Kiana Botfield, from Pine Rivers BMX Club, who took out the winner of the Superclass Women in a welcome return for the Sugar City Classic.

Superclass Men

1st Jayce Cunning (Suncoast Hinterland BMX Club)

2nd Tristyn Kronk (Mackay and District BMX Club)

3rd Zac Hutton (Bundaberg BMX Club)

Superclass Women

1st Kiana Botfield (Pine Rivers BMX Club)

2nd Ashleigh Gunn (Townsville BMX Club)

3rd Jade Davies (Rockhampton BMX Club)

The Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Junior Superclass Men winners were

1st Oliver Rivers

2nd Brodie Wilson

3rd Connor Parish

The Hastings Deering Junior Superclass Women winners were

1st Teya Rufus

2nd Elisha Nesbit

3rd Brooke Smith

AAA Mining Consumables Dash 4 Cash winners

9 Boys Max Mitchell

11 Boys Jack Mitchell

15 Boys Brodie Wilson

Superclass Men Zac Hutton

The riders from Mackay and District BMX Club achieved the following outstanding results.

Superclass Men

2nd Tristyn Kronk

5th Brock de Silva

6th Peter Little

12th Cooper Comerford

13th Kai Sanim

14th Derrick Mellish

16th Josh Norton

Read More

On The Green With Goosies

October 7, 2021

Goosies Results Week Ending 3rd October

The over 70’s ladies’ singles championship winner is Lois Deguara and runner up Sheryl Cuttriss. The final was a very exciting game.

Monday mixed pairs resulted in a win for Ann Smith and Isla Comelli with Nan Bragg and Errol Symons runners up.

Wednesday ladies’ winners were G. Lee, B. McDonald and A. Smith, With G. Sam L. Macguire and J. Schmidtke in second place.

Saturday men’s pairs winners were Trevor Laurens and Peter Delaney, followed by Kev Wall and Alex Cameron (again)

The new format Friday pairs game was very successful, with many entries. Unfortunately, no results were available.

Remember the annual presentation dinner will be held on Monday, 25th October. This is the big event of the year. Tickets are $25 and should be purchased at reception. No tickets will be sold on the night, as tables have to be set, and numbers finalised.

Read More

Bowling Superstar

October 7, 2021

Luke Doyle is a prodigy on the alley, hitting strikes for fun and making his third official perfect game at the North Queensland Intercity just last month at the age of 18.

Having started bowling at the age of ten, Luke is a wunderkind and has taken to representing northern Queensland like a duck to water.

Captaining the Mackay side that stormed the Tenpin Bowling Juniors at the North Queensland Intercity and placing first in the Scratch Males division, it couldn’t get any better for Luke until he rolled a perfect game in the very last game of the tournament.

Intercity is the intrastate tournament between North and South Queensland, which Mackay has not won since 2001.

“It was good to do that in my last year,” Luke Doyle said.

“It’s very luck-based! You can throw it perfectly every time and not hit a strike, there’s so many factors.

It’s also the first time a junior has aged out with a 300 game, as Luke moves into the U21 division next year.

Luke also won the sportsmanship award, claiming the accolade for a fourth time now.

Luke works at the Mackay Leisure Centre when he’s not bowling, and when he is bowling, he’s usually there in the lanes.

“From open till close sometimes; I think they get a bit sick of me keeping them until late!” he laughed.

His goals for the future are simple: to keep bowling and keep improving, with aspirations to pull on the green and gold of Australia in his sights.

“I think I can do it,” Luke said.

“I intend to play a lot more ranked tournaments and I’m looking to make the Queensland team for youth and then the Australia training squad.”

Read More

Local Mum Turned Bodybuilder

October 7, 2021

Margaret (Em) Pianeda always enjoyed fitness, having trained at gyms for ten years and worked as a fitness instructor, and before she turned 40 this year, decided that she wanted to do something special.

Over the past year, she turned an idea into action, transforming her body and mind through the discipline of bodybuilding.

“I needed a goal, something to keep me moving forward,” Margaret said.

“I’ve always admired bodybuilding – I love muscle – and I’ve admired anyone who can do it for years and years, but I never thought I would have the grit to do it!”

Her first competition was in May in the Gold Coast, where she placed first and earned a silver, but the competition had its own hurdles.

“I was meant to go in as a fitness competitor – they have different levels of mass and muscularity – and a couple of days before, one of the head judges knocked on my door and said, ‘you’re not a fitness competitor, you need to be in figure.”

As with all levels of bodybuilding, the fitness competitors and figure competitors have differing posing, different bikinis – almost everything.

She spent the next day learning all the posing and presentation for the Saturday.

“I thought I had wasted all this time, money, my family, I went up on stage so bummed out and said let’s just go, I’m done,” she said.

“My fitness coach came up and said, ‘no, you can do this, get up on stage, you’ve worked so hard,’ and I said that’s right!”

The motivational speech worked wonders, as she smashed the remainder of the competition and fell in love with the sport immediately.

Recently, she competed in the ICN Tropics in Townsville last month where she placed first in one category and won three silvers and a bronze.

“I loved it straight away; I loved the training aspect, the nutrition and it gets super hard and you end up hating a lot of it, but I really enjoyed it,” Margaret said.

“I was surprised that I enjoyed the stage side of it; I’d never worn bikinis to the beach beforehand, so to get up on stage and wear a bikini in front of strangers was terrifying to me.

“I wouldn’t put on my bikini in front of my posing coach.

“It’s empowering, because you just don’t care what other people think anymore,” Margaret said.

“You’re doing something for you; you’re showing off muscles that you’ve worked really hard to show off and you just let all of that go.”

The sky's the limit for Margaret now, who says that not only she loves it, but her family love coming to watch her compete, which she plans to continue doing early next year and win even more gold medals.

Read More

Wanderers Season Wraps Up

October 7, 2021

Mackay Wanderers Football Club held their Senior Presentation Night under the stars last week, alongside Life Members and sponsors.  

For the second year, MWFC held their presentation night at their home grounds in Beaconsfield.  With true community spirit, the club used the Mackay Host Lions Club for catering for the night.

The night was MC’d by club president Tania Wood.  Awards were presented to 10 teams from under 12 to senior men and women.  Each team received awards for most improved, players player, and best and fairest.  

Major awards were also given out, such as The Wayne Hedricks club’s most potential players were Logan Sinclair and Sam Murdoch; The Dave McKendry’s junior player of the year was Braydon Smithson; the 2021 player of the year was Amanda Blinds; and the Kliese Family club person of the year was Bob Harvey.

Congratulations were in order for the U15/16’s on their Grand Final win against Magpies, taking out the double for 2021 as both Premiership winners and Grand Final winners.

Some of the players’ favourite memories from this year were continuing friendships and scoring goals.

Mackay Wanderers FC will celebrate 100 years in 2023 and hope that you will all still be a part of the club then and well into the future.

In a celebration of the clubs’ fantastic achievements over the season, families, players and club mates alike joined together in a night to remember.

Read More

Pick Up Your Bat And Pickle Ball

October 7, 2021

It’s a mix of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, the fastest growing sport in America, and played with a paddle not much bigger than a table tennis bat - Pickleball in Mackay is taking off as well, with games at Mackay PCYC being played on Thursdays at 12:00pm to 2:00pm each week.

Mackay’s Pickleball aficionados have been playing the growing sport for two years now, but it’s not a new sport by any means.

The sport has a 50-year history, and is played with a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball, and on a pickleball court – roughly the size of a badminton court.

Last weekend was World Pickleball Day, and the celebrations keep rolling on.

It’s an addictive, multi-generational sport that has often been taken up by over 50s who are looking to keep active but need something a little less strenuous on the joints and muscles.

It’s time to pick up the paddles and perforated balls as America’s fastest growing sport starts a revolution in Mackay.

The best things about Pickleball are that during the hot summer months, it can be played inside under the PCYC’s large fans, and the Mackay Pickleball group are hoping to play games under the lights in the future.

Normally filling out three courts of players, there’s plenty of room for anyone wanting to have a go, and our reporter had the opportunity to play a game where the experts went easy on him.

Fast-paced at the higher levels, Pickleball is a social and enjoyable sport that has a mass appeal and is most certainly worth a try.

If you’re interested, make your way to the Mackay PCYC on Thursday and get your pickle on.

Read More

MIW Athletes Win Big At Biggest Ever Athletics NQ Championships

October 7, 2021

With more than 700 athletes from across Australia converging on the ‘red track under the rock’ in Townsville, the North Queensland Championships drew athletes from far and wide for its biggest ever athletics competition.

With many competitions across the country being cancelled, the championships drew more athletes than normal from far-flung corners of Australia who were able to travel and compete.

The Mackay, Isaac and Whitsundays regions were massively represented by more than 200 athletes from across the district, competing for Mackay, North Mackay, Sarina, Moranbah, Whitsundays, Bowen and Emerald clubs.

The North Queensland Championships proudly presents ‘athletics for all’ which caters for all ages from pre-schoolers through to masters athletes in their nineties, as well as para-athletic categories.

Although we have only captured a few of the outstanding results in this report, we congratulate all athletes who represented their local clubs.

Moranbah Athletics Club had 6 athletes competing at NQ Champs, four from the Wieland family. Kristie Wieland competed in masters throwing events, claiming gold in a close-fought javelin competition with a personal best throw, while Andy won three gold in masters running events, the 400m, 800m and 1,500m as well as grabbing silver in the long jump. All of Andy’s times were personal bests. 10-year-old Callum won silver in the shot put with a personal best, while sister Keonie won silver in the 12-year-girls javelin and bronze in the discus.

Piper and Alexis Smith competed in the 8-year and 10-year age groups respectively, Piper coming third in the high jump with a personal best and Alexis coming second in the 800m race walk in a personal best time.

Known as ‘Rule Boys Running’ this family trio came away with a swag of results. Dad Justin in the masters came away with a clean sweep of gold in all events, the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5,000m and Steeplechase. Toby took two silvers in the 14 years 2,000m steeplechase and the 3,000m which qualified him for nationals in these events. He took bronze in the 1,500m. Oliver qualified for nationals in the 1,500m, 2,000m steeplechase and the 3,000m. He came 2nd in the 16 years age for the 2,000m steeplechase and then took 3rd in the U18 3,000m steeplechase.

Lorraine Rutland competes as a masters athlete for the Mackay Athletics Club. She had a great NQ Championships winning her masters category in the 60m sprint, 100m sprint (season’s best time) and the 200m sprint (personal best) claiming the triple. She backed up her running prowess with three silvers in throws; the shot put, discus and javelin. Damian Rutland competed in the U18 3,000m with a strong run to come 4th, as well as a great 4th in the Open Men’s One Mile feature race.

The Minchianski brothers both had a great championship with 11-year-old Matthew jumping for gold in the long jump, qualifying for nationals. 13-year-old Ben ran well for two personal bests and two silver medals in the 800m and 3,000m.

9-year-old Tahlia McGilvray had a blistering run in the 800m, winning by a distance of around 50m! She also claimed three thirds in the 100m, 200m and long jump. She is pictured with fellow club members Alannah Oliver and Harper Miles (6 years) and Vogue Miles (8 years).

An event for the brave! These athletes lined up in the 14-years pole vault. Pictured are Cayleb Ticehurst from Mackay (gold), Kayce Hoani-Vincent - Sarina (bronze) and Piper Devine from Cairns (gold).

Jarvis and Aubrey Locher from North Mackay Little Athletics Club. 9-year-old Jarvis won the 60m hurdles and high jump, and came second in the discus and 800m, running a personal best. 8-year-old Aubrey came second in the discus and in the shot put.

A gold-rush for father-and-son throwing duo, Kevin and James Galea. Kevin took a clean sweep of five gold in the hammer, shot put, discus, javelin and throws pentathlon for his masters age-group. Son James threw personal bests in the discus, hammer and weight throw to win four gold and one silver. Both men also lend a hand officiating while mum and wife Kym is an ANQ official.

Mackay’s Mikayla Webb took third place in a very special feature race, the John Campbell Miles 100 Yard sprint.

Our Mackay Life Editor Amanda competes in the masters category in throwing events for Mackay Athletics Club. She finished the championships winning four medals, two golds in the throws pentathlon and the hammer throw, and two silvers in the shot put and the discus.

Read More

Tricky Trail For Runners At Cape Hillsborough

September 29, 2021

Is there a better backdrop for an event than Cape Hillsborough?

Around 30 runners enjoyed the pristine beauty of this unique part of the Mackay region as they scrambled across sand and traversed hilly trails as part of the final train run for the Mackay Road Runners season.

Options included 3km, 6km or 10km and all were technically difficult underfoot.

Matt Graves and Paul McKenzie bolted from the start with Matt taking the early lead in the first half of the 10km, however, Paul put down the throttle in the final loop through the Hidden Valley section of the Cape Hillsborough National Park with Matt relegated to second ahead of Mitchell Evetts.  

Unfortunately, the coolish conditions did not prevail for too long as the sun rose to give the runners a lot of heat to deal with, especially in the protected forest areas where the breeze was blocked by mangroves, towering gum trees and other native flora.

Cape Hillsborough foreshore was part of the scenic route, which is a favourite with many road runners who enjoy the natural setting, giving them an opportunity to master their off-road skills by navigating serious undulations.

First female and fourth overall was someone who has improved in leaps and bounds, Glynis Forse, who blitzed the 10km in her usual smiley fashion. Heli Talinurm also had an amazing outing, tackling the 10km course with ease ahead of a bevy of trail running talent including Carmel Mahon, Robin Stinson, Tim Magoffin, Scott McIntosh, Peter Wright, Leanne Connor, Shane Dodds, Ross Connor, Martin Lambert and Merv Shields.

Mackay Road Runners has one final race on the formal 2021 program, The Benita Willis 10km Handicap Trophy.  The coveted prize will go to the first club member who starts on their correct handicap time and crosses the line first in the 10km.

Read More

Vassie A New Champion of Champions

September 29, 2021

Great Goosies – North Mackay Bowls Club has a new Champion of Champions.

Clint Vassie has taken out the Mackay District Champion of Champions B Singles title. Clint won the final against Sarina, 25-22 in a very hard-fought game, with the lead changing from time to time. Welcome to A grade, Clint.

Our last winner was Vic Gaudion who also won the B grade title in 2017.

Last weekend Tony Allsop represented our club in the Mackay District Senior Singles Champion of Champions title held at Wests club. Tony got through Saturday, progressing to the semi-finals on Sunday, to play against the Valley’s Bevan Cooper. Bevan won this game 25-20 to go into the final.

The big social event of the year is the club’s Presentation Night dinner. This year it will be held on Monday, 25th October.

Dress is smart casual, and the doors open at 6pm for dinner at 6.30. Cost is $25 per person. Tickets have to be pre booked and are available at reception. This has always been a well-attended night, so be sure to book early.

Reminder that Friday bowls start on 1st Oct. There will be a free sausage sizzle after the game.

RESULTS - Social bowls

Monday morning mixed pairs resulted in a win for Kevin Wall and Maurie Pearson, followed by Don and Anne Peet. Wednesday Ladies Day winners were M. Andrew, M. Bartolo and C. Black. Second came C. Lee, L. Maguire and L. Bowers.

Ladies Under 70 Singles final was won by Cheryl Corbett against Debbie McKenzie. There were no results available for Thursday. Saturday Men’s Day Pairs was won by Vic Gaudion and Ken Lane, with visitor D. Sheridan and Bill McCurry filling second place.

Read More

BMX’s Big Two Weekends

September 29, 2021

A large contingent cheered loudly from home as they watched the live stream of 21 BMX riders from Mackay and District BMX Club who travelled to Ipswich last weekend to compete in the Auscycling Queensland State Championships.

The Championships ran from Thursday 23rd September to Saturday 25th September at Ipswich and West Moreton BMX Club.

The Mackay and District BMX Club members competed valiantly over the weekend that gave many of them an opportunity to test their mettle against the state’s best.

Backing it up this weekend, riders will be heading home to Mackay to keep the momentum building at the 2021 Sugar City Classic, hoping for a redemption run against the States strongest riders.

From all over Queensland, riders will travel once more but this time to Mackay and Sarina for the 2021 Sugar City Classic, starting today and continuing into the 2nd and 3rd of October.

Hosted by Mackay and District BMX Club and Sarina BMX Club, the BMX event takes place over three consecutive days at the Sarina, Walkerston and Mackay BMX tracks, making it one of a kind in Queensland.

First held in 2014, the event has continued to grow bigger and better each year with almost 300 participants this year.

Riders from as young as 2 up to 50+ years of age, travel from all over Queensland to take part in the weekend of friendly yet competitive racing.

The Superclass Men include local riders Peter Little, Kai Sanim, Tristyn Kronk, Cooper Comerford, Josh Norton, Derrick Mellish and Brock de Silva, up against interstate riders Jayce Cunning, Will Allan, Jacob Moore, Declan Hegarty, Jaimyn Kapcelovich, Ryle Moses, Daniel Wallace, Chaylen Twidale and Zac Hutton, are vying for a prize pool of $1825.

The Superclass Women riders include Ashleigh Gunn, Celeste Barr, Kira Allan, Eva Cross, Jade Davies, Erin Rook, Emily Wray and Jessica Stewart. They are vying for a prize pool of $1825.

A highlight of the weekend is the AAA Mining Consumables Dash 4 Cash, where 3 randomly selected age classes race for $100 Cash.

The BMX community welcomes everyone to come along and watch all the action.

Racing starts at Sarina BMX from 6.30pm Friday Night, Saturday at Walkerston from 12.30pm and from 9.30am Sunday at Mackay.

Read More

The Tigers Season Wrap

September 29, 2021

The 2021 Rugby League season officially came to a close for the Western Tigers Rugby League Club earlier in September: a massive season of celebration and achievement for the Tigers 60-year anniversary.

Two of the Tigers men’s teams, the U20’s and the A Grade, made it to the grand finals of the Mackay and District Rugby League competition in early September, clawing their way into the finals, and ripping their way through opposition.

The A Grade took on the Sarina Crocs in a tense game that will be remembered as a Rugby League Mackay and District classic.

In the run up to the game, both Tigers and the Crocs had beaten top-of-the-table Brothers, and Sarina had enjoyed success against the Tigers side in their last clash before the final.

In front of several hundred fans, dropped kicks, knock-ons and basic errors littered the play of the first ten minutes before the psyche settled and spectacle began.

As slight underdogs, Tigers took it to the Crocs in the first half, conceding the first try and then scoring three unanswered to take it 16-6 just 29 minutes into the match.

Sarina’s Setaimata Sa was sin-binned for a high tackle, and it looked a cruisy finish for the Tigers, but an interception from Buchanan Rawhiti turned the tide.

Cruising the length of the field with Tigers in pursuit, he reached the try zone in the first of three consecutive Sarina crossings that gave the Crocs the lead 24-16.

Wests were pushing hard in the dying embers of the game, finishing off a smart move with a try from Kellen Jenner in the final minute of play.

Foregoing their conversion attempt, they hurried back into receiving position for one last-ditch effort to score the tying try.

It wasn’t enough for Wests, who couldn’t come back and the game finished 24-20 in Sarina’s favour.

Craig Menkins, Head coach, was undoubtedly disappointed, but also proud of the Tigers in a match of could-have-beens.

The Tigers U20’s side finished in another desperately close-to-a-trophy game that finished 34-30 against the Magpies.

The A Grade and U20 sides were presented on Grand Final day with special, commemorative jerseys.

Over last weekend, the players got together to celebrate their achievements at the Wests Presentation Night which saw Dominic Dorante being awarded highest point scorer with 220 points and highest try scorer with 25.

Kem Seru was awarded the Coaches Award, Andrew Dunkley – Player’s Player and Zack Walker - Best Back.

Jayden Rodwell took home Rookie of the Year, and Darcy Cox finished an exceptional season with a much-deserved Player of the Year, Best and Fairest, and Best Forward – a clean sweep.

Now the eyes turn to 2022, as preseason fast approaches, players are taking in the summer sunshine on their Saturdays off, some hungrily awaiting the chance to prove they are not merely title contenders, but title winners.

Read More

League Titans Battle In Nail-Biting Coalfields Clash

September 29, 2021

The Bowen Basin took centre stage last weekend for a titanic rugby league clash of legends versus all stars.

More than 3,500 footy fans witnessed a 26-24 nail-biting battle as the Team of NRL Legends pipped the Isaac Region All Stars at Darryl Bourke Oval in Moranbah last Saturday night.

The score line did not fully reflect the overall community pride with both teams producing heroic efforts to fight for the Ethan Stevens Memorial Trophy.

“Our Isaac Regional Council was excited, beyond excited and proud to present the International Legends of League celebrations,” Mayor Anne Baker said.

“One thing all our visiting guests learnt that in the Isaac region…. we work hard and play hard.

“Our region is a community with a proud history, steeped in a diverse and active lifestyle.

“Pure people power is the pillar for our communities and just like coal mining, rugby league is in our DNA. We breed them tough out here.

“On behalf of Council, it was such an honour to have all former footy stars join us in our region for the Ethan Stevens Memorial Trophy.

“Thank you to the Stevens family - Michael, Kimberly and Jett. You’re always at the front of my mind and it was so incredible to share a very special moment with you all on Saturday.

“Congratulations to the International Legends of League – thank you Troy Byers and Craig Teevans.

“Thank you to our community volunteers at our local footy clubs.

“And a special mention to the Queensland Government for their event support.

“I would like to acknowledge all the sponsors for jumping on board with Legends of League as we all know a vast number of volunteers, business and community supporters made this a must-be regional event.

“Thank you dedicating your time and effort to re-energising our communities.”

The event is also proudly supported by Community Mental Wellness Partner, the Queensland Government.

Read More

Mackay Crowds Bowled Over By Batting Brilliance

September 29, 2021

Three spectacular run chases will be remembered from three international women’s cricket ODI’s held at Mackay’s Harrup Park last week.

The series set the trend of chasing teams for the win, with the day-nighter on Friday night coming down to a final-ball thriller.

The first game was won comfortably by Australia, who chased down India’s target of 225-8 in 41 overs and only for the loss of one wicket. Rachael Haynes was instrumental at the crease not out for 93 runs, while Alyssa Healy scored a scorching 77 with a strike rate of 100.

In the second ODI, Beth Mooney deservedly was named player of the match when she brought Australia back from the brink of despair with an incredible 125no off 133 balls. The game come down to the final ball and wasn’t without drama. A few millimetres and an agonisingly difficult third umpire call took the win from India and granted Australia an extra ball off a no-ball call, giving Australia a free-hit and two runs needed. Carey worked the ball down the leg side and Australia won in confusing and exciting circumstances.

Australia's record 26-match ODI winning streak then came to a close after another dramatic end to a game left spectators on the edge of their seats. India held their nerve in the final over to claim victory, after chasing down 265 with mere balls to spare.

India’s Jhulan Goswami was named player of the match for her three wickets and low 3.7 rpo average off 10 overs, as well as clinching the victory with the bat under pressure.

Image: Action from the first Women’s ODI Australia v India at Harrup Park, Mackay. The Australian team took time after the game to meet fans and sign autographs. Photos: Amanda Wright

Read More

Warm Welcome For Olympian

September 24, 2021

Image: Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Moloney visited Mackay last week to meet fans and sign autographs as part of a North Queensland tour. Photos: Athletics North Queensland and Amanda Wright

He’s Australia’s first ever decathlete to win an Olympic medal, and at only 21-years-of-age, Ashley Moloney has a bright future ahead.

The Olympic bronze medallist has a soft spot for North Queensland, having competed in his first decathlon in Townsville and throwing a personal best in the discus here in Mackay last year.

He visited Mackay last week to inspire other kids and athletes to believe in their ability, to show an Olympic medal can be achieved with perseverance.

“I’m hoping I can inspire kids to strive for Brisbane 2032 in whatever sport they like, whether it be athletics or other sports like water polo,” Moloney said.

The decathlon combines 10 athletic events into one grueling event, a true test of an athlete’s versatility, skill, and endurance.

“It’s definitely got to be one of the hardest ways to win an Olympic medal,” Moloney added.

“It’s really fun, it’s like doing a sport’s day at school and going for Age Champion.

“I would say my best event is the 400m, it’s the one where I put the biggest gap between myself and other athletes.”

Moloney is straight back into training with a big international schedule next year. He will be competing in the World Indoor Championships in Serbia, the World Outdoor Championships in Oregon and then the Commonwealth Games only 10 days after the World Championships.

He said the Olympic experience was unforgettable, especially during a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tokyo.

“We had a five-hour quarantine process just to leave the airport which was a bit of a rude shock to be honest.

“But then to get into the Olympic Village was amazing. Mingling with so many personalities across all sports was unreal. Then going into the dining hall, we saw everyone from every country which was pretty cool,” Moloney said.

When asked if athletics is a sport or a career, Moloney said first and foremost it’s a sport.

“As soon as I stop enjoying athletics, I don’t perform well. And when that happens it won’t be a career.”

His only goal going into the Olympics was to compete at his best.

“I had no ambition for a medal, which I know sounds strange, but that sort of pressure can hinder your performance.

“In each event I could be worrying about being one point down and then it gets more stressful than it needs to be.

“When I compete, I strive to get the best out of myself in every event.”

Read More


September 16, 2021

Meteors Shook The Crater To Take Out NBL1 North Series

The crater was rumbling in Mackay last weekend, but no volcanic explosion was in sight. It was the thunderous sound of rubber on wood as the passionate crowd stomped their feet on the floor in support of their home team, the Mackay Meteors, as they took on the Cairns Marlins in a best-of-three finals series in the NBL1 North Championship.

The Meteors took their name to heart, producing two performances that could only be described as out of this world, to come back from fourth-quarter deficits in both Friday and Saturday night games, clinching the series two-from-two in nail-biting finishes.

Saturday’s game went into extra time, with the faithful crowd on their feet as the Meteors finished their season the way they started, with style and skill.


Mackay Meteors Win NBL1 North

Basketball fans were treated to two thrilling matches at the McDonald's Mackay Multi-Sports Stadium last weekend.

Game one tipped off at 8pm Friday night and it was a tight tussle throughout, with Mackay and Cairns trading shot-for-shot most of the game.

Waning toward the end, Mackay found themselves down by seven in the fourth quarter, but led an exciting comeback to level the score at 75 all with 1:50 on the clock. Jerron Jamerson was like a man possessed in the next minute, drawing a foul and landing 1 goal, he then snatched a rebound at the other end and powered back toward his home goal, drawing yet another foul. He missed the next two baskets, but Mackay stopped Cairns from scoring again, Foketi with a magical rebound and this time with Chris Cedar drawing the foul. Cedar netted two from two and Cairns called a time out with 24 seconds on the clock. Cairns closed the score back up with a tactically perfect 3-pointer, but Cedar was fouled again, looking solid as he struck two-from-two again. Mackay winning 81 – 78.

Jerron Jamerson top-scored for the Meteors with 23 points and 7 assists. Viliami Foketi was a star, shooting 18 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. Chris Cedar and Emmanuel Malou carried on their season-strong performances, scoring 16 and 15 points respectively, with Malou also getting 9 rebounds.

Saturday night’s game tipped off at 7pm and was even more of a rollercoaster ride for fans. The Marlins looked more in control of this game, always managing to sneak ahead, and drawing out a commanding 10-point lead heading into the final quarter. But as they did the night before, Mackay fought back, netting crucial 3-pointers, applying strong pressure causing the Marlins to miss important baskets toward the end, and drawing all-important fouls in the death as the Marlins looked desperate to cling to their lead.

Mackay’s clinical finish meant the score was 77 – 77 at the final buzzer, pushing the game into a 5-minute overtime. With momentum and a vocal hometown advantage on their side, Mackay never looked in doubt in those final five minutes. Passionate defence forced Marlins’ errors and Jerron Jamerson and Kye Medhurst scored the final three points of the game through penalty free throws. It was a heart-stopping moment when Medhurst missed his second free throw, Cairns got the rebound and had a last chance to tie the game again, but they missed the final three-pointer effort in the dying seconds, leaving Mackay the victors, 86 – 83.

Read More

Stars Shine At Mackay Basketball’s Awards Presentation

September 3, 2021

Mackay Basketball celebrated the success of its Coles Express NBL1 North program at its annual presentation event held at McDonald’s Mackay Multi-Sports Stadium on Saturday evening.

More than 150 people dressed to impress and gathered in the Crater, as the association recognised the outstanding achievements of players, officials and volunteers throughout 2021.


Club Person of the Year – TARA SMYTH

Volunteer Service Appreciation Award – COLLEEN INGHAM

Club Commitment to Community Award – JERRON JAMERSON

Club Commitment to Community Award – EMMANUEL MALOU

McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes Most Valuable Player – CHELSEA BROOK

McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes Coaches Award – JACQUI ZELENKA

McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes Best Defensive Player – SARA STORESHAW

McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes Players’ Player – CHELSEA BROOK

McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes – Mackay Pride Sponsors Award – SARA STORESHAW

McDonald’s Mackay Meteors Most Valuable Player – EMMANUEL MALOU

McDonald’s Mackay Meteors Coaches Award – KYE MEDHURST

McDonald’s Mackay Meteors Best Defensive Player – VILIAMI FOKETI

McDonald’s Mackay Meteors Players’ Player – EMMANUEL MALOU

McDonald’s Mackay Meteors – Mackay Pride Sponsors Award – VILIAMI FOKETI


Read More

Basketball Charity Game A Slam Dunk For Ronald McDonald House

August 27, 2021

Usually the McDonalds ‘Hamburglar’ is used to taking more than giving, however at a recent charity game between Mackay and Cairns, there was nothing but generosity.

The McDonald’s Mackay Meteors ‘Hamburglar’ inspired commemorative uniforms saw locals dig deep to bid for a limited-edition jersey after the Coles Express NBL1 North charity game.

Through its post-game public singlet auction, Mackay Basketball raised $30,000 towards the Ronald McDonald Family Room at the Mackay Base Hospital. The amount setting a new benchmark for the association, eclipsing a previous fundraising total of $20,000 achieved back in 2012.

Generous locals were able to take home their limited-edition jersey, straight off the players backs, sweat included.

Last week, Mackay Basketball President Tara Smyth presented a cheque to Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia Community Engagement Executive Samantha Lee.

“Mackay Basketball is very proud to use its sporting platform to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause” Smyth said.

“We’re stoked that we can contribute towards the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Mackay Base Hospital, helping to ensure that sick kids and their families in our local community will get the support they need, when needed.”

“We’re also extremely grateful to everybody who attended the game and placed bids on the singlets. As a basketball community we’re very lucky to have so many people willing to put their hand up and help make a difference.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia Community Engagement Executive Samantha Lee also thanked Mackay Basketball.

“We’re blown away by this donation, it’s an absolutely amazing effort,” Lee said.

“On behalf of the Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia we want to say a huge thank you to everybody involved for their wonderful support.”

Read More

Rugby Union Junior Girls Sevens State Championships Coming To Mackay

August 19, 2021

Image: The Queensland Rugby Union Junior Girls State Sevens Championships is being hosted in Mackay this year. Images from previous championships - photo credit – QRU/Brendan Hertel

Thrusting BB Print Stadium into a rugby union spotlight, Mackay has been chosen to host the 2021 Queensland Rugby Union Junior Girls State Sevens Championships, from Friday 24 to Saturday 25 September.

QRU General Manager Community Rugby, Gaven Head said the QRU is very excited to work with Mackay Regional Council to bring one of its biggest participation and pathway events to Mackay.

“The QRU has previously partnered with the Mackay Regional Council to bring a Queensland Country National Rugby Championship (NRC) match to BB Print Stadium in 2018, and it’s great to now extend our partnership to the junior ranks,” Mr Head said.

“Female participation is at record high levels in Australian Rugby. Members of the Australian Women’s Sevens team that competed at the Tokyo Olympics have participated in the Girls State Championships in previous years,” he added.

“With Queensland to host the Olympics in 2032 it is likely that the 2021 Mackay event will be the first step in an Olympic journey for girls from the Gold Coast to the Peninsula and West.”

The State Championships will cater for U15 and U17 age groups and will see 16 teams from across Queensland converge on the region during the school holiday period, in what will be a boost for rugby and tourism in the region.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the council was a proud supporter of women’s sporting competitions.

“Our region has hosted a number of elite level women’s sporting competitions in the past, from Big Bash League matches featuring the Brisbane Heat to AFLW games, and last year we hosted eight games as part of the 2020 Chemist Warehouse WNBL season,” he said.

“We are excited to welcome some of Australia’s future women’s rugby union stars to Mackay.”

The Girls Junior Sevens State Championships have a proven track record of helping produce talented athletes, with Madison Levi, who is a part of the Australian Women’s Sevens team in Tokyo, having previously represented the Gold Coast at the event, while Brisbane Junior Rugby Union product Natalie Wright made her Super W debut for the Queensland Reds this year.

Read More

“If You Can See It, You Can Be It”

August 19, 2021

Mackay Basketball Star Marianna Tolo reflects on a second Olympic journey and what it means for the next generation of Mackay athletes

Two born and bred Mackay superstars headed North from the Sugar City to Tokyo’s Olympic Games this year, with lofty ambitions and as major players in the Australian Opals Olympic Basketball team with Mackay right behind them – centre Marianna Tolo and coach Sandy Brondello.

Mackay Basketball’s Tokyo Olympics

In what was a consecutive quarter final Olympic finish for the Opals, the green and gold went out to eventual winners The United States, with Mackay local Sandy Brondello’s first year as coach and a second year at Olympic level for Marianna Tolo, it was an incredible achievement for two Mackay products who always dreamed of making it to the world stage.

“It was a tough tournament, and we had some really tough opponents in both China and Belgium,” two-time Australian Olympic representative Marianna Tolo said.

“You always dream of getting a medal, especially after my last Olympic campaign when we went out in the quarter finals as well.”

“It was different in Tokyo – it didn’t feel like the finals because there wasn’t a crowd there. We knew ourselves that we had to put our best foot forward. It didn’t have the same atmosphere but at the same time we felt the support from the village and back home; everyone was lovely and supportive, and we felt that.”

Although Marianna and first time Olympic coach Sandy Brondello, one of Australia’s all-time top scoring shooting guards and the third most-capped player in Opals’ history, were unable to come home with a medal, it was an exceptional performance for the two Mackay locals.

“I think I did alright – obviously the highlight would be that Puerto Rico game where I knew I had to be physical and attack from inside because of my height advantage,” Tolo said.

It was the game of the tournament for the Opals, who needed to defeat Puerto Rico by at least 25 points to keep their Olympic campaign alive, and Tolo was a pivotal part of that match as the women held their nerve, clinching a 96-69 victory.

The crucial basket was scored with less than 30 seconds to spare

“I played to my strengths in my defensive ability and letting my presence be known. I think I did that well the whole tournament, but I think our improvement for the tournament was to be a bit more aggressive defensively,” Marianna said.

It was a tournament that meant the world to Marianna, who remembered her own upbringing in Mackay.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t watch much basketball, but I watched a bit of the Meteorites when I was coming up.

“It goes back to that saying: if you can see it you can be it. That top level of player, that representative stage, it’s so good and creates a clear pathway for these kids in Mackay.

“It’s so, so special. When I went to school at St Josephs in Mackay, we had Cathy Freeman visit us and to see her do that, coming from Mackay, that made me believe.”

Back in Mackay, locals were believing, and the team at Mackay Basketball, like head coach of the NBL1 Mackay Meteors Joel Kahlu was proud to see what Mackay achieved on the world stage.

“Fantastic to watch that level of play. Sandy coaching and Marianna playing, and the way she played as well as Kayla George – they’ll be super disappointed with the way it went but at the end of the day that’s sport and it could’ve ended differently,” Joel said.

“It’s huge for us, particularly our junior players to see somebody like Marianna be at that level and give that belief to these kids in Mackay that you can come from here and play in an Olympic games.

“What she’s done is unbelievable; having both of them as role models and the legacy they’re building.”

Tolo was proud of her accomplishments coming from a “small town”, and she’ll be sure to be back next Olympics with coach Brondello to do Mackay proud.

“I think, with how much of a focus Basketball is in Mackay, it’s great that we’ve had these professionals come through the system and athletes that come through Mackay. That sporting culture and the country attitude of sticking in and getting it done,” Marianna Tolo said.

“Hopefully Sandy [Brondello] and I can inspire the next generation for all the roles, whether that be administration, playing or coaching.

Read More

96 And Going Strong

August 5, 2021

Bowlers were amazed by the courage and stamina of Sarina’s oldest bowler Ken Willan, 96, competing and enjoying the game at the club’s Men’s Fours Carnival on the weekend.

Ken was among Sarina bowlers competing in a weekend of five games, with 28 teams involved.

Teams came from Ayr, Townsville, Proserpine, Rockhampton, Emerald, Longreach, and Mackay district clubs.

Dave Peet, Steve Ridolfi, Sean Murphy and Peter Blackburn of Mackay’s Souths Suburban won the carnival.

In the ladies competition, the triples final went to Coral Bradford, Jan Flanagan and Leanne McGeough who defeated Karen Baker, Carmel Kirwan and Ivy Gidding 28-18.  

Brad Bettiens won the men’s B singles final, defeating Ross O`Neil 25-10.

Ladies Consistency:  Penny Roots d Margaret Phillips, 116-94, BB Smith d Kathy Mathews 114-96.

Men’s B Grade 4s: Jamie Adams, Allan Summerville, Rod Mills, Bryan Burrows d Ted Sands, Allan Madden, Denis Bradford, Harold Mansfield 23-17.

Men’s 3 Bowl Triples: Tom Pietzner, Ian Gardner, Ian Henshaw d Don Orr, Bruce Archer, Brian Adams 23-20.

Contributed By Rita Hughes

Read More

Mackay’s Mountain Marathon Mammoth Weekend

August 5, 2021

Over the weekend the eighth annual Mackay Mountain Marathon took place, consisting of two days of mountain biking and running across the Eungella National Park’s lush rainforest and winding single tracks.

It was a massive weekend for the organisers, with Corry Cycles and Marty Lambert's On the Run an integral part in the longevity and continued successful growth of the event each year.

Several hundred cyclists, runners, spectators and supporters swarmed into the beautiful Eungella Chalet and Eungella community grounds precincts.

A multitude of out of towners maintained their annual vigil by supporting the event once again.

It was a tough weekend with 15km, 38m and 80km mountain biking, as well as 5km, 15km, 25km and 55km trail running.

“A special mention to Kelly Cork from Maleny who took out the Frank Marchetti award for his performance on the day and over the last seven years,” event volunteer Janelle Tilse said.

Kelly participated in the 80km two loop mountain bike course and finished with the most incredible smile on his face.

“His never say die, have a go attitude is the epitome of the legendary Frank Marchetti trophy,” she said.

“Congratulations to the talented Kelly for his beautiful, humble personality which was beaming as he crossed the finish line where he was congratulated on his efforts by family, friends and the cycling/running community.”

“A very worthy winner.”

Fifteen-year-old superstar, Ethan Weiss had a spectacular race, taking out the 80km mountain bike event in sensational style – a 3:43:02 finish.

Anne-Marie Kehres finished with 5:16:17 to take out the women’s 80km mountain biking.

Winners of the 55km Platypus Ultra Trail Run were Karen Douglas for the women, with 6:40:52 and Oliver Camara for the men, with 5:58:48.

It was an enormous and successful event that Mackay Marathon volunteers and organisers should be proud of – as well as those who ran the distances.

Read More

Walkerston Wanderers Play The ‘Not’ Gorden Tallis Cup

August 5, 2021

The Gorden Tallis Cup was to be held in Townsville earlier this year, but to the devastation of many a North Queensland's under 10 team, it was not to be – the competition was cancelled in early July due to a COVID-19 scare – which our Walkerston Wanderers regularly take part in.

Instead of sitting at home and letting a large contingent of young talents miss out on a footy carnival, local clubs and leagues in Far North Queensland, Townsville, Mackay and Central Highlands worked hard to get a replacement competition up and running of their own.

Mackay’s very own competition was held at the beginning of the month, and it was short notice – three days’ notice to be exact – but it gave the young players a wonderful opportunity.

This year’s carnival cancellation was the second year in a row for the age group, as they missed out on a Proserpine league carnival for U9s in 2020, which was cancelled by COVID as well.

Most of the kids had missed out on ever going to a carnival until now.

It was difficult to find local referees until Mackay’s QRL area managers reached out to some of the region's newest whistle-blowers, who jumped at the opportunity.

The Wanderers hosted two teams in the competition: their Under 10 Gold and Under 10 Green teams, who enjoyed a full day out in what was rainy weather.

It was exceptional fun, and these Wanderers U10 players finally got their chance to play at a carnival.

After the overwhelming positive feedback for the makeshift event, discussions have begun around expanding on the concept next year, and Walkerston will certainly be putting their hands up to be there on the day.

Read More

Send-Off For Stalwart Bowler

August 5, 2021

Last Saturday, North Mackay Bowling Club (Goosies) held a send-off for well-known bowling member, Ken Wedel, who is going to reside in Emu Park.

Ken and Pat are making the move south to live near their daughter who has a large property there. Ken will still play bowls, but at this stage is not sure if he will join Emu Park or Yeppoon club.

Ken started his bowling journey at the St. Lawrence club and was their president for several years. When he came to North Mackay Bowls club in 2004, he became a member of the committee. He has won several championships, the latest being the two bowl triples club championships earlier this year.

The day was a great success with 10 rinks filled. In first place was a triple of Ron Bowers, Albert Graves and Neil Blucher, with Vic Gaudion and Peter Horsburgh filling second place. Ken shouted everyone drinks at the end of the day.

Social Bowls Results

Monday pairs was won by Maurie Pearson and Elaine Buxton, followed by Brenda and Wayne Trannore.

Wednesday ladies winners were Therese Russell, Bev Woodward and Jean Zamparutti, with Netty Thomsen, Pam Louis and Coral Francis second.

Thursday mixed pairs was won by Lorna Bowers and Brian Perrin with Ian McDonald and Bruce McCubbin runners up. The kitty toucher jackpot of $250 was won by John Stronach and Rosemary Hillman.

Friday three bowl pairs competition starts again on 6 August. The sheet is now up on the board.

Read More

Meteors Will Miss Malou As Adelaide Signing Confirmed

August 5, 2021

Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Malou’s hot form for the Mackay Meteors hasn’t gone unnoticed this year, with the 6’9 versatile forward making a move to Australia’s NBL division next season with the Adelaide 36ers.

Born in Kenya, Malou grew up in Victoria and was a rising star from a young age. He found his way to the United States for junior college experience before enhancing his career trajectory while playing for the South Sudanese national team at various international tournaments.

The Adelaide 36ers said that the 2020 FIBA Afrobasket prequalifying tournament was a breakout event for the athletic swing forward as he posted per-game averages of 11 points and 7 rebounds and was a key cog in South Sudan climbing a massive 16 positions in the FIBA rankings.

Malou’s form has carried on playing in the NBL1 North for Mackay, with the Meteors holding a 10-3 win/loss record as he leads the playing roster across several categories.

The Adelaide 36ers said, “He averages 19.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game, and the efficiency with which he is doing it is elite - shooting 54% from the field, 40.7% from the three-point line, and a handy 87% clip from the free-throw line.”

Manny Malou can’t wait for the pre-season to begin and said “I’m really excited to be joining such a great organisation and am more than grateful for this opportunity at the NBL level. I’m looking forward to playing and learning under Coach Henry.”

General Manager of Basketball Jeff Van Groningen has long followed Manny Malou’s career path and welcomes him to the 36ers.

“I’ve enjoyed watching Manny play for many years. In the here and now his form in the NBL1 has been impeccable and has shown us he’s back to his dynamic self.

“Manny is a gifted player who works extremely hard on his game and his body, he’s a pro and we welcome Manny to the Club.”

Coach Conner Henry said, “We are really excited to have Manny join our Club. We have been watching his progress for over a year now and have had him on our board with hopefully a chance of landing him as his fitness and game has elevated back to a level where we knew he could get to.

“I can’t wait to get back from the States and start working with Manny!”

Read More

Cultivating Discipline and Dedication

August 5, 2021

It has a reputation for being one of the fiercest fighting disciplines on the planet, but Muay Thai is not confined to people who want to bout.

More regularly, the martial art is learned by people seeking safety in self-defense, as well as those looking for a fun way to get into a different form of fitness.

As well as the physical aspect comes the strength of mind, discipline and culture for which the sport is revered for. This is why many parents are seeing the benefit of introducing their children or teenagers into martial arts, for elevated levels of respect and discipline.

Neung Muay Thai in Mackay provides a family-friendly atmosphere, for all ages, shapes and abilities wanting to try the sport.

They have a teens class running on Monday and Wednesday afternoon from 5 - 6pm, and mixed adult classes are on Monday to Friday from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

Contact Neung Muay Thai Gym on Facebook for more information.

Read More

Cyclone’s Swim Up A Storm In Emu Park

August 5, 2021

The Mackay Cyclones swimming team matched the destruction of a Category 5 storm system as they powered their way through the pool to come home with a stack of medals and personal bests last month.

The group travelled south to Emu Park for a winter carnival with the group shining exceptionally bright in the 12-year boys category, with Vaughn and Jarek claiming the age champion and runner-up honours in this age group for the Cyclones.

Club coach Leigh-Anne Pokarier said the children achieved amazing results with state times achieved alongside some impressive personal bests.

“The kids had a great time away and likened Emu Park to Summer Bay! The carnival was ideal for their continued development and best of all they had a lot of fun.

“I’m lucky so have such an amazing team of athletes,” she said.

Read More

The Sunshine Coast Provides A Golden Glow For Mackay

August 5, 2021

Arguably cycling in its purest form, a time trial is an athlete and their bike against the clock and the conditions.

Executing their paced power to perfection are two of Mackay Cycling Club’s rising female riders, Tracy Falbo and Tenille Galea. The duo both claimed gold last month at the Masters State Time Trial Championships held on the Sunshine Coast.

Both ladies beat out their competition by more than a minute, showing their strength and class. Tracy competed in the Masters 3 age category and rode an impressive average speed of 36.57 km/hr to win in a time of 32:49 over the 20km course. Tenille Finished in 33:29 for an average speed of 35.83 km/hr to claim gold in the Masters 2 age division.

After coming back from injury, Tracy said a gold medal is the greatest reward for effort.

“I was struggling with an impinged sciatic nerve, I had to limit my training in order to manage recovery, which is so mentally challenging and I was worried I wouldn’t be strong enough, but with help from some key people, I got there and continue to manage it,” Tracy said.

The course was the same one Tracy rode to gold on last year, so she was confident in her plan of attack.

“It is a technical course, with some tight turns and a little climb to test the legs. On the day the wind really picked up and it was gusty on some parts of the course which made it a little tougher.”

At her state championship debut, Tenille said the course was one of the toughest she had ridden.

“A few slight inclines that definitely takes it out of the legs makes it a hard course,” she said.

She went into the competition with no expectations on placing so to ride to gold was very rewarding.

“I just wanted to have a strong, solid ride so I was pleasantly surprised to say the least to pick up the win!”

Coming from a background in triathlon, Tenille said the time trial suited her style of rising but she also loves the challenge of road racing with the local cycling club.

Both ladies are eyeing up the Masters National Time Trial Championships which will be on the same course on the Sunshine Coast in October and encourage more women to join the cycling club.

Tracy added, “It would be wonderful to see more females racing, it is so tough but so rewarding and there is no training like racing.

“I love everything cycling has given me, mentally, physically and emotionally-if only I had found it earlier.”

Read More

Roosters Rampage Over Eels As Tedesco Leaves His Mark

August 5, 2021

Images: The Sydney Roosters kept the Parramatta Eels scoreless at BB Print Stadium, Mackay. Photos: Amanda Wright

It’s notably been a stellar year for Roosters Captain James Tedesco and the star fullback continued to display superb leadership in Mackay to steer the Sydney Roosters to a convincing 28-0 win over the Parramatta Eels at BB Print Stadium. The historic game marked the first time the Roosters have kept the Eels scoreless since 2013 in what was the 150th clash between the two clubs.

Despite a sloppy start, Tedesco, young gun Sam Walker and a magnificent Joey Manu lead the way as the Roosters came away with their 13th win of the season, to move them up alongside the Eels in fourth on the table. Parramatta obviously missed the skills of injured halfback Mitchell Moses as the team lacked direction on the field.

It was the Roosters first venture to Mackay since the 2017 pre-season, on which Waerea-Hargreaves became just the fifth Rooster in the Club's long and esteemed history to notch up 250 games in the Red, White and Blue.

Despite a long list of injuries, the Roosters battled through adversity to get a convincing victory with Morris, Daniel Tupou, Sitili Tupouniua, Joey Manu and Sam Walker all scoring tries.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson said it was great to see the game taken to the region’s where the lifeblood of the game is.

“There’s a lot of negatives about what’s happened this year, but the positives are to get some footy in some regional areas,” Coach Robinson said.

Read More

Magpies Match Moranbah At Sologinkin Double Header

July 29, 2021

Magpies Mackay Senior Rugby League Club faced up against the Moranbah Miners in a two match Super Saturday of fixtures at Sologinkin Oval in what was always going to be tough against some physical Moranbah sides.

Kicking off the excellent weekend of matches was the Mackay Airport Women’s A Grade, who fought valiantly against an experienced Miners side.

The women started off strong but unfortunately in the last 20 minutes they fell away against a North Queensland Gold Stars led Deb Barchard Moranbah side.

Undoubtedly, the women can be proud of their performances, particularly those from Mikaela Gee and forwards Roslyn Rountree and Tina Hancock.

It wasn’t the Magpie Women’s day even with the stellar performances, as they went down 10 – 32, with the score only blowing out in the last 15 minutes.

Sadly, before the Reserve grade game, Moranbah forfeited, leaving only the A Grade game to take revenge for the women’s woes.

The main event kicked off at 6:30pm, as the Components Only A-Grade men’s side played a stellar game against Moranbah’s Miners, and it was a hotly contested game with finals spots up for grabs.

Moranbah were staunch in defence for the first half, and Magpies chipped away to break them down.

The first half was an extremely tense affair, with key performances from Captain Brenden White, forwards Ryan Kinlyside and Chris Gesch standing out.

Magpies capitalised on mistakes in the second half of the physical contest, and with the help of a large, vocal crowd at Sologinkin Oval, managed to give themselves a lead.

Enforcer Tyler Gardener proved a handful in the middle of the ruck with outside backs Hugh Arthur and Birdsall Faapepele provided exceptional running on the outside as the full-time score saw Magpies beat out Miners 26-6 in a phenomenal second half performance.

Read More

Sensational Send-Off For Veteran Bowler

July 29, 2021

After being a member of the North Mackay Bowling Club since 1996, Vaughn Munroe is rolling south for a lifestyle change in Hervey Bay.

Last Saturday was his final day for the club, who made sure it was one to remember.

As a farewell gesture, Vaughn and the club put on six prizes of $60, while his good mate, Peter Grant shouted the bar. The day was run as a men’s pairs competition, and it was pleasing to see 13 rinks in play. Prizes were drawn from the cards, rather than scores, and a great day was had by all.

Amongst Vaughn’s best memories was being part of the division 2 pennants team in 2016 that won the pennant when the team moved into first division. This year Vaughan played in Division 5, which also won the pennant, so he has some great memories to take with him.

Social results

Monday mixed pairs was won by Peter Miller and Doug Dungavell, followed by visitors, Joan and Glen.

Wednesday Ladies Day winners were F. Warner, S. Roscoe and L. Lemke. Second was S. Thomsen and J. Comelli. First round novice winner was N. Schmidtke.

Saturday winners were Ryan Vigliante and Ken Wedel, B. Ryan and Wayne Olsen, Fred King and Peter Grant, Albert Graves and Wayne Trannore, Trevor Laurens and Greg McLean and David Evans and Bill McCurry.

Read More

Athletics Season In Full Swing

July 29, 2021

Winners are grinners, and athletes at North Mackay Athletics have certainly been grinning over the last two months.

As we moved into winter, North Queensland Athletics is in full swing. Athletes from all over the state have trained, travelled and competed in a wide variety of carnivals and events including ANQ Festival of Athletics, LAQ Winter’s Carnival, school sports carnivals, Cumberland Carnival, Northern Suburbs, Southern Suburbs and Pioneer Valley Carnival.

In June, Townsville hosted both the Festival of Athletics and the Winter’s Carnival. This provided a great opportunity for athletes to compete with others throughout Queensland and a fantastic platform leading into our Mackay District School Sports Carnival hosted earlier this week at the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

North Mackay Athletics is proud to have many athletes attending this event after progressing through their school sports events and sub-district carnivals.

Contributed: Kayla Porter – North Mackay Athletics

Read More

Christmas Came Early In Sarina

July 29, 2021

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

Read More

Mackay Primed To Host Olympic Training Squads

July 29, 2021

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.

Read More

Mackay’s Own MMA Machine

July 29, 2021

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.

Read More

Meg Is Mackay’s New Golden Girl

July 29, 2021

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.

Read More

Marian Ladies Roll To Victory

July 22, 2021

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.

Read More

Mountain Kings and Queens Crowned

July 22, 2021

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.

Read More

A Jazzy Time For Those Who Swing

July 22, 2021

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.

Read More

Devils Leave Cutters In Their Dust In Dysart

July 22, 2021

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.

Read More

Logan Show Why They’re Top Of Ladder

July 22, 2021

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.

Read More

Winners Are Grinners - Cutters Conquer Capras

July 15, 2021

It was a bottom of the table clash between the Mackay Cutters and Central Queensland Capras that finally helped Mackay break their winless streak of games this week, as they came out the victors in the Intrust Super Cup Round 13, winning 20-18.

Before the Intrust Super Cup, Hastings Deering Colts Round 9 kicked off with Mackay’s Colts smashing the Capras at BB Print Stadium, winning 54-16 in a game that was never a competition.

The Colts cruised to an easy win, with the half-time score somewhat of a blowout at 26-6, and they didn’t slow down in the second half.

Afterwards, the main event saw the Cutters hold strong until the final whistle to beat the Capras in their XXXX Rivalry Round.

Mackay Centre Kell Jenner drew first blood for the Cutters, and Josh Smith piled on the Capras misery, scoring another after a sensational run down the right flank to cross.

Capras scored only a single try of the half, shortly before the break, making the half-time score 12-6.

Jesse Dee scored early in the second half for the Cutters, before Capras managed to lessen the deficit again, but the Capras found themselves always chasing.

They scored again to worry the Mackay Cutters, but a penalty goal midway through the second half left the scoreline insurmountable for the Capras, even after they scored another try six-minutes before full-time.

It was a grandstand finish that ended 20-18, with the Cutters unable to truly kill the game. They still managed to take the points that were on offer, pushing the Capras below them on the ladder.

The home advantage certainly played a part in the Cutters’ win. They’ve managed to capitalise on improved performances in this stage of the season, and there’s still a lot to play for.

Mackay’s next game is up against top of the table Norths Devils, who have lost only a single game this season, while the Hastings Deering Colts Devils team look to leapfrog Mackay, who stand in ninth position. The regional round will be played in Dysart.

Read More

Inaugural Platypus Paddle

July 15, 2021

‘Know Your Burb’ Northview Park

Photos: Mackay Regional Council

Inaugural Platypus Paddle

SUP competition – Mackay Harbour

Photos: Belinda McMahon @stormybeachbelle

Click Here to View Gallery

Read More

International Horses Put On Mid-Week Show In Mackay

July 1, 2021

Who doesn’t love a great excuse to take some time off work? Many locals discovered the secret to knocking off early to attend the Mackay Turf Club’s mid-week races last month.

With free entry, spectators lined up to watch a day of racing entertainment with the first horses bolting from the gates in the early afternoon.

A number of horses from the ‘land of the long white cloud’ made the journey across the ditch to rack up some impressive results, with jockey Carl Spry claiming a great race 6 win. Most of the later races featured a Kiwi horse in the top three. Les Tilley rode to glory in the first two races of the day, while Nathan Thomas placed in the top three in the first three races.



1st Place - 5 Lefkas Island, T: Olivia Cairns, J: Les Tilley

2nd Place - 9 Lets Torque A Deel, T: John Manzelmann, J: Nathan Thomas

3rd Place - 1 Meatball, T: Ricky Vale, J: Ryan Wiggins


1st Place - 3 Ollie's Stand, T: Peter Fleming, J: Les Tilley

2nd Place - 7 FAIRYBOWER FLYER, T: Julieann Lancaster, J: Tahlia Fenlon

3rd Place - 5 Refutation, T: Phillip Pengelly, J: Nathan Thomas


1st Place - 1 Cheyenne Beach, T: Wayne Pomfrett, J: Marnu Potgieter

2nd Place - 5 Mount Dumaresq, T: Peter Fleming, J: Olivia Kendal

3rd Place - 7 Beyond Reproach, T: Nippy Seymour, J: Nathan Thomas


1st Place - 4 Bering Sea, T: Chris Attard, J: Chris Whiteley

2nd Place - 3 Heyington, T: Rebecca Binder, J: Scott Sheargold

3rd Place - 7 Schappose (NZ), T: Tim Cook, J: Alisha Donald


1st Place - 2 Rock 'n' Sol, T: Tim Cook, J: Ashley Butler

2nd Place - 11 Exelant Mosh, T: Olivia Cairns, J: Adam Sewell

3rd Place - 4 Tavi Mcbride (NZ), T: Jared Wehlow, J: Bobby El-Issa


1st Place - 2 Overseas (NZ), T: Trinity Bannon, J: Carl Spry.

2nd Place - 5 Cinnamon Missile, T: John Manzelmann, J: Ryan Wiggins

3rd Place - 9 Soldiers (NZ), T: Les Smerdon, J: Wanderson D'Avila

Read More

Champions Of The Table

July 1, 2021

WINNERS: Lee Brake and his father Graham (left) were part of the winning team in division 2 table tennis fixtures. Photos: Charlie Payne

Only a few points decided the division 2 final of Mackay Table Tennis fixtures.

With the matches locked on 5-all, the season’s top two players Lee Brake of Beta and Duncan Treloar of Delta played off to decide the final.

Duncan started well to take the first game 12-10 before Lee fought back to take a 2-1 lead. Duncan levelled in the fourth 15-13 but Lee came home strongly to win the last 11-6.

Div 2: Beta (Lee Brake, Kevin Scates, Graham Brake) d Delta (Duncan Treloar, Julie Vella, Peter Goodson 6-5.

Beta (Andrew McHugh, Ann Sheridan, Graeme Drury) won the division 1 final over Alpha’s Janice Kent and Barry Patterson, whose third player Geoff Denman was ill and unable to play.

The match of the night was Barry and Janice’s doubles win over Andrew and Anne, which they won -9 6, 8, -10, 13.

Alpha (Will VanDeKaa, Ivan Perkins, Noreen Fredericksen) won a hard-fought division 3 final 7-4 over Beta (Tiffany Camilleri, Val Austin and Simon Hogan).

It could have gone either way as Ivan and Will featured in five-game wins over Simon and Val, and paired to also beat Simon and Val in doubles.

A new season of Tuesday night fixtures will start after the school holidays. New players are welcome, contact Donna Abbott on 0400 769 560.

Read More

New Shooters Keen To Get Their Eye In

July 1, 2021

Image: The open day at the Mt Vince Shooting Complex last weekend was a success with new people keen to take up the sport.

The Mt Vince Shooting Complex held a ‘come and try’ open day last weekend, with around 20 visitors making the most of the opportunity to learn a new sport with the .22 LR and .22 Magnum Rimfire.

Sixteen competitors tried their hand at the 50-metre distance using electronic targets.

Ted Mullan said that no scores were recorded this time around since it was more about giving the sport a go.

“Because there was no set rule in the number of shots fired, some fired 5 shots or 10 shots and then lined up later to fire some more,” Mr Mullan said.

“There were some squeals of joy when the bulls-eye was hit.”

Mr Mullan said there was good representation across all ages, with some individuals in attendance as well as family groups.

In attendance were Celestie and Patricia Welch, Tarryn and Daniel Wilde, Leah and Shaun Spada, Lewis and Jayden Crockett, Steven and Danyell Melville, Jamison Mifsud, Lisa Ross, Jason Mc Kell, Justin Rafelo, Ashley Berrigan, Greg Bulger.

“They all went away very happy knowing it is not as easy as it looks with a few coming back next Sunday to have a look at the start of the long-range shooting program for the new shooting year, starting at 800 metres,” Mr Mullan said.

“Visitors are always welcome.”

Read More

Great Games At Goosies

July 1, 2021

Social Bowls – Results week ending 27 June.

Monday mixed pairs was won by Vic Gaudion and Jean Zamparutti. Second was Vaughn Munro and Kees Struik.

Wednesday ladies’ winners were C. Lee, L. McGuire and L. Lemke. Second was the team of N. Schmidtke, H. Rose and D. Offield.

There were no results available for Thursday and Friday.

Saturday men’s pairs was won by Victorian visitor Alan Easterbrook, and Larry Evans with Darren Laurens and Greg McLean second. It was noticeable how well the relatively new bowlers, Trevor Laurens and Wayne Mietzel, played.

Tuesday morning mixed bowls start shortly. Names on the nomination sheet on the board please. There is also a sheet on the board for volunteers for bowls days. Please help take the load off the few who do the job now.

The only result available for Sunday Pennants was a draw for the second division who played at Marian. Chris Banney’s team had a big win, but both Ian McDonald and Gary Simmons teams lost, resulting in a draw of 61 points each.

Final result was Marian 3.5 points, North Mackay 2.5 points.

Read More

Double Header On The Road Breaks Winning Streak For Meteors

July 1, 2021

Image: Mackay Basketball’s Meteorettes continued their winning streak on the Sunshine Coast, winning two from two last weekend. Photo: Mackay Basketball.

Mackay Basketball had a big weekend on the Sunshine Coast, with the Meteors and Meteorettes each downing two games each in one weekend.

The Meteorettes completed their ethereal winning streak, claiming two from two.

First up against the Sunshine Coast Phoenix the ladies put on another basket-fest to net 83 points. The home side only managing to sink 62 against the Meteorettes’ strong defence. Cayla George had another standout game with 30 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. Chelsea Brook had a blinder with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

The ladies backed up with a boomer of a performance against USC Rip City, with a huge 94 points against the host team’s effort of 60. Cayla George scored 19 points, 13 rebounds and 6 assists. Jacqui Zelenka was close behind on 18 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist.

Unfortunately, the Meteors’ blazing run came to an end.

Their first game went to plan against the Phoenix, with a high-scoring game of 102 points to 93. Jerron Jamerson scored 25 points and 2 assists, and Harrison Froling had a great game with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.

Harrison then backed up with an impressive game against USC Rip City, with 29 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough with the Meteors losing their first game of the NBL1 season, 80 points to 97. Chris Cedar also had a good game for the Meteors, with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.

Blanchfield Bulks Up Wildcats In NBL Grand Final Series

Caption: Todd Blanchfield was a star performer in the Perth Wildcats side in the NBL grand final series against Melbourne United. Credit: AAP.

Mackay’s Todd Blanchfield took the court in all three Australian NBL grand final games between the Perth Wildcats and Melbourne United.

The Mackay product made the move to Perth last year and was instrumental in his team making the grand final. It showed the faith Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has in Blanchfield, with the star player barely getting substituted.

Coach Gleeson was furious after game two, claiming Melbourne United were using illegal hold tactics against Blanchfield.

It’s up to the referees to sort that off-the-ball stuff out. It's pretty easy to play defence when you hold someone," Gleeson said.

Melbourne United captain Chris Goulding admitted curbing Blanchfield’s influence was his team's focus ahead of game two.

The sharpshooter had a blinder in game one, when he starred with 27 points, including 5-of-9 from long range, but the extra pressure on him in game two saw his stats suffer.

His team got off to a shaky start, 16 points down in early stages of the fourth quarter, but they fought back to take the lead at one point, before slowly losing their grip on the game in a nail-biting loss of 81 – 76.

Despite the Wildcats going down 3-0, Blanchfield had the opportunity to show Australian selectors that he’s one to keep an eye on.

Read More

Cutters Woes Continue

July 1, 2021

Last weekend, the Cutters were blessed with a bye after a game against Souths Logan’s Magpies in Round 11.

The game began with Souths paying tribute to one of their most loyal and incredible supporters, Eddie Allouche, who was honoured with a one-minute silence.

The Cutters were away at Davies Park, often known as the Allouche family’s second home.

It was a tough ask for the Cutters to win against a fourth placed Magpies who were on a four-game winning streak at the time.

On top of the occasion, Magpies were coming off the back of a brilliant win against Wynnum Manly in the Mitch Cronin Memorial Cup.

The Magpies team seemed possessed as they broke the Cutters hearts over and over, although Mackay put in a solid performance.

It was a tense game with massive defensive efforts from both sides keeping the score balanced, until Cutters five-eighth Brandon Finnegan crossed in the eighth minute.

20 minutes of back and forth followed before the Magpies reaped the rewards of their hard work as Brad Frith scored the first try for the home side.

The Magpies’ dominance was felt in the concluding minutes of the first half as Creedence Toia and Justin Fai (with two successful conversions from Jamayne Isaako) brought the score to 16-6 to the home side at half-time.

Magpies Jacob Alick barged over the try line in just the second minute of the second half, and Isaako converted another, bringing the score to 22-6.  Isaako finished the game with 14 points to his name.

Cutters’ utility Jack Quinn looked to mount a comeback after scoring and converting his own try, but alas it was not to be.

The remainder was back and forth, going try for try as Fai scored his second try of the match in the 50th minute, which was closely followed by Cutters winger Jake Riley, who just kept Mackay within reach of a win.

It was an insurmountable lead, and Brisbane Broncos affiliates Isaako and Corey Oates sealed the victory for the Souths.

Mackay got in the last word though with a try from Matiu Stone-Dunn in the 78th minute, and it came only as a consolation as the Cutters went down 38 -20.

The result leaves the Cutters bottom of the Intrust Super Cup ladder with just two points from eleven games and a tough to turn results around in the second half of the season.

Read More

Remembering Mum With A Pretty in Pink Day

July 1, 2021

Pink tutu’s, oversized sunnies, bold wigs and bedazzled bikes were part of Mackay and District BMX Club’s Pink Fun Day held last month.

While there were smiles all round, the day fundraised for a serious cause and had a respectful somber undertone as the club members remembered one of their own.

MAD BMX’s canteen convenor, Stacey, sadly lost her mother earlier this year to breast cancer.

In her honour, and for all their friends and family that have been affected by this devastating disease, MAD BMX held the Pink Fun Day, with all proceeds donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Money was raised from racing proceeds, a bake sale, sausage sizzle and shredder race. The club raised more than $1400.

Riders and families donned pink tutus, capes and wigs and decorated their bikes for the fun afternoon. A club representative said that fun racing and shredder races were greatly supported.

If you would like to make a contribution to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, please visit to make your tax-deductible donation.

Read More

Mackay Triumphs At Tour Of The North

July 1, 2021

The grueling terrain of Paris-Roubaix is well known as being the hardest 1-day cycling race in the world, affectionately coined as the ‘Hell of the North’.

While Townsville Cycling Club’s two-day Tour of the North hasn’t quite gained the same ‘hellish’ tag, cyclists agree that it’s one of the most challenging tours on the Cycling Queensland calendar.

To win a tour, a rider needs to be good at everything or an absolute master at one discipline. The Tour of the North consisted of a short individual time trial prologue and a long hilly road race on day one, followed by a fast criterium on day two, capped off by one of the most challenging routes imaginable, a time trial up to the top of Castle Hill.

Riders need to be able to climb hills, sprint, have endurance and be able to time trial effectively plus have the repeatability in their legs to race four hard races in two days to have a shot at winning the overall title, known as general classification (GC). There were also other awards up for grabs, a ‘King of the Mountains’ jersey for those who favour hill climbing and a sprinters jersey for the fast and the furious.

Mackay was well represented across all grades, from C-grade through to A-grade, with a particularly strong representation in men’s A-grade. It was the higher grades where Mackay also shone, taking the cookies in A-grade, B-grade and women’s C-grade.

Tracey Falbo showed her time trialing dominance early in C-grade women, winning the prologue by more than two minutes to give her a comfortable lead in GC from the start. She also took maximum mountain points on the road stage. With a powerful climb up Castle Hill to win the final stage, Tracy took out the GC win and came away with the ‘King (Queen) of the Mountain’ jersey. Tenille Galea placed third in the opening prologue and had a strong weekend.

Riding in A-grade were Kyle Marwood, Tim Ffrost, Michael Sleeman, Jarrod Sampson, Craig Larsen, Brendon Brauer and Hunter McGovern.

Kyle Marwood and Michael Sleeman showed their class early, coming second and third respectively in the opening prologue. Kyle then had a stellar win in the 100km road race across the top of Hervey’s Range. To stay in GC contention, Kyle backed up with a second place in the criterium but lost precious time on Castle Hill to finish the tour in 3rd GC. He comfortably won the sprinters jersey.

In B-grade Men, it was the Wright show to watch for the majority of the weekend. Hamish Wright won the opening time trial prologue and backed up by winning the 80km road race, winning the sprint to the line by mere centimetres. He placed second in the criterium also collecting a bunch of sprint points along the way to be in both the GC and the sprint jersey before the climb up Castle Hill. Unfortunately, the solid sprinter suffered the same fate as Kyle. Unable to limit time lost to the mountain goats, Hamish finished in 4th place overall but also won the sprinter’s jersey.

Read More

Road Runners 30km Championships and 5km Junior Weekend

June 24, 2021

The Mackay Road Runners 5km Junior and 30km Club Championships were held last weekend with a 15km option for runners not quite up to the longer distance.  

Hosts Brendan, Julie, Millie and Hughie Bishop generously opened up their home in the wee hours of the morning to support runners in their bids to earn themselves valuable age and open club championship points towards end of year trophies.  

The Bishops have been staging this event for several years now, with a post-race sausage sizzle and Millie's indigenous hair scrunchies for sale with funds going towards the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

At 6am, approximately thirty 30km runners with headlamps were sent into the darkness by the club's registrar, Arthur Dick. Many thanks to Arthur for giving up his 30km race to support other runners' achievements.

First placed male, Mick Scholer ran a clinically focused race from the gun, scoring gold ahead of second placed Joe Grech. Demi Caldwell continued her winning ways as she led the 30km female field and secured herself maximum club championship points.

Michael Feenaghty surged past the 15km leader, Derek Woods at the halfway mark to secure a win in the 15km event, with Alana Knesevic scorching over the course to take the top podium position for the girls.

Millie Bishop secured gold in the 5km junior club championship with Hamish Donnallan victorious in the junior male section.

Read More

North Mackay’s Annual Athletics Team Challenge

June 24, 2021

Photos: North Mackay Athletics Club’s Team Challenge was a big hit.

Athletics is traditionally thought of as a sport for individuals, but North Mackay Athletics have found a fun way to turn the individual disciplines into a team challenge.

Earlier this month the club held its annual Team Challenge at the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Centre. The event is open to the community for children aged 5 to 17 to participate in pairs in field events and groups of four in relays, where their results are combined for an overall score.

The challenge was action packed with pairs of athletes teaming up for shot put, long jump, high jump and discus along with teams of four banding together to compete in 70m shuttle relays, a Swedish relay and the first attempt at an alternative lane relay. The alternative lane event was entertaining to watch, with athletes running in opposite directions and not knowing places until they all crossed the one finish line. A highlight of the event is always the parent/family/kid relays which were highly competitive this year.

The Team Challenge saw athletes bring friends and family members who have never tried athletics before down to the MARC to have a go, Some were surprised by their achievements whilst others enjoyed the camaraderie and competition between friends.

The North Mackay Athletics club would like to thank all those that contributed and participated in the event. Monies raised by this event are absorbed directly by the club for equipment and resources for our athletes. The event was proudly sponsored by Key Solutions Group and Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

If you or your children are interested in trying athletics, North Mackay Athletics run their club days every Sunday from 8:45am at Pioneer High School (entry off Russell Street). People can complete up to two $5 trials. Visit the North Mackay Athletics Facebook page or for further details.

Read More

Five From Five

June 24, 2021

Mackay’s Meteors and Meteorettes made it five from five last weekend, with the men’s and women’s sides claiming convincing victories over the South West Metro Pirates.

The Meteors won 103 – 92 while the Meteorettes continued their dominant form winning 89 – 56.

Cayla George, Manny Malou and Harrison Froling all claimed double doubles. With more than 850 fans in attendance the Crater was almost at capacity.

The next home game is next week, 2 July against Townsville for the ‘pink night’ charity fundraiser.

Read More

Champion Competitions Complete In Marian

June 24, 2021

With cooler conditions, now is the perfect time to get on the green.

“We are all enjoying the cooler weather and bowling is so much more enjoyable,” club secretary Lyn Jackson said.

Marian Ladies Bowling Club have finished most of their champion of champion competitions. Helen Pietzner and Sandra Zarb won the A Pairs, while the A Triples was taken out by Topsy Parsons, Laurel Morrow and Mary Norgate. A Singles results to follow.

Proving you’re never too experienced to pick up something new, Joyce Ditton is learning to bowl with new blue bowls she won at a Mackay City Bowls Club raffle. She commented they are very different to her old bowls.

Read More

Goosies On The Green

June 24, 2021

The B grade men’s singles final was played on Sunday, resulting in a win for Clint Vassie, who played excellent bowls for a good win over Errol Simmons. Also played on Sunday was the club championship three bowl triples final. That was an exciting game between Clive Wales, Ernie Sealy and Alex Cameron and Ron Bowers, Glen Royes and Mick Mackenzie. Ron Bowers’ team won.

A club championship senior singles game was also played on Sunday, resulting in a win For Tony Allsop against Lew Trott.

Social bowls

Monday’s game resulted in a win for Fred King, John Fry, Rob Evans and David Evans. Second came Isla Comelli, Ann Smith, Margaret Fogg and Chrissy Hall.

Wednesday ladies’ game was won by Lorna Forest, Brenda Trannore, Shirley Bartolo, and Ann Smith. Second place was filled by M. Andrew, Maryanne Bartolo and Maureen Blucher.

Thursday mixed pairs was won by Edith Sealy and Brian Dennien, with Celie and Barry Lee second. The kitty toucher draw was won by Phyllis Cooper who missed, so jackpots this week.

Friday’s mixed pairs winners were the very consistent Val De pinto and Bev Svenson with Tony Allsop and Ken Wedel a close second. The kitty toucher was not won, so jackpots again to $750.

Read More

Steeped In Tradition

June 24, 2021

Rugby League began in Mackay in 1919 and because of the problem of distance, their closest rivals in a city competition were Rockhampton. The rail line between Townsville and Cairns was not open until 1924 so until then teams that wanted to play Cairns went by boat.

Between 1920 and 1927 Toowoomba was regarded as the best rugby league team in the world. In a period between 1924 and 1925 they beat the Sydney premiers (South Sydney), Brisbane, New Zealand, England, Queensland and New South Wales. They were unstoppable until they played Mackay in Mackay in 1921.

The Toowoomba team that played Mackay at Alexandra Park on the 12th September 1921 contained Queensland Team of the Century centre, Tommy Gorman who would become the first Queenslander to captain Australia, Stan Ryan (1920 Queensland captain), Nevil Broadfoot (Aus vs England 1920) and Bob Melbusch.

Mackay defeated the Toowoomba team 16-7 with more than 2,000 people at the game. Terry Hayes is the most knowledgeable person in Mackay regarding rugby league in the old days and his father played in this game.

On the 11th September Toowoomba defeated Townsville 8-0 and the Mayor of Mackay along with the Chamber of Commerce declared a half-day holiday so people could go to the game. They also held a civic reception for the visiting team.

This was basically a David vs Goliath game with the Toowoomba team containing four Queensland players in Colin Laws, Ray Brown, Harry Leibke and Jim O’Mara along with an Australian centre in Jack Upton, an Australian five-eighth in Fred ‘Tiger’ Laws and Herb Steinohrt, who would go onto captain Australia and who still holds the record for the most games played for Queensland.

Toowoomba won 16-6 with Tom Linskey and Walter Slockie scoring for the locals.

The next visit was 1954 and again Toowoomba were at the top of their game. They had won consecutive Bulimba Cups from 1951 to 1954 and would go onto win the Cup in 1955 and 1956.

The Toowoomba team was coached by the legendary Duncan Thompson and in this era players from all over Australia would go to Toowoomba to be coached by Thompson. Mackay players Graham Laird, Ray Laird, Eric Webster, Elton Rasmussen and Ray Laird were a few examples of this.

Toowoomba returned in 1956 and again it was after winning the Bulimba Cup. Their team contained Australian players in Des McGovern, Don Furner, Ian Doyle, Brian Jones, Tom Payne and Jim Payne along with Queensland players Sam Hunter, John Eaton, Ron Proudfoot, Athol Halpin and Bob Buckley.

Mackay had a reasonable team that included Elton Rasmussen, Brian Ford, Nev Linde, John Potts, Hume Ronald, Ken Affleck and Gordon White but the Toowoomba boys with Australian winger Des McGovern scoring four tries ran away with the game 54-10.

Those days are gone and the NRL and Intrust Super Cup dominate rugby league conversation. What used to be a season long Foley Shield is now confined to a weekend involving three teams and what used to be the Bulimba Cup has long gone.

Toowoomba now play in the Central Division and their Foley Shield is called the 47th Battalion Carnival involving teams from Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, South West Queensland, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Central Highlands, Northern Districts and Gladstone. This year was their 50th season with Toowoomba defeating the Sunshine Coast in the Final played in Bundaberg.

Contributed with thanks by Tony Price, Editor of League Queensland.

Inaugural XXXX League Championship Hosted In Mackay

After a convincing win in the Foley Shield, Mackay won the right to face Toowoomba in the inaugural XXXX League Championship semi-finals.

The clash at BB Print stadium was set to be a thriller, with former Queensland rep Steve Jackson selecting an impressive side, including controversial card Ben Barba among strong talent including Jardine Bobongie and Marmin Barba.

Despite Toowoomba knocking the ball on in the opening seconds of the game, Mackay failed to capitalise in front of their own try line. First points went to Toowoomba who crossed for two in a row, leading 10-0.

Ben Barba was the first to score for Mackay before the Clydesdales scored again with a clever little kick in-goal that created their third try. Ewan Cootes deflected a defender and broke the line to score out wide before the break, bringing Mackay back within striking distance, 16 – 8.

Mackay struck twice after the break and took the lead for the first time in the game, up 22 – 16, before Toowoomba crossed again to tie the game, 22 all.

Mackay looked to have it in the bag with a penalty taking it to 24 – 22 with minutes remaining, but an intercept in the 77th minute saw Toowoomba run the length of the field to win in the dying moments. Heartbreak for Mackay fans who were sure their boys had booked a spot in the finals.

Toowoomba taking the game, 28 – 24.

Read More

Big Sports Carnivals On Mackay’s 2022 Calendar

June 24, 2021

When it comes to rugby league and netball carnivals, they don’t get much bigger than Confraternity “Confro” and Qld Independent Secondary Schools Netball Carnival (QISSN). Mackay Catholic schools St Patrick’s and Mercy Colleges were excited to find out that they will be hosting these events in 2022, for the first time in 25 years.

St Pat’s has hosted Confro twice previously, in 1987 and 1996, and are very pleased to bring this carnival, along with QISSN, back to the region.

St Pat’s and Mercy will be one of the few schools to host both carnivals simultaneously. The combined carnivals have had an extremely positive economic benefit to other regions in the past and it is expected the same will occur for Mackay in 2022.

St Patrick’s and Mercy Colleges are in the process of combining to be one College by 2023. The collaboration required to prepare and manage such a large event will be an excellent starting point for the new combined community.

The Confraternity Carnival will this year (2021) include for the first time Schoolgirls Rugby League. Nine girls’ teams will compete at the Carnival hosted by Iona College in Brisbane, along with 48 boys’ teams and it is hoped the girl’s competition will expand to 12 teams next year, bringing the total number of competing teams to 60 and making “Confro” one of largest Rugby League carnivals in the country.

It is expected that Mackay will be host to 1200 Rugby League players, and together with coaching and support staff, “Confro” will bring around 1500 people to the region.

QISSN this year will involve 64 teams, and there is every reason to expect the same would compete next year. This will mean around 900 netballers and staff coming to the region, and when combined with Confro, we can expect upwards of 2400 players and staff.

As these Carnivals are historically well supported by family and friends, the Mackay Region can expect 5000-6000 visitors for the week.

The organising committee will be seeking the support of local business to sponsor and provide services for the successful hosting of the Carnivals, and already have obtained tremendous support from Mackay Regional Council, Mackay Tourism, Whitsunday Tourism and the Mackay Chamber of Commerce.

Read More

Front Lining For Women’s Rugby

June 24, 2021

From humble beginnings Chloe Butler became one of far North Queensland’s premier talents in Rugby Union, having grown up in the small town of Croydon, 600 kilometres inland of Cairns on her family’s cattle property, she ascended to the lofty heights of the world stage, representing Australia thrice: once in 2014 at the Women’s Rugby Union World Cup in France, then at the first ever Women’s Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand in 2016, and again in the 2017 Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

She’s been an athlete all her life, with gymnastics and track and field keeping her busy in her younger years, she found great success in American gridiron, as well as her truest love, rugby union.

It was a sense of belonging that came with rugby which urged Chloe to finally choose the game, and she never looked back.

It was a long and storied career for Butler, with her time in the game taking her from Australia to America, from New Zealand to finally England, where she turned her talents to grass roots coaching at Lions Sports Academy.

Chloe earned her coaching stripes in old blighty and decided to bring home what she had learned, making the move to Mackay to give back to the sport that gave her so much, as well as her endeavours to give as many kids, especially girls, the opportunity to play the game as much as they can.

“It felt like the right time to come home; it was just like that, coming home,” Chloe said.

“When you’re young, you’ve got the blinkers on and you just want to go, but when you get home and take a second – after 10 years of travelling the world and playing sport – you catch your breath and realise, wow, it’s so nice here.

“I realised I really enjoyed being in the game [post retirement] and I decided not to officially retire, because as an athlete that’s really hard to do.

“Supporting the women’s game and keeping up with the times of diversity and inclusion and leading the women girl’s strategy is where that desire [to play] goes.”

Her first year in her position as Central Queensland’s regional rugby manager of girls and women’s rugby, Butler co-founded a new regional girls’ competition.

The comp is for U14, U16 and U18 girls, spread over seven rounds and running until October, with upwards of 150 girls involved from all corners of the region; these games are mostly played in Chloe’s home of Mackay.

“When I arrived I said, ‘how do I play for Australia here?’ and I couldn’t work it out and it frustrated me, so we’ve made this competition for grassroots.

“It's perfectly fine to have these avenues at higher levels for players to get scouted, but it has to start somewhere.

“60 per cent of the Australian team are Queenslanders, so in rural Queensland you’re looking at the next future Olympians.

“I want parents to know that [local rugby clubs are] an environment that they drop their daughter off and that it’s going to be a great environment for them to learn, to be challenged, to make friends, to feel safe; everything you want for your kid.

“My job is just to be as good an influence on these girls as I can; I want them to know that the game is here and it’s a solid thing they can rely on in their life.”

Chloe recently became a mother, with the birth of her son Kai, and has taken a step back until her maternity leave ends in August, but she has some serious plans for when she gets back to the game.

“With [Kai] now, I’ve taken a step back and I have all these amazing people around me to help out,” Ms Butler said.

Chloe has the goals of building an infrastructure for the future of the game for girls and women in North Queensland and knows that her role in that is just the first step of a long road.

“It’s not all about me, I have such a wonderful team helping me and I want them to get the recognition they deserve as well.”

By Declan Durrant

Read More

‘EXHILARATING’ – Blokarts Zip Along Beach In Yepoon Breeze

June 17, 2021

FOUR Mackay blokarters hit the sands of Yeppoon for a fun weekend of racing.

George Camilleri, Eric Smith, and Tony and Kate Frances from the Central Queensland Blokart Club were among 40 competing in the three-day event hosted by the Capricornia club at Mulambin, near Yeppoon.

“It was a fun weekend, with various courses laid to test the sailors’ skills,” George said.

“Blokarting can be an exhilarating sport that the whole family can enjoy.”

The CQBC usually sail every second Sunday at Cape Hillsborough, due to tide times and wind, when members of the Whitsunday club also compete.

Anyone looking for details about blokarting can find the club on Facebook or its website.

Read More

Wests Tigers Competing At The Halfway Point

June 17, 2021

As the season reaches its midpoint, Wests Tigers are in a competitive position in all the grades we are fielding teams.

Despite suffering their second loss to the undefeated, powerful Mackay Brothers, our under 20’s team held onto the second spot on the ladder. A significant number of players have made their A-grade debut this year, and we are seeing the positive effect when they return to the age restricted division.

Reserve grade are in a three-way tussle for third on the ladder with Magpies and Moranbah. On the weekend they were down on players with plenty of regular players stepping up to A-grade to cover injuries and work commitments. To get within 10 points of the second placed Brothers pleased the coaching staff, with some players pulling on a jersey with no preparation.

A-grade are building nicely into the comp after a slow start. The momentum gained from last week's come-from-behind win against Magpies was evident with a dominant display in the first half against the ladder-leaders Brothers. After an early arm wrestle for supremacy, Wests were able to gain the upper hand with three converted tries later in the half.

This was followed by another converted try early after the oranges. With twice as much possession in the second half, Brothers were able to make things interesting with three tries; however, their inability to convert all but one didn’t deliver the grandstand finish for Brothers, with the Tigers winning by 12 points.

Round 8 results: Reserve’s had a convincing win against Souths at Shark Park, winning 48 - 18. A-grade struggled with South’s dominance and put in a strong performance to miss out on the win, 28 - 18.

This weekend is a home game against the Sarina Crocs at Tiger Park in Walkerston. Gates open from 10am.

Contributed by Brendan Wakefield

Read More

Fish On - Reeling In The Big Ones

June 17, 2021

As winter arrives, the Racecourse Light Gear Fishing Club has been reeling in the big ones.

Their outing to Herman’s Flats near Belmunda saw some high points scored, with Phillip Woolmer taking top spot 73.2 points. This was despite very tough fishing conditions, with an overcast, very cold and windy day.


1st Phillip Woolmer - 73.2 points

2nd Adrian Vassie - 40.3 points

3rd Lance Murray - 24.2 points

Ladies Results

1st Christie Dolgner - 23.9 points

2nd Jan Fry - 7.7 points

St Helens Beach turned it on, with club members catching a good range of fish, showing what’s possible from the shore.


1st Phillip Woolmer - 3 Bream, 1 Blubber lip Bream and a nice 2.3 kilogram Grunter.

2nd Christie Dolgner - 8 whiting, 3 bream.

3rd Jan Fry - 5 whiting, 2 bream.

Read More

Marwood Fastest On The Flat

June 17, 2021

Powerhouse cyclist Kyle Marwood set a blistering pace last Sunday, averaging more than 45km/hr to take out the Mackay Cycling Club’s time trial club championships.

The former elite road cyclist showed his class by finishing more than a minute in front of Brendon Brauer in second place. Craig Larsen rounded off the podium with a strong ride to claim third.

The first rider across the line on a road bike (instead of a specialist time trial bike) was Michael Sleeman, who also recorded the day’s fourth fastest time on the 20km course. Jarrod Sampson took fifth, while junior Harrison Ney showed why he’s one to watch for the future, crossing the line in sixth overall (first junior) averaging 41km/hr.

Aram Drake and Calem Wilcox crossed next respectively, still both averaging more than 40km/hr, illustrating the strength and depth of the local cycling club.

The first female over the line also took 12th place overall, showing the class of Tracy Falbo who is becoming known as a time trial specialist. Tracy finished with an average speed of 37.5km/hr and had a comfortable win in the women’s division, finishing a minute clear of Tenille Galea with Kate Hungerford claiming third.

Tom Hall travelled to the Gold Coast, racing in the Condev Construction Junior Tour in the U17s. He rolled the dice in the last stage to take second place in the Criterium and fifth overall in GC.

Read More

Meteors And Meteorettes Are On A Roll

June 17, 2021

The Mcdonald's Mackay Meteors and Meteorettes got the job done against the Gold Coast Basketball Rollers, with two big wins in the set of home games at the Crater in Mackay.

A crowd of over 850 were out in force to watch the teams continue their runs of form, with both teams winning four in a row in the NBL1 North League after last weekend.

Cayla George was the standout for the Meteorettes in their 82-58 drubbing of the Rollers, as she scored an outstanding 26 points, with 23 rebounds and 5 assists.

A strong mention goes to Heidi Freeburn, who put away 12 points, with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

The momentum is continuing with the Meteors and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down, coming out with a 101-89 win against the Gold Coast.

Jerron Jamerson starred with a 22, 6, and 2 of points, rebounds and assists in the side's excellent performance against the Gold Coast Rollers.

New recruit Harrison Froling, who just joined from the Brisbane Bullets, put in a big performance of 22 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists – an instant impact.

Crowd favourite Emmanuel Malou was at it again with a key performance.

Prior to tip off on Friday night, Mackay Basketball proudly acknowledged Brad Rasmussen (The Milkman), who played his 250th game, including with the Meteors in their previous NBL1  win against the Rockhampton Rockets.

It’s his 14th season in the black and red, and he is the Meteors longest serving player, as well as being ‘the most matches played’ record holder.

Mackay Basketball will be at home for the next round, coming up against South West Metro Pirates on Saturday, June 19.

Get out to support them as both teams aim for 5 in a row.

Read More

Down One But Not Defeated

June 17, 2021

Queenslanders will agree that it was a game to forget, but in North Queensland, it was an event to remember.

Game one of State of Origin 2021 made history by being held in a regional city for the first time. With its Covid-clear record and new stadium, Townsville won the right to host the epic clash when the MCG was put out of contention due to the Victorian COVID cluster.

With New South Wales’ 50-6 blitzing of a lacklustre Maroons squad there’s not a lot to report on the game itself, but what will be remembered is the sea of maroon that flooded Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the excitement on the faces of the junior footy players whose parents were lucky enough to score tickets and the thundering chant of ‘Queenslander’ that continued into the dying minutes of the game despite the slaughter.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said securing major events like Townsville’s State of Origin opener was an important part of the government’s economic recovery plan.

“State of Origin will be the most significant sporting event Townsville has ever seen,” she said.

“It’s not just about the footy. This event and the festival of footy we’ve built around the State of Origin opener will support our economic recovery efforts in Townsville.”


Forty-eight trucks of supplies were ordered for State of Origin one, including;

12,000 pies

750kg of North Queensland beef

4,000 kilograms of cheese

15,500 litres of beer

More than 500 litres of Bundaberg rum

Read More

Gymnasts Display Pure Talent At Invitational

June 17, 2021

Gymnasts from Mackay’s Pure Gymnastics Academy dazzled at the 360 Gymnastics Invitational Competition in Brisbane earlier this month, bringing home an impressive haul of silverware.

In the Level 4 open grade, Piper Euler took the overall win which has qualified her for the state championships later this year. Her mother, Jody-Lee Euler, said she was the only gymnast from Mackay to enter the level 4 grade.

“She did so well, especially since there were lots of other big clubs with loads of competitors, so the competition was pretty daunting for her.”

Other Mackay competitors who ranked at the Invitational were Ruby Ruston who placed third overall in level 3, and Mia Ford who placed 6th overall in level 5. All three girls have qualified for the state championships as well as Ruby Smith in level 5.

Coaches Vicki Dutton-Baptie and Brendan Day built Pure Gymnastics Academy on the slogan of ‘Unleash Possibility’.

“Put simply, we use gymnastics to create possibility for kids.

“It is our strong belief that by participating in our great sport at PURE, at any level, we are creating more possibility for kids throughout their life.”

Prior to the invitational, the Pure squad competed in the Mackay Gymnastics Competition which attracted gymnasts from clubs in Mackay as well as far afield as Townsville, Ayre, Gladstone and Yeppoon.


Level 3 – Ruby Ruston – 2nd Overall

Level 3 – Jaylynn Van Tonder – 6th overall

Level 4 open – Piper Euler – 2nd overall

Level 5 under – Ruby Smith – 1st Overall

Level 5 open – Mia Ford – 1st Overall

Level 6 under – Imogen Johns – 2nd Overall

Level 9 – Anthea Campbell – 1st Overall


Squad members who have passed level testing:

LEVEL 3 - Ruby Ruston, Jaylynn Van Tonder, Gracie Parry, Chloe Ratford, Tahnee Greg, Haylee Kenworthy,

LEVL 4 - Piper Euler, Harvey Geeves, Tiarna Walsh, Ivy Martin

LEVEL 6 - Addison Furini, Imogen Johns

LEVEL 9 - Anthea Campbell

Read More

Cutters Go Down To Seagulls, Colts Win Big

June 17, 2021

The Mackay Cutters and colts teams squared up against the Tweed Seagulls over the weekend, with the Cutters unable to break out of their poor run of form in a 16-24 loss at home.

Before the Cutters-Seagulls game was an All-Abilities’ curtain raiser and the Hastings Deering Colts game.

The All Abilities finished 20 to 20, as the Mackay side took on the Mendi Blackhawks, and The Colts won in a fierce second half display, 36-16.

The Cutters continued what has been a challenging start to the season, winning just 2 of their 10 games, and their form didn’t pick up in the Intrust Supercup Round 10.

Tweed have been on the push to cement their top four spot in the competition, giving them everything to play for at BB Print Stadium.

The Seagulls started the game with their backs against the wall, with the Cutters earning repeat sets to no avail – a through line of the entire match.

Tweed opened the scoring early on in just the fifth minute, their only try of the half, which came on a breakaway down the right flank.

The Cutters got their first try of the game in the 13’, with Matius Stone-Dunn breaking through the Tweed line after a well-worked move.

Cutters had a tough period, but remained on top in the first half, scoring 10 minutes later.

It was a tough 4 pointer for Ross Bella, who smashed into two Tweed players in a show of strength that took the Cutters into the break 12-6.

Brimson’s double so early in the second half for the Tweed’s ended the Cutters momentum, and they scored again quickly after.

Cutters Jesse Dee crossed with 14 minutes left on the clock, but it wasn’t enough for the Cutters.

Dee would finish the game as QCCS Man of the Match.

Mackay prop Jack Brock lamented Mackay's lack of composure post-match.

“It was another frustrating one; they ran a few tries on us in that second half and that’s what cost us,” Brock said.

“We played well enough to win, but at times tonight we went away from what we've been training and trying to fix.

Next week, the Cutters will travel to Davies Park to face Souths Logan Magpies.

Read More

Records Topple At Marina Run

June 11, 2021

BMA Mackay Marina Run is a signature event on the Mackay Road Runners’ calendar. The half marathon is flat and fast, attracting runners from across the country to target swift times.

There is a run for every fitness level, from the 3km junior dash to the 5km fun run, 8km run or the 21.1km half marathon.

Known as Australia’s greatest female distance runner, local Benita Willis was an event ambassador and said she started running as a 10-year-old.

“I grew up near the beach just north of Mackay (Bucasia). At low tide, it was great for running,” Ms Willis said.

“My dad loved running, and I started running with him. Running has allowed me to travel the world, meet some incredible people, see some fantastic places and hear some inspirational stories. I enjoy running to keep fit as I get older; it’s such a time-efficient exercise. I’m a little busier now during the day (then when I was a full-time athlete) and running helps me maintain my fitness goals when busy!”

In 2004 Willis achieved what is arguably one of the most significant victories in Australian athletics when she won the World Cross Country Championships. She is the only Australian ever to win this race — arguably the hardest race in the world.

The 2021 event was described by Mackay Road Runners as an outstanding success with near record entrants across all events.

“Former Olympians, self-professed proud Mackay 'chick', Benita Willis and Gold Coast runner, Michael Shelley were the awesome race ambassadors of the event,” Ms Tilse from the Mackay Road Runners said.

“Benita and Michael generously mingled with runners and supporters all weekend starting with a meet and greet at Moss on Wood on Friday night, race pack collection day on Saturday afternoon and running with entrants on Sunday at the major event.”

The perfect running conditions were ideal for personal best times with the toppling of race records including the 21km male winner, Tim Vincent who smashed the race record by two minutes.  

Louis McAfee beat his own 2018 race record in the 8km by twenty-four seconds with female 8km winner, Amber Johnson slashing two minutes of the female record.  

The five-kilometre fun run records remain intact as well as the majority of the 3km junior records. The very competitive 5km Corporate Teams challenge as usual was a very competitive affair with One Stop Medical Team 1 taking out the top spot just missing their own race record by one minute.

Read More

Cracker Essgee Takes Out Inaugural Northern Jewel

June 11, 2021

Finishing line photo of Race #5 TAB Amateur Cup Open Handicap 1800m won by “Best Hoffa” followed by “Electrified” and then “Rocco” in third place. Photo credit: Official Racecourse Photographer Jim Law Photography.

Winner of Race #3 Starcut Flowers Open Handicap 1300M, “Brad” trained by Mick Bannon and ridden by Carl Spry with owners.

“Cracker Essgee”, winner of Race #4 Northern Jewel QTIS 3-Y-O Handicap 1300M with trainer Michael McIellan, apprentice jockey Zac Lloyd and some very happy owners.

A large crowd, fine sunny weather and capacity fields were the order of the day at the recent Mackay TAB Amateurs race meeting on Saturday 29th May, 2021.

The feature race being the TAB Amateur Cup, was won by “Best Hoffa” trained at Townsville by Alby Molino ridden by apprentice Marnu Potgieter.

After winning last year’s Mackay Cup and running an unlucky second in the Cairns Cup, “Best Hoffa” will be once again set for a northern cups campaign.

A very strong field of sprinters assembled for the Starcut Flowers Open 1300m.  “Moreno” ridden by Chelsea Jokic adopted daring tactics to be leading by 10 lengths at the halfway mark.

“Moreno” tired to finish fifth with the eventual winner being “Brad”, trained locally by Mick Bannon and ridden by Carl Spry.  “Brad” will now be set for the Newmarket Handicap run on Friday 16th July here in Mackay.

A new race on Mackay’s programme was the $100,000 Northern Jewel, a race for QTIS three-year-old horses.  It was won by “Cracker Essgee” trained in Townsville by Michael McIellan ridden by Brisbane apprentice Zac Lloyd.  The three-year-old has now won four races on the trot.

Other winners on the day were “I Love this Hippy” (Jared Wehlow), “Charles Seven” (Ricky Vale) and “Lefkas Island” (Olivia Cairns).

Next race meeting is Thursday 17th June, 2021

Joe Hynes

Racing Manager, Mackay Turf Club

Read More

On The Green With Goosies

June 11, 2021

There is a lot happening at Goosies with the return of Thursday bowls in a pair’s competition of 2x4x2. Friday bowls are also re-commencing from today, three bowl pairs, with the kitty toucher jackpot standing at $600. A new competition is starting this Sunday, 13th. It will be a pairs comp and will run from 2pm until 4.30pm in a warehouse format. All bowlers including warehouse bowlers are welcome. Nomination forms are now up on the board for these games. Please support your club and keep these comps running.

We are very proud to have been involved with the schools in promoting bowls and congratulate the teams that have won this year. If your children or grandchildren are at a loss for something to do, make enquiries at Goosies about their free coaching programmes.

The B grade pairs has now been decided, and Ken Lane and John Kennell are the new club champions. They defeated Ray Walker and Vaughn Munroe in a very hard fought and close game.

Our second division Pennants team had a close win over Souths Suburban on Saturday at Souths. Chris Banney’s team had a big win while Gary Simmons’ and Ian McDonald’s teams both had losses. However, Chris had a big enough margin to take the overall win.

Both the third division teams lost to Souths at Souths.

On Sunday, second division played Valley at North Mackay. Chris Banney’s team and Ron Bowers’ team both had good wins but Gary Simmons’ team lost. Final score meant North Mackay went down by one shot.

The third division under skips Peter Grant and Ray McCarthy both had good wins against Mackay club at North Mackay. The fifth division results were not known.

The only social results available at time of writing was Monday, when Darren Laurens and Lawrence Borg won from Pat O’Neil and Ann Smith.


Wednesday 2 June, 100 ladies from most clubs in the local District gathered to celebrate our 73rd Anniversary. After a friendly bowls game we sat down to a delicious roast lunch followed by the irreplaceable Cent Sale.

Pennant season is under way and Division One is so far undefeated. Games against Airlie Beach scored 84 v 51 at home and 75 v 46 away.

Read More

Swans Debut First Indigenous Round Guernsey

June 11, 2021

Mackay’s Eastern Swans AFL club held their one and only Indigenous Round on Saturday against North Mackay Saints, as they missed out last week due to a bye; they took the opportunity to unveil the clubs first Indigenous Jersey last Thursday night at training, ahead of the game.

The Swans indigenous round falls on the traditional Kup Murri meal – a traditional Torres Strait Islander feasting ceremony, where indigenous communities come together on the day.

The Indigenous Round feed was put on by Arthur Phil Awang and the first cook's crew after the games.

The Mackay team's new kit was designed by local artist Sam Neilson, who designed the jersey in a painting she calls ‘Becoming One’, before getting it printed onto the kits.

“It was pretty fast how the organisation of it happened,” Ms Neilson said.

“I always try and get a logo, or a motto that companies go by and then it goes from there; it took me about two hours [to paint].”

Ms Neilson has been designing shirts for some time, making her own shirt for her work at Phoenix Place Disability Services, as well as the Sharkies, who wore her shirt last round.

The kit is designed to illustrate the Swans history: two clubs joining together as one, which is illustrated in the design with the symbol of a meeting place.

“I like promoting and talking about culture – it’s just who I am and my grandad has always said to me that it’s important to talk about.”

Ms Nielson’s background is Ghungalu and she prides herself on her culture, representing herself in an effort to educate.

The hands on the jersey represent the coaches, players, and committee who put in the effort to make the Swans who they are, and the boomerang is for the supporters and families that come back and support every year.

Sadly, the premier men and women had tough fights and lost their games 29-57 and 14-69, respectively, against the Saints.

Channel Seven came down on Saturday to film clips of the round and the jerseys were auctioned off after the men’s round.

On top of all of the excitement around the club’s new kit, the Swans received a present all the way from Sydney: a signed ball and jersey from the Sydney Swans, as well as a short video that sent love to our local Swannies.

Read More

Semi-Finals And Scroungers At Sarina

June 11, 2021

KAREN Baker, Carmel Kirwan and Ivy Gidding have advanced to the final of Sarina Bowls Club’s ladies triples championships.

They defeated Liz Owen, Clare Stevens and Ethel Gaw 23-8 in the semi-final, what was one of only two competition matches played on the weekend due to players being involved in pennants at other clubs.

In men’s B singles, Ross O’Neil defeated Dennis Cook 25-19.

Lots of laughter was heard at the club on Sunday afternoon as several bowlers enjoyed a game of scroungers.

By Rita Hughes

Read More

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ Chloe Lebeter

June 11, 2021

CHLOE Lebeter has been lighting up the track with her feather-light, Daihatsu Charade ‘Pocket Rocket’, and the 13-year-old has no qualms about racing against the boys, picking up her first win in Collinsville in April and placing at Maryborough in the series.

The young race car driver has been in the garage since she was little, finding a love for racing through her parents – both race car drivers back in the day.

“I helped dad when he used to crash – he drove a wingless and I went and watched, thought it looked sweet!” Chloe said.

Her dad was all for it, but mum was a harder sell.

“She said no, I didn’t think that was fair! Mum was a bit iffy [on the first race] – she didn’t really watch much of it.”

“She would sit so far away, just so she didn’t see me [when we first started].”

“I was a little nervous on that first race; Dad taught me to drive at Eungella at 8 and we would train at a friend’s paddock.”

In such a male dominated sport, Chloe has put her head down and proved that she can not only compete with the best of the boys but take home the gold.

It’s been a long road for Chloe, who had a reputation as a bit of a rev-head within her family, as well as on the speedway.

“They give you a lot of rubbish from them here and there, but, oh well! I get really mad, really quickly and I just run into them.”

She crashed out and lost a wheel at Maryborough, as well as a series of other crashes that leaves her mum nervous every time.

“The first one was at Rocky, when she got T-boned and in October last year, she hit the fence and rolled [the car] – as well as hitting oil at Maryborough where she spun out, then got hit by another car and lost the back wheel!” said her mum, Stacey.

She’s been racing now since she was 10 and there’s no slowing down for the track star, as she’s set to join up for the Top Stars.

The competitions are divided into Top Stars and New Stars – with Chloe moving into the experienced bracket in July.

“It’ll get a bit more challenging for her, you have to have been racing for two years,” said Stacey.

She wants to keep up with the racing but has aspirations to become a chemical engineer as well and her favourite parts about the racing keep her coming back for more.

“Meeting lots of people – that’s cool – as well as the adrenaline and just having fun, really,” Chloe said.

“When you come up to the green lights, it’s like, woah.”

Her little sister turns 10 in November, letting her put on the race suit, and she has even more of a “wild one” reputation than Chloe.

Chloe’s not worried though, she’s confident she’s the best racer in the family.

“I’ll just beat her. Already better than Dad – I’ve won more than him! He used to give me a lot of advice, but apparently I do better on my own now.”

Read More

The Best Of The Bush On Show

June 11, 2021

The Isaac region played host to one of Queensland’s oldest agricultural shows, with the Clermont Show recently celebrating its 152nd year.

The great live entertainment; the brightly coloured ribbons decorating livestock; the knee-high roosters with their accompanying crow; and a pumpkin weighing in at whopping 158.5kgs were a treat for the senses for all who attended.

Hundreds of locals and visitors participated in the dozens of competitions, showcasing their skills, artwork, produce and livestock.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said the Clermont Show – The Isaac Region’s Show emphasises the best the region has to offer.

“Local producers got the chance to show off the quality of their stock and produce, highlighting the finest in rural living and celebrating the people at our core,” Mayor Baker said.

“We have so much to be proud of. The long history of the Clermont Show traces back to the very origins of agricultural exhibitions in Queensland and it even pre-dates Brisbane’s famed Ekka.”

Mayor Baker said she is constantly amazed by the large community involvement each year.

“Well done and thank you to the Clermont Rodeo and Show Society for hosting another cracker event, and all of the volunteers who made the show possible.”

Read More

End Of Season Success For Surf Lifesaving Club

June 4, 2021

Swimmers, savers, boarders and battlers were recognised when Mackay SLSC held their annual awards night last month.  

Club President Brendan Smith opened the night recognising the club’s 70 years of “Vigilance & Service” as the guardians of Harbour Beach. This was a historic milestone for the club and reflects the long and valued association the club has with the Mackay community.

Mr Smith said, “Being a volunteer organisation there are many people who make sacrifices to contribute to the running of various aspects of the club, this ensures that we can keep our beach safe for the Mackay Community.

“The awards night was a way of recognising those people who make a difference, from our volunteer workforce who run major carnivals such as the North Australian Titles, our Nippers program and the Tri-Series events, our very own Qld State Title silver medalists the “Box Bellies” Boat crew, life member award recipients, our generous sponsors and most importantly our Club Captain, Patrol teams and patrolling members.

“As a club we are proud of the achievements of all our members and the evening was a great way to celebrate together, after a long and busy season.  We are now starting to plan for an even bigger and better season, with the club’s AGM taking place on the 13 June at 3pm at the Surf Club.”


President's award for ‘Service and Vigilance - Angela Blair

Life Membership - Tony Caris & Greg Born

Volunteer of the year - Josh Grant

Junior Lifesaver of the year - Klara Close

Bronze Medallion of the year - Jose DeSousa

Surf Rescue Certificate of the year - Jesse Holmstrom

Trainer & Assessor of the year - Michal Blair

Coach of the year - Stan Ridland

Senior Competitor / Team of the year - Mackay surf boat crew (Stan Ridland, Damian Watts, Craig Hallam, David Fitzmaurice and Benjamin Madden)

Highest patrol hours & 100+ hours - Joseph Obermeier and Angela Blair

Patrol Captain of the year - Michael Read

Patrol of the year - Patrol 8 (Michal Blair, Peter Crowley, Michael Wilson, Jose DeSousa, Joseph Obermeier)

Volunteer workforce North Australian surf titles  -

25+ years Peter Marshall and Michal Blair

20+ years Ian Read

15+ years Michael Tibaldi, Brett Read, Rod Leach, Michael Read

10+ years Peter Crowley

5+ years Alison and Murray Friswell, Brendan and Christine Webb Smith

Recognition of Major sponsors - Craig’s Couriers and M&P Services

Read More

Mackay Lad Becomes Burdekin Golf Champion

June 4, 2021

Local Mackay junior golfer Kyle Dowde headed north to Ayr for the Junior Home Hill and Ayr Golf Open over the weekend, taking home the 18-hole winners medal back to the Sugar City.

The combined two days saw two Burdekin Champions, with Haley Jenkins and Kyle Dowde being crowned both girl and boy winners, respectively.

Kyle had bested both 18-hole events on both days, beating out both Jack Edwards and Finn Couper, who has represented North Queensland in golf at previous events.

There was a good turnout over the two-day event, which started on a fine but chilly morning.

The wind played havoc on the second day, which reflected in the scores, but Dowde was still able to play well, finishing off a well-worked weekend of results for the young Mackay prodigy.

The 18 Hole Girls was a back and forth between two Townsville stars on the day, with Haley Jenkins winning on day one, runner up being Chloe Armstrong, and day two being won by Armstrong, with Haley Jenkins being runner up.

Special mention to Ryley Malone who made a hole in one.

In the other 9-hole combined, the day was won by Ayr local Byron Suttcliffe, with Cairns’ Jesse Avery runner up, and the 9 Hole combined was won by William Jennings on day two, in a playoff from Byron Suttcliffe.

The next Junior tournament is set to be played for the July School Holidays in Mackay for the Sugar Circuit, where more of our homegrown talent will have an opportunity to face other exceptional Queensland talent.

Read More

Coast To Coast With Dragons Abreast Cancer Survivors

June 4, 2021

Dragons Abreast is a worldwide movement of Breast Cancer survivors to be a part of an understanding network for survivors who participate in the sport of dragon boat paddling.

The activity draws out the innate qualities of breast cancer survivors – hope, inspiration, excitement, and determination.

In 1996, Dr. Don McKenzie, from University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada challenged the prevailing medical advice that women treated for breast cancer should avoid upper body exercise, in fear of developing lymphedema, a debilitating and chronic side effect of treatment.

Dr. McKenzie, a Professor in the Department of Sports Medicine and an exercise physiologist, developed a program to disprove this.

The rest, as they say, is history; at the end of his dragon boating program, none of the volunteers had lymphedema, the medical consensus had changed and Dragons Abreast was born.

Now, over 20 years later, Dragons Abreast has membership all over the world, with Dragons Abreast Australia boasting over 1200 Australia-wide.

The Mackay branch is celebrating 16 years in 2021, and the club is always looking for new members.

“The reason that we do it is for health; fun, fitness and friendship, that’s what we say,” Dragons Abreast Mackay president Cheryl Machen said.

They recently attended the Coast to Coast Dragon Boat festival on the Sunshine Coast, where they joined up with the Hobart and Canberra Dragons Abreast clubs to compete as one team.

They came home with three bronze medals from the regatta.

The club trains Sunday mornings at 7am, Tuesday and Thursday at 4 o’clock, as well as a 3 o’clock Sunday the 6 of June come and try day, at the Marina in front of the Breakwater Restaurant.

“It can be a bit daunting when you do something like this. For new people, don’t be scared of it, you don’t have to be really fit – that comes later!

“It’s difficult to start, but we would love to see breast cancer survivors come and try; we encourage people to bring a friend, a husband, whatever – just for moral support.”

Read More

Dodds Takes Handicap Trophy In Grove 10km

June 4, 2021

Shane Dodds was first over the line to claim the Grove 10km handicap trophy in the Mackay Road Runners event last weekend.

Consistency was the key as he wound in the runners ahead of him, while managing to stay clear of those who followed. Matthew Graves came second while Christian Smith set a smoking pace to cross in third while claiming fastest overall time of the day.

Demi Caldwell was the fastest female in the 10km and also placed as the third female. Ainslie Heinke and Alana Knesevic were first and second across the line.

Heavy rain clouds let loose on runners and set up crew as they congregated at the registration table prior to the start, however, once racing commenced at 7am, runners escaped any further downpours.  The cool conditions set the stage for fast times as more than forty runners took part in the event.

Jo Hughes was the first female on handicap in the 5km ahead of junior runner, Lily Leven who clocked the quickest female 5km time.  Comeback kid, Peter Wright claimed gold in the 5km handicap start race ahead of Ross Connor, Andrew Short, Bill Morgan, Luke Leven, Hamish Donnollan, Leanne Connor and Stuart Sprott.

Excellent performances also came from trail running enthusiasts who backed up well after their recent endurance event at Katoomba including Ainslie Heinke, Tim Caddy, Jaylene Harrison, Matt Graves and Michael Scholer.

Werner Van der Linde was in fine form in his first 10km with the club.

Read More

Mountain Biking Classic Brings International Flair To Mackay

June 4, 2021

The MAD Mountain Bike Classic delivered two days of exciting cross country mountain bike racing in Mackay over the weekend in the second edition of the annual event.

The double-header achieved classification for the first time on both the international (UCI) and AusCycling National Cup Event calendars.

In the last year, The ACT’s Zoe Cuthbert established herself as one of the fastest riders in Australia, and she continued to deliver on her impressive run of form through the tough Mackay trails, powering from the start line to lead the riders into the single track.

Isabella Flint of Tasmania battled Queenslander Holly Lubcke for the Elite Women’s silver medal, with a small crash from Lubcke late in proceedings handing Flint the second step on the podium.

With the event awarding riders with both international ranking points and significant prize money, a large New Zealand contingent travelled to Mackay.

In the Elite Men’s race, New Zealander Samuel Shaw set the early pace, leading for the first  three laps from a tight early group that included Cameron Ivory of South Australia and Sam Fox from Tassy.

Fox won in the first round of the weekend.

Ivory and Shaw finished the seven-lap event on the podium in second and third place, respectively.

On the second day of the double-header event, Zoe Cuthbert again led proceedings from start to finish in the Elite Women.

Holly Lubcke secured the second, starting confidently and then consolidating her early efforts with a mid-race push. Isabella Flint finished third.

Sunday’s Elite Men’s saw Saturday’s winner Sam Fox leading early, with Cameron Ivory and Samuel Shaw in a tight tussle behind. In the last two laps, Ivory made an exciting pass in a downhill berm that ultimately won him the race.

Sam Fox finished a close second behind Ivory, and Samuel Shaw rounded out the podium with his second third-place of the double-header weekend.

The Under 19 Junior category delivered the largest fields of the weekend’s racing in Mackay, receiving dedicated international sanctioning that would reward riders with points in the UCI Junior Series.

In the Junior Women’s race, Hayley Oakes of NSW took the win over the two days.

The Junior Men’s race saw Jacob Turner (NZ) record his second win of the weekend, earning gold in a sprint finish against Adam Francis (NZ), with Darcy Harris (QLD) finishing third.

Read More

Fox Superflow Mountain Bike Gravity Racing

May 27, 2021

Superflow racing returned to Mackay with a two-day event supported by the Mackay Regional Council and endorsed by the local MAD MTB Club competitors over the weekend.

Riders came from all over Queensland to compete on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 May at the event hub based at Rowallan MTB Park.

Secondary school students also tested their racing skills in the Rocky Trail Academy race on the Friday.

In the event, the competitors rode to the starts un-timed and then completed three racetracks at Mackay's Rowallan MTB Park.

The race had an excellent turnout with solid local participation and also a great out-of-region visiting crowd.

Local bikers were able to rediscover their home trails and rekindle their love for mountain bike racing on their home track.

With support from the Mackay Regional Council, the Fox Superflow had been picked specifically for the Mackay trails to offer a unique racing experience in the region.

"We have a wide range of mountain biking races that we have organised across NSW and the ACT since 2008 and launched into QLD and VIC in recent years,” said one of the owners of Rocky Trail Entertainment, Juliane Wisata.

“The Superflow events are gaining in popularity, because so many different riders can spend all day together out on course and truly 'race the way they ride.’”

The Mackay Christian College won the outright Rocky Trail Champion School Award for most points achieved by a participating school, based on the results on the day.

In the Fox Superflow, Elite racer Ethan Weiss from the MAD MTB Club clocked in the fastest time outright, with fellow Mackay and U17's racer Kristen Rowlands winning the overall women's division.

Read More

BMX Mad May Weekend Carnival In Mackay

May 27, 2021

On Saturday, 22nd May, over 200 riders from all over Queensland converged at Mackay and District BMX Club’s Mackay track to compete in the MM Electrical Mackay’s MAD MAY Carnival.

Riders aged from two to 50+ travelled from as far as Gladstone, Townsville, Rockhampton, Central Highlands, Burdekin, Moranbah, Proserpine, and Sarina to compete in the tournament.

Some of the riders that vied for the coveted Superclass Men’s title were MAD Mackay riders Brendan Sant, Peter Little, Kai Sanim, Cooper Comerford, Jack Armstrong, and Ryan Tickle, along with Proserpine’s Will Allen.

The competition was extremely fierce over the weekend.

The Women’s Superclass riders included Townsville’s Ashleigh Gunn, Isabella Allen from Proserpine, and April Seiler of Rockhampton.

Notable Junior Superclass Men’s entrants included Connor Parish, Tyler Smith, Tyler Morgan representing the Mackay and District BMX, as well as Oliver Rivers from Moranbah, who performed extremely well on the day.

Junior Superclass Women included local girl Sarah Tickle from Mackay, and Hannah Spratt from Proserpine.

Racing commenced at 3pm at the Snow Wright Crt, Beaconsfield, MMEM Mackay Track on what was a pleasant day weatherwise.

On the day, the MM Electrical Superclass Men winner was 16-year-old Atherton rider Aiden Smith, 2nd was MAD BMX’s Brendan Sant and 3rd Cooper Comerford (MAD BMX).

The CBG Partners Superclass Women was won by Townsville’s Ashleigh Gunn, 2nd was Proserpine’s Isabella Allan, and 3rd April Seiler.


Superclass Men

1st Aiden Smith

2nd Brendan Sant

3rd Cooper Comerford

4th Peter Little

6th Kai Sanim

7th Brock De Silva

9th Jack Armstrong

10th Ryan Tickle

Junior Superclass Men

1st Oliver Rivers (Moranbah)

2nd Connor Parish (MAD BMX)

3rd Brodie Wilson (MAD BMX)

Junior Superclass Women

1st Darcie Moore (Rockhampton)

2nd Sarah Tickle (MAD BMX)

3rd Hannah Spratt (Proserpine)

Read More

On The Green With Goosies

May 27, 2021

With pennants competitions taking regular playing days and the club’s key media representative on holiday there was less to report last week due to no social results being available.

It has been an up and down week for the men’s pennants teams, with a report that the three division two teams lost to Airlie Beach.

Division three earned 4.5 points with a draw and a win, and fifth division had four points with one loss and one win.

Located in North Mackay right next to the beautiful Gooseponds, the undercover green at Goosies has come into its own this year with the inclement weather. New players are always welcome.

Read More

The Family That Rules Athletics

May 27, 2021

BOTH Oliver and Toby Rule are their fathers’ sons; they’re impeccable athletes who, alongside their dad Justin Rule, have competed, won, and broken records at the Mackay Athletics Carnival.

The boys have brought in an impressive haul at the Mackay Athletics Carnival: Oliver placing second in 800m and 1500m, and first in Steeplechase, setting a Mackay record.

Toby is a record-breaker as well, setting local records in the 1500m and in 2000m Steeplechase before making gold standard in 800, 15000, 400, 200, javelin, triple jump and long jump.

Alongside his two sons, Justin competes in the master’s competition of the carnival, and is an excellent runner, breaking seven Mackay records, with gold standards in 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500, not to mention his long-jump, triple-jump, javelin, hammer throw and 3000m steeplechase wins.

The boys are ecstatic about being able to train and compete alongside their dad.

“Training and running alongside Dad is great, he pushes us because he knows we have the talent; without hard work you don’t win races and without a team of people behind you, it all doesn’t happen. I enjoy watching his races as it has taught me a lot,” Oliver said.

What’s spectacular about the boys’ achievements is they’ve only been competing for a couple of years, with Toby starting out in 2018 after finding his passion for running during Cross Country competition, as well as a ceaseless energy in soccer.

“My soccer coach always called me Tarnish Toby, because I always ran and never gave up,” said Toby Rule.

Justin saw the potential in the boys and started training at Pioneer, seeing that to get to the next level the training needed to change so he started running with the boys, urging him to get back into competing.

Read More

Dying Minute Defeat For Cutters

May 27, 2021

A tense tussle and rollercoaster of emotions sums up the Intrust Super Cup game between the Mackay Cutters and the Northern Pride during Round 8 last weekend.

The match was the BHP Indigenous Round and it was a horror start for the Cutters, with the Pride crossing three times in the first 15 minutes of the match.

A classic northern rivalry between the two sides, this derby had it all, with the Northern Pride crashing over the line in the opening minute with Chris Ostwald the Captain leading from the front, dummying from dummy half to score the opening points.

Six minutes later the Pride were in again through Joshua Stuckey, through a powerful pass from Ostwald. The Cutters were then down a man for the remainder of the match with halfback Brandon Finnegan sent off for a high tackle. The Pride took advantage immediately with Bernard Lewis out on the wing stretching over the line for the Pride’s third within 15 minutes.

The Cutters finally got on the scoreboard in the nineteenth minute through Brenton Baira after a perfectly placed high bomb. Baira had the elevation to cleanly take the catch and powered over the line. An unforgettable moment for the debutant.

This was the start of an all-heart comeback for the Cutters, who were quickly in again through Michael Bell before the half, but the Pride stretched it back out with a crossfield kick, scoring out wide, to head to the dressing rooms up 18 – 12.

Mackay’s Cutters drew first blood two minutes into the second half through another perfectly weighted kick, Keanu Wainohu-Kemp emphatically putting the home side back into contention.

Five minutes later, the Cutters hit the lead for the first time, the young squad slicing through the defence and showing they can match it with the best, despite being a player down on the field.

The next thirty minutes was an arm wrestle and both teams defended fiercely, until the 78th minute where the Pride finally broke through, Grant Anderson scoring the match winner for the Pride.

A thrilling contest despite the heartbreak for the Cutters, going down to the Pride in the dying minutes, 22 – 20.

Read More

Mighty Mackay Make It A Double At The Crater

May 27, 2021

Mackay is looking unstoppable this season as both the Meteors and Meteorettes made it two-from-two in their NBL1 conference matches against Rockhampton last weekend.

With a strong home crowd at the Crater, the McDonalds Mackay Meteorettes were the first to take the court against the Cyclones. Following their massive 52-point victory against Cairns the weekend before, the Meteorettes were fizzing to put on another strong show.

They ladies didn’t disappoint, with a crushing 95 – 43 victory with dual MVP Heidi Freeburn leading from the front, backed by Australian WNBL star Cayla George. Freeburn and George clocked up an impressive 23 and 25 points respectively. George’s defensive capability shone as she took an amazing 16 rebounds while Freeburn added to the team tally with 7 assists.

The men were equally as impressive, defeating the Rockhampton Rockets 95 – 81.

Team captain Chris Cedar took charge, racking up 24 points for the McDonalds Meteors. In the third quarter he shot nearly 60 per cent from the 3-point sector. His dominant performance across the court also included 9 assists and 7 rebounds.

US import player Jerron Jamerson showed his class adding 21 points to the team tally and coming away with three rebounds.

The defensive efforts of forward Viliami Foketi were well noted as he kept Rockhampton from adding to their tally on multiple occasions, a valuable asset as the Rocky side came within two points of Mackay, before the Meteors pulled away on the fourth quarter to win by more than 10.

The next home games for Mackay are on Friday 11 June, against the Gold Coast.

Read More

Mixed Bag For Magpies Senior Rugby League

May 27, 2021

The Mackay Magpies Senior Rugby League teams have had a mixed couple of weekend fixtures against Moranbah and Sarina in their U20, Reserves, and A Grade Men’s, and Women’s teams.

Starting out two weeks ago, the Maggies had their first taste of Saturday Night Football at home, under the lights of Sologinkin Oval.

850 fans came out to the ground to witness all four of Mackay’s senior sides face the Sarina Crocs in some extremely physical performances.

The U20s steamrolled the Sarina side, finishing with a score of 42-10.

Following that game came the tightly contested match between Sarina and Mackay’s A grade Women, who came out on top of their opponents 20-14.

Before the women’s match, the A grade girls were presented with their jerseys by the Mackay Junior Girls team in a symbolic gesture.

The reserves and A grade men’s fixtures were tense affairs, as the Sarina teams wouldn’t be beaten lightly, but the Magpies came out the victors on the day.

Reserves finished up with a close score of 24-16.

A Grade score was 24-18, with some stalwart performances from Brendan White and 5’8 Bailley Black proving the difference between the sides.

An exceptional string of performances that ended in four from four for the Magpies who fought hard for the points.

Last weekend was a different story, with results against Moranbah Miners being the almost complete opposite to those against Sarina – three losses and one draw.

The A Grade, U20, and Women’s sides each losing their games, while the reserves came out of the weekend with a draw.

It’s been not too bad a season for the Pies, as they head in the right direction performance wise.

Of particular note has been the bleeding of new players, as juniors’ prospects make their first team debuts, proving the worth of the superb juniors coaching and infrastructure the Magpies possess.

Read More

Hughes Takes Sarina Singles Crown

May 27, 2021

An excited Rita Hughes won the ladies open singles title over Be Be Smith at Sarina Bowls Club.

The final was hard-fought and ended in a 26-20 win to Rita, her first in A grade.

She has been playing for about eight years, and is the club’s ladies secretary and fundraiser.

Sarina greens were alive with competition bowls over the weekend with some great games being played.


Ladies pairs Semi-Finals: Clare Stevens, Ivy Henshaw d Coral Bradford, Ivy Giddings 24-19.  

Ladies Triples: Karen Baker, Ivy Giddings, Carmel Kirwan d Cheryl Fuller, Sudi Blinco, Doris Barnes 26-13.


Men’s Consistency: John Petersen d Allan Summerville 110-101.  

Men’s Semi-Final B Pairs: Noel Tegg, Sam Campion d Dennis Cook, Bill Roots 26-16.

Men’s A pairs: Brad Betteins, Col Gleeson d Ross O`Neil, Harold Mansfield 25-6; Ron Perkins, Brian Adams d Dennis Bradford, Doug Giddings 26-10.

Read More

Your Sport In Our Pages (Editor's Note)

May 31, 2021

What a weekend of sport it was for Mackay, from the agonizing defeat in the dying minutes for our courageous Cutters in the Intrust Super Cup, to the magnificent two-from-two victories put on by our mighty Meteors and Meteorettes at the Crater. The standard of sport on display here week after week is something special. Not to mention our talented athletes on two wheels, with BMX and mountain biking both holding big events.

One of the things we pride ourselves on at Mackay and Whitsunday Life is the diversity of our reporting. We do our best to include a range of sport and entertainment in every edition. Being a locally owned publication, we can’t be everywhere at once with our camera, so if you have an event you would like covered, please feel free to reach out. If I can’t make it in person, I can give you options on how your event can still be published in our newspaper, for your club members to cherish. It’s free for your sporting club to promote an upcoming event or have your results published.

Also a warm welcome to our new journalist, Declan Durrant, who has recently moved to the Whitsundays to join our team. Declan’s passion is football, so our local clubs are in for a treat to have an experienced player and coach looking after their sports reports.

Read More

A Legacy Of Rugby League In The USA

May 27, 2021

Meet The Co-Founder Of America’s Most Successful Rugby League Team In History

NRL is an iconic part of our nation’s identity. The fact it started in rebellion embodies the Aussie spirit of not taking things lying down, if we can make something better, we will.

Daryl Howland’s passion for the game is undeniable. After a few short years playing and coaching both union and league in the USA, he was pulling on the red, white and blue, representing the United States in rugby league. But just playing the game wasn’t what truly sparked his passion. He wanted to see the game evolve, so with the help of financial backers and a business partner, he co-founded the Jacksonville Axemen, who ended up becoming the most successful rugby league team in the United States.

He’s the man who took rugby league to the level it is in America today, but Mackay’s Daryl Howland says he just got lucky.

It was a fortuitous meeting in the island of Corfu that started an incredible chain of events that would eventually see Howland co-own multiple rugby league teams in the United States.

After chasing his dream of playing rugby league overseas, his adventure took him to the Greek Islands where he befriended American’s who had recently graduated from the American Air Force Academy. They played rugby union and invited him to the city of Boston, so on a whim before he planned on returning home, Howland booked a flight to Boston.

“I was given an opportunity to play and coach rugby union in Boston, and am forever grateful to the Charles River Rugby Club for starting my USA career. Then in 1997 I had a chance to continue my passion and play rugby league in the USA, thanks to the efforts of a guy named David Niu,” Howland said.

The Queenslander ended up living in the United States for 22 years, where he had one of the most influential hands in the sport of rugby league in the land of the free.

“I started playing league in 1997 and once I became a resident, I was eligible for the USA team,” Howland said.

He played for the United States in 1999 in rugby league world cup qualifiers and also coached the USA Student team in the Student World Cup in Ireland and the UK. He played for the USA in the emerging Nations World Cup in 2000 before moving to Florida.

“At that stage all the rugby league in America was really centred up the north east, so I kept traveling north to play rugby league while I worked in Florida,” he said.

In 2005, he took a group of friends from America to Australia to watch a State of Origin game.

“They were just blown away, not so much by the game itself, but as a product,” Howland said.

With his business partner Drew Slover, they had created the Jacksonville Axemen less than a year later and secured a home stadium at the University of North Florida.

“It took me a while to look at rugby league as a product that could be sold to people who had never seen it before. I loved the game for what it is, but I had to look past that to understand how it could become an attraction to Americans.

“Let’s find a way to market it, and let’s find ways of introducing new fans to the game. So, we had pregame bands, we engaged charities to donate gate takings to in exchange for game publicity, we had $1 beer.

“Within three seasons, we had 2,500 people through the gate each game.”

At the time, Howland was managing, playing and coaching the team, as well as working a full-time job.

“For the first five years it was 80 to 90 hours per week.

“My boss was extremely supportive; without him it wouldn’t have happened. He sponsored us, he introduced me to other businessmen and brought people to the game.”

In 2008, the team got wind that Russel Crowe was thinking of taking the Rabbitohs to the USA for an exhibition game.

“The game was meant to be in Austin Texas because the Governor at the time was friends with Russel. But I thought, there’s no league teams in Texas. So, we got hold of Russel and he came to Jacksonville for a tour and thought it was great.

“They were in partnership with the Leeds Rhinos, so for Australia Day in 2008, the South Sydney Rabbitohs played Leeds Rhinos in Jacksonville. 12,500 people from 9 different countries showed up.

“It was a big show, Dennis Rodman was there, one of the guys from Wu Tang Clan, undoubtedly that was our big break, we brought this to town, and I don’t think the franchise would have had the success it did without that event,” Howland said.

College football players started showing a notable interest in rugby league, and the Jacksonville Axemen went on to become undefeated national champions in 2010.

As the game’s popularity grew, Daryl and Drew created a minor league competition under the Axemen in Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach as well as a reserve Jacksonville team to foster new growth in the sport. In 2012 the Jacksonville Axemen again recorded a perfect season, going undefeated throughout the entire conference and winning the national championship.

From 2014, Daryl and the team’s management recognised the ongoing cost to travel north for games was becoming problematic. Rather than having a constant cost of airfares, hotels and meals every time the team traveled north, they set up a Southern Conference with three brand new premier grade teams; the Atlanta Rhinos, Tampa Mayhem and Central Florida Warriors to join the Jacksonville Axemen.

The parent company Daryl and Drew owned had grown to engage 150 players in rugby league across the south east of the USA. They also hosted international teams in training camps as a way of keeping the Jacksonville brand at the top of rugby league in America.

Daryl came home to Australia in 2017 but the legacy he helped to establish is still in full force in America today. Now there are six teams in the southern conference and the Axemen continue their dominance, becoming undefeated national champions again in 2018.

Read More

New CQ Comp For Gridiron

May 20, 2021

Reduced travel time is one of the major advantages of a change of competition for Mackay’s Mavericks with a new Central Queensland division of the Gridiron Queensland competition.

Mackay Gridiron will face off against the Rockhampton Wolverines and Gladstone’s Port City Pirates in a condensed competition that will commence in October and finish in December.

Mitchell Powell from Gridiron Queensland said they are seeing a lot of talent in the sport from CQ.

“We’re really happy as a governing body to see the sport grow,” Mr Powell said.

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre sent a video message to the Central Queensland teams to wish them luck in the newly formed competition.

“Up the Wolverines, Mavericks and Pirates,” the NRL legend said.

“Give them hell. Best of luck to you.”

Favre played in the NFL for 20 seasons, primarily with the Green Bay Packers.

Mackay Gridiron president Willem Nell said the compact season makes Gridiron an attractive prospect for recruiting players from other footy codes, such as rugby league, union and AFL.

“They come off their season already fit with a bit of time to freshen up before they hit the Gridiron competition. Winding up in December before Christmas means they can take a bit of a break to recover before they start their training again for their other codes next season,” Mr Nell said.

The club’s coach Adam Wiseley will continue his role in 2021.

At this stage there is only one grade of competition, but Mr Nell said that the Rockhampton club is very community focused which may open up opportunities to reintroduce junior and women’s competitions in coming seasons.

He is encouraging anyone interested in playing gridiron this year to get in touch with the club early.

Visit the Mackay Gridiron page on Facebook to find the registration link to register your interest as a player, coach or volunteer.

Read More

It’s A Good Time Of The Year To Be On The Green

May 20, 2021

The Mackay Bowling Club, Ladies Section held their Two Bowl Triples Carnival last weekend.

After playing three games of bowls the winners were M. Perry, L. Lewis, R. Grace. Second I. Comelli. A. Smith, L. Degurara and third K. Dunn, C. Savage, D. Walsh.

Round Winners 1st Round K. Robinson, M. Townsend, R. Schatkowski. 2nd Round: L. Purdie, L. Graham, B. Whitehorn. 3rd Round: D. Porter, H. Chiconi, R. Devereux.  Sportmans Prize: D. Fleming, J. Petersen, T. Morrow.

On Friday afternoon the club held a Mixed Triples game sponsored by the Cowen Family in memory of their mother Ronnie Cowen. Winners were T. Gill, L. Sorensen and Val Pilcher.

Congratulations to Carol Savage, Karli Burns and Robyn Devereux on winning the 2021 Club Championship Triples for the fourth year in a row. Runner-ups were Leanne Jenner, Marie Mayfield and Dot McNamara.

The club men’s section held their annual Prestige Fours Carnival after having to cancel last year due to COVID.  With a full green of players from around the district and the rain staying away the club had a highly successful weekend of bowls.

Winners of Division 1: Wally Kieldon, Barry Jackson, Ray Kurtz, Rob Spence. 2nd Place: B. Boswood, J, McMullen, L. Mills, D. Giddings. 3rd Place: R. Horsfall, J, Adams, K. Cowper, I. Gardner. 4th Place: T. Gibson, S. Dolan, K. Struik, T. Connors Division 2: Winners: R. Aitken, S. Lane, M. Pilcher, R. Fry. Division 3: Winners: G. Petrie, B. McCarthy, T. Gillman, C. Ryan

Read More

A Gold Rush For Three Generations Of Galea’s

May 20, 2021

The Mackay Athletics Carnival held earlier this month was special for the Galea family, with three generations competing together for the first time.

Kevin and James are no strangers to the athletics club, with Kevin being one of the club’s most successful masters’ athletes as well as being the club’s throws coach, and James has been one of the club’s most active junior members, both as an athlete and in recent years as an official.

But this year, Kevin’s father and James’ grandfather Anthony stepped in the circle to compete for the first time in many years.

Anthony Galea was honored to be a torch bearer for the 2000 Sydney Olympics torch relay, but other than supporting his family, that had been his closest affiliation to athletics this century, until this month.

It was a rush of gold for the Galea’s, with all three men winning substantial titles. Anthony placed first in the five events he entered, in the 80-84-year-old men’s division, winning the shot put, discus, hammer, javelin and throws pentathlon.

Kevin also won all five of his events in the master’s category, but also entered the open division, where he won the open men’s shot put and hammer, placed second in the discus behind Olympic hopeful Matt Denny, and third in the javelin. He also set new open men’s hammer and throws pentathlon records.

In the 15-years and U-16 age categories, James Galea also took a clean-sweep of golds in his five throwing events, as well as breaking the carnival records in hammer and the throws pentathlon.

The Galea’s have had a long association with athletics. Kevin started the sport in 1983 and was a state representative. He also competed in the regional Australia side at Oceania championships four times. His highest achievement was representing Australia at Oceania’s as well as winning the Queensland open men’s shotput title.

Son James is hoping to follow in his Dad’s footsteps, with an eye on making the national qualifying distances for hammer and discus. He is also keen to continue his officiating duties by officiating at the Festival of Athletics and Athletics North Queensland Championships both being held in Townsville later this year.

Read More

Goosies Gallant In Pennants

May 20, 2021

Pennants season has arrived and Goosies are playing in divisions 2, 3 and 5 this year. The division two team led by Chris Banney recorded fantastic results last weekend in the Pioneer Valley against a strong valley team to come away with a draw. The team led by Ian McDonald also had a draw, and Greg McLean’s team only went down by one shot on the last bowl.

On Sunday, the division 2 teams played Marian at North Mackay. North Mackay (Goosies) won all three games. Results for our other two divisions were not known at the time of writing.

Goosies Social Results – week ending 16 May.

Monday pairs was won by Fred King and David Evans. Second was Lesley Basingeran and Bev Woodward.

Wednesday Ladies winners were Deb Mackenzie, Nina Archer and Sue Hazeldine. Runners up were Sheryl Cuttriss, Jan Little and Cicely Lee.

There were no results available for Thursday or Saturday. Friday was cancelled due to Saturday and Sunday pennants play.

Read More

Zach Mach Champions

May 20, 2021

It was a muddy great way to spend Mother’s Day for hundreds of participants in the 2021 ZACH MACH, who paddled, rode and run their way through the Pioneer Valley.

A blend of fresh faces and fast finishes made the race all the more exciting, with some predicted winners coming out on top while other categories produced some surprise winners.

Bridie Ruff claimed the solo women’s title coming in just over 12 minutes ahead of Bec Wood. The pair were around an hour clear of Jose Short in third place.

Luke Smythe was almost 10 minutes clear of the pack to take out the solo men’s, with a close dash for the line for second and third. Wayne McDonald was awarded second over Mark Costin, who were only fractions of a second apart.

Mackay Cycles continued to the be the dominant force in the open relay team, winning three out of four of the stages comfortably to grab the overall win, and fastest overall time of the day, in 3:54:34, almost an hour ahead of second place.


Solo Female

1 – Bridie Ruff

2 – Bec Wood

3 – Josie Short

Solo Male

1 – Luke Smythe

2 – Wayne McDonald

3 – Mark Costin

Open Relay Team

1 – Mackay Cycles

2 – The Goodies 3

3 – Chafing The Dream

Mixed Relay Team

1 – V8 Firecrackers

2 – Under Development

3 – The Fast And The Curious

Open Female Relay Team

1 – Kelson Chicks

Female Pair

1 – Catastrophic

Male Pair

1 – Nikki Has No Quads

2 – Most Best Team Of Glorious Nation Of Kazahstan

3 – Not Fast! Just Swear And Bears

Junior Relay Team

1 – As Mack Mates

Mini Mach Solo (U12)

1 – Jared Mackie

2 – Murray Macgroarty

3 – Jonah Lister

Mini Mach Solo (U17)

1 – Kelly Chappell

2 – Matthew Porter

3 – Nekesha Chohan

Mini Mach Solo AWD (Open)

1 – Connor Chappell

Read More

Record Breakers On Form

May 20, 2021

There was a wide showcase of talent at the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Centre over the May Day long weekend as North Mackay Athletics (NMA) participated in the Mackay Track and Field Carnival. Athletics clubs far and wide across North and Central Queensland attended to compete in a variety of running, throwing and jumping events.

NMA had athletes represented across all ages and events with the new additions of its masters age groups for the first year.

“We had tremendous opportunities to smash personal bests, meet new friends and break carnival records,” NMA media spokesperson Kayla Porter said.

NMA broke 12 records over the carnival with commendations to Nahla Heap (5yrs 60m and Shotput), Seth Lowis (10yrs Shotput and Discus), Alpheaus Thomas (11yrs Long jump), Hayley Colless (12yrs 200m Hurdles), Kayla Porter (30-34yrs High Jump, Triple jump and Discus) and the club’s coach Ant (30-34yrs 60m, 100m and 200m).

“Our athletes continue to train each week at our Sunday club days and have opportunities to compete in numerous upcoming events in Bowen and Townsville.”

If you have been considering athletics, NMA are proudly hosting their annual Team Challenge on June 13, for all ages under 6 to under 18 at the MARC. This event is open for children in the community and athletes to pair up to compete together in field events and in teams of four in track events. For further details visit NMA’s website or follow them on Facebook.

Read More

Your FREE Voice In Print


Locally Owned. Community Loved.

Subscribe Free