Mackay Region Sporting News & Results

Cross Country Gold For Super Mackay Athletes

Cross Country Gold For Super Mackay Athletes

Mackay Athletics Club runners have performed with distinction at major carnivals staged in Brisbane and the Whitsundays over the past fortnight. Talented siblings Oliver and Toby Rule upstaged their decorated father Justin Rule after capturing gold medals at the Athletics North Queensland Cross Country Championships at Airlie Beach last Sunday.

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BMD Premiership Cutters Secure First Win At Home

BMD Premiership Cutters Secure First Win At Home

The Mackay Cutters welcomed fans to BB Print Stadium for the first time in the 2023 season with five squads taking to the field throughout the day. The BMD Premiership Cutters played their first home game ever against Tweed Seagulls, continuing their impressive form to start their debut season in the competition.

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Cricket Finals Christen New Arena

Cricket Finals Christen New Arena

Last weekend saw the men’s grade cricket finals bring the 2022/23 season to a close, headlined by Magpies going two from two at the freshly opened Great Barrier Reef Arena. The first grade Magpies celebrated their Poole Cup premiership, toppling favourites Walkerston after winning the Twenty20 Shootout final earlier in the year.

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Mackay Bowling Club News

Mackay Bowling Club News

Mackay Bowls Club had a full week of Bowls with teams competing in the Marian Mill Shield at Gargett on Saturday. They were beaten in their first game by Northern Beaches who eventually won the Shield. On Saturday afternoon at club, a Mens Open Fours game was played with M Irving , R Fry, M Coll, S Cassidy def J Smith, L Dorgin, R Casey, T Casey on the last end 16/15 - a good close game was played.

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North Mackay Ladies Bowls Results

March 23, 2023

Social ladies’ bowls played on Wednesday March 15.

Results: Winners Neddy Thomsen, Wendy McGee and Dot Wise.

Runners up Sue Roscoe, Pam Louis and Daphne Offield.

There was no Ladies Social bowls this week as the Club hosted the District Master Pairs on both Wednesday March 22 and Thursday March 23.

Congratulations to all those who played in that great competition.

Coming up on the club calendar is the Goosepond 3 Bowl Triples competition, to be held on the April 26 2023, and players from our district clubs and as far as Townsville will be playing on the day.

Promising to be an amazing event for the club.

Contributed by Sue Hazledine

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Ten Year Milestone For Respected Basketball Mentor Jamiey

March 23, 2023

Basketball is a way of life for Mackay’s respected coaching guru Jamiey Doevendans.

Whether it is planning the Mackay Meteorettes’ charge towards the NBL1 North women’s title or simply devoting his spare time to assisting the St Patrick’s College Boys and Girls basketball programs, you will find this revered hoops mentor approaching his work with a genuine passion.

The dedicated Douvendans takes over the reins as Head Coach of the Meteorettes this season in the NBL1 – an opportunity and challenge that he relishes.

But the experienced campaigner gets as much enjoyment with teaching youngsters the finer points of basketball and celebrates a milestone this season when he chalks up a decade of yeoman service with aspiring hoopers at St Patrick’s College.

“It is a significant milestone and one that I am definitely proud of,” revealed Jamiey.

“I thoroughly enjoy working with the school’s basketball program and preparing the players for the annual Champion Schools tournament on the Gold Coast.

“There is so much untapped potential in both the boys and girls ranks and hopefully I can play a role in the students’ basketball development.”

You can find the decorated coach putting the students through their paces on a regular basis at the College courts – honing their skills in preparation for the big tournaments ahead.

Douvendans has achieved plenty of success previously in the Mackay Basketball NBL1 program.

He was an assistant coach with the Mackay Meteors men’s team for three years, figuring in two QBL championship-winning campaigns before switching over to the Meteorettes program as an assistant coach for seven seasons.

During this period, he helped guide the women to another QBL title and two more Grand Final appearances.

Testimony of the College’s depth of basketball talent is the selection of eleven students in various Queensland and Capricornia representative squads.

13-year-old young guns Cooper Currie, Treyce Ciantar and Usai Bickey were named in the Emerging Queensland Under 15s team that competed at a National interstate tournament in Melbourne earlier this year as part of the Future Development Program.

When Toowoomba hosts the Queensland School Sport State 13-16yrs Basketball Championships from May 11-14, there’ll be a host of St Patrick’s players featured in the Capricornia line ups.

These include Mackay Meteorettes shooter Charli Bliss, who will compete in the 17-18yrs Girls division; Cooper Garnham and Julius Jurd (13-16yrs Boys division) and Tahlia Jensen, Eden Catip, Lily Mapp, Mackensie Brown and Hannah Jensen (13-16yrs Girls division).

By Chris Karas

Jamiey Douvendans discusses the finer points of basketball with St Patrick’s College senior players Ben Devitt, Max Cain, Amarco Doyle and Baxter Norsworthy

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Zurvas Family Cricket Heroics As Magpies Clinch Premiership Double

March 23, 2023

When Magpies stalwart Brad Zurvas and his three sons Ben, Adam and Liam padded up for the club in a late season fixture in the Mackay Cricket Association first grade competition last summer, they each experienced a slice of history.

It is believed to be the first time that a father and three sons have played a top grade match together since the Magpies were formed back in 1961.

This unique feat was achieved against the Souths Sharks at Jack Lancaster Oval in a game that featured several milestones.

As well as being Brad’s retirement match, talented keeper-batsman Ben posted his maiden top grade century – an unbeaten 110 off 147 balls that included two sixes and nine boundaries in an emphatic victory over the Sharks.

The name Zurvas has been synonymous with Magpies Cricket Club for nearly four decades.

Last Saturday Ben skippered the Magpies to another milestone achievement when he lifted the Poole Cup first grade premiership trophy after defeating favourites Walkerston in the Grand Final at Great Barrier Reef Arena.

Ben was joined by siblings Adam and Liam as the Magpies (8-196) skittled Walkerston (126) to bring home the club’s first top grade trophy double after earlier winning the Twenty20 Shootout title.

Raised in Sarina, Brad played his early cricket with the local Crocodiles club alongside his rugby league mates before grabbing an opportunity to play in the Mackay Cricket Association.

He joined the Farleigh Magpies as a promising 15-year-old keeper-batsman back in 1986 and has been a permanent fixture ever since.

It is a real family affair with Brad the current Magpies Cricket Club President and a proud Life Member along with his tireless wife Julie, who serves as the Seniors Co-ordinator.

Entrenched in the Magpies top grade XI are gifted sons Adam, Ben and teenager Liam who has just returned with the Capricornia schoolboys representative side from the Queensland Secondary School Cricket Championships in Maroochydore.

“Watching the boys develop their cricket throughout the grades has been a proud moment for both Julie and I,” revealed Brad.

“I had a break from the game in my early 20s and made a comeback when Adam first expressed an interest in playing the sport,” he reflected.

Adam, 22, has blossomed into a stylish top order batsman and handy seam bowler while 20-year-old skipper Ben shows natural leadership skills and is one of the competition’s best young keeper batsmen.

Coming up through the Mercy College and Holy Spirit College cricket ranks, Ben was identified as an exceptional talent.

He was named in the Queensland Open Schoolboys team and also represented Queensland Country at both Under 19 and Under 21s level – a testimony of his ability with the gloves and bat.

All eyes are on whiz kid Liam, a Year 12 student at St Patrick’s College, who at the age of 16 is one of the youngest competitors in the Mackay first grade DBCT Poole Cup premiership series.

By Chris Karas

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Swimming Carnival A Splashing Success

March 23, 2023

Catherine McAuley College held their Swimming Carnival on Friday 10 March at the Mackay Aquatic Recreation Complex, with excellent weather, and enthusiastic students combining to make the day a great success.

House spirit was alive with a sea of colour, war cries, and many with no voice by the end of a day filled with noise, laughter, fun and constructive rivalry.

Students and staff from the College all entered the spirit of the day, with more than 70 competitive races along with the additional whole of house swims adding points to the final tally for the day. The atmosphere of this carnival was enhanced by the additional student cohort now including years 7 and 8 as the Catholic College moves into its second year of quality faith-based education and learning.

College Staff also participated in the event, winning the silver medal in the Students versus Staff race. Staff were also freed up to provide supervision and other roles and join in the energy of the day via the use of electronic timing to one hundredth of a second. No challenging those results!

Catherine McAuley College would like to sincerely thank the staff at the Mackay Aquatic Recreation Complex for their outstanding assistance which also contributed to the success of the day.

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Basketball To Return To The Valley

March 23, 2023

One of Mackay’s largest and longest-running basketball clubs has teamed up with Wests Tigers to ensure the future of the sport in the Pioneer Valley.

Formed in 1981, Renegades Basketball Club is considered one of the big three basketball clubs in the region with 43 men’s and women’s teams from under 8s up to division 1.

The club, however, has never had a base to operate out of, host meetings or run training sessions.

“We’ve been around since 1981 … surviving on backyard patios and meetings at local clubs,” said Renegades President Guy Simpson.

“We’ve never had a home base.”

With the number of basketball teams in Mackay growing by 21% over the last 12 months, facilities are becoming harder to acquire for training purposes.

“The reality is every club in Mackay is struggling to get a venue to bounce a ball on of an afternoon for the kids,” Mr Simpson said.

Meetings with Wests began in early 2022 with the hopes of establishing Renegades as the basketball club of choice for the Pioneer Valley.

“Being a country boy myself, I grew up in Calen, I know what it’s like not to have representation and I reckon the Pioneer Valley’s a great fit for us,” Mr Simpson said.

“Hopefully we can have from under 8s, starting at that level and filtering through, we get enough of that age group that they can even train out here in the valley and save them commuting all the way into town every week.”

The Pioneer Valley has been without a basketball club since Midgets Basketball Club, junior club of Australian basketball coach Sandy Brondello, folded about 15 years ago.

Integral to the Renegades’ plans are the expansion plans of Wests Tigers.

Following the purchase of a neighbouring 25ha cane farm, Wests Tigers are in the process of creating a master expansion plan to enhance the sporting facilities available to the people of the Pioneer Valley.

“It is our club’s vision to provide a sporting complex for as many sports as we can,” said Wests Chairman Brett Leach.

“When I played sport as a young bloke, we all trained at pretty ordinary facilities, and we all travelled.

“When kids look to play sport, they want to see where they’re training and where they’re playing and the more professional that club can be, not only as a club but also the facilities, the more it’ll attract people to the sport.”

The Renegades have been involved in the planning process of Wests’ expansion, which looks to include four outdoor, undercover basketball courts and one indoor court.

“It’s going to be up to us to provide the infrastructure that’s needed for them to be able to play their sport,” said Mr Leach.

“This club can’t afford to do what we’d like to do for our community without the help from local, state and federal governments,” added Wests Director Mick Baker.

“This is about planning for the future of basketball in our region out here in the valley.

“It’s about making sure we get this relationship right now so that in the future it’s a strong bond.”

Wests Tigers are holding a community consultation day on June 17 where anyone involved in Pioneer Valley sport can view the plans and make comments and recommendations.

“At the moment it’s purely a dream, nothing’s locked in,” said Mr Baker.

Renegades Basketball Club are holding a sign-on day at Mirani State School next Wednesday, March 29 from 5:00pm ahead of the President’s Cup Season starting in term 2.

For more information, email

As Mackay Basketball finals get underway, 25 of the Renegades’ 43 teams will participate in the finals of the Championship season this weekend at the Mackay Basketball Association.

L-R Rob Cunningham (Renegades Vice President), Guy Simpson (Renegades President), Helen Bartolo (Renegades Life Member), Ian Nicholas (Original Committee Member) Alan Edwards (Life Member and original committee member), Kingsley Theiber (Wests General Manger), Mick Baker (Wests Director) and Brett Leach (Wests Chairman). Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

25 Renegades teams will play finals this weekend. Photos credit: Deanne Woods Photography

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Medal Success For Talented Mackay Trio

March 23, 2023

Mackay endurance king Justin Rule has continued his medal-winning achievements on the Masters Athletics circuit.

The 48-year-old iron man was one of three Mackay Athletics Club competitors to stamp their mark at the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships in Sydney – bringing home gold in the 3000m Steeplechase and a bronze medal in the 8km Cross Country in the Mens 45-49yrs category.

Clubmates Maddy Simmons and Mel Esau also impressed in the Women’s 40-44yrs division by collecting a swag of medals in field and track events.

German-born Simmons, 41, clinched a silver medal in the 80m hurdles and bronze in both the triple jump and pole vault to add to her 80m hurdles gold and pole vault silver at the 2022 National Masters in Townsville.

40-year-old Esau – who only took up athletics earlier this year – grabbed silver medals for Queensland in the 4 x 100m (180+) and 4 x 400m (120+) Relay finals.

She also reached the finals of the 60m, 100m, 200m and long jump events and recorded a personal best time in the 400m for her age group.

But it was the super fit Rule – named Athletics North Queensland Masters Athlete of the Year in 2022 – who enhanced his reputation with standout performances in recent weeks.

At the World Masters Cross Country Championships last month in Bathurst, the lanky Mackay runner finished a creditable 13th in a strong international field in the 6km short course event.

A highlight for Justin was navigating the course alongside legendary Australian long distance running champion Steve Moneghetti, who claimed the 60-69yrs world title.

Rule also teamed up with Joanna Bailey (Northern Territory) to finish 11th in the Mixed Relay.

Since entering major Masters events in 2020, a rejuvenated Justin has collected a swag of medals including two gold (steeplechase and 5000m) and three silver (400m hurdles, 800m and 1500m) at the Oceania Championships in Mackay and the Pan Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast where he captured two gold in the 1500m and 5000m); two silver (steeplechase and 800m) plus a bronze in the Beach Mile.

The former Brisbane Grammar student made a comeback to athletics when sons Oliver and Toby joined the Mackay Athletics Club.

Last Sunday at the Athletics North Queensland Cross Country Championships at Airlie Beach, Justin was upstaged by the duo when 18-year-old Oliver won gold in the 8km Under 20 event and Toby, 16, grabbed gold in the 6km Under 17 race.

Justin had to settle for silver in the 8km Masters event.

Talented Mackay athletes Mel Esau, Justin Rule and Maddy Simmons collected a swag of medals at the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships in Sydney. Photo credit: Chris Karas

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Riders Unleashed: Mackay Cycling Club's Season Opener

March 23, 2023

The Mackay Cycling Club's inaugural race of the season was a triumph for riders of all ages and abilities. The individual time trial, held along the Walkerston Homebush Road, tested the mettle of competitors ranging in age from around 8 to 80. From a 4km challenge for the youngest cyclists to a gruelling 20km test against the clock for the seniors, every rider pushed themselves to make their mark on the beginning of the season.

A couple of punctures meant two favoured racers to take out their grades had to make way for others to claim the glory, showing anything can happen on the day.

With some notable big names missing the start of the season, it left the gate open for a strong ride from Tim Ffrost to take line honours as the fastest senior of the day, completing the 20km in around 29 minutes. Taking out the B-grade was Luke Schatkowski, who was only 2-seconds from cracking the sub-30-minute mark. C-grade was cleaned up by Noel Garciano in a time of 30:34 which would have seen him competitive in the B-grade, along with Tenille Galea who was the fastest woman home in 31:52. Winning the D-grade was Bradley Fraser, in a hot time of 32:29.

Juniors who won their respective grades were U9 Hamish Brennan, U11 Rowdy Brennan, U13 Matthew Schatkowski, U15 Peter Schatkowski and U17 Chrisse Neah Garciano.

The Mackay Cycling Club welcomes riders of all levels of experience to participate in their events, offering day race passes to anyone wanting to take on the challenge.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice rider, the Mackay Cycling Club is the place to be if you want to experience the thrill of the ride.

The Mackay Cycling Club’s inaugural race of the 2023 season was a time trial. Photo credit: Amanda Wright

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A Humid Whibley’s Wander

March 23, 2023

Nearly sixty runners and supporters attended the very popular annual Whibley’s Wander held from the Secretary’s residence early Sunday morning.  

The wonderful Julie and Andrew were the perfect hosts with all runners appreciating their generosity and picture-perfect back yard.  

Paul Mackenzie and Alana Knesevic were the top male and female in the 12km with excellent performances by the 5km top duo of Terese Hackney and Darrin Pullen.  

The 100% humidity was extreme as runners braved the conditions and early morning high temperatures.

Meanwhile Mackay Road Runners’ competitors did very well at the Athletics North Queensland Cross Country Championships hosted by The Whitsunday Running Club in Cannonvale where several locals took out top podium places:

Liam Mumford - 1st Open 10km

Justin Rule - 2nd 45-49yrs 8km

Oliver Rule - 1st under 20yrs 8km

Damian Rutland - 3rd under 20yrs km

Toby Rule - 1st under 18/17 yrs 6km

Abigail Sweeney - 2nd under 18/17 yrs 4km

Lily Leven - 2nd under 16/15 yrs 4km

Congratulations to all, what an amazing effort against very talented athletes throughout the North Queensland region.

This Sunday’s local Mackay Road Runners Club event will be held at beautiful Cape Hillsborough National Park carpark near the Resort precincts commencing at 7am.

All casual non-member runners are most welcome to attend however, there will be a day runner fee of $5 for juniors and $10 for seniors to cover insurance costs, etc.

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

Leanne, Lauren and Jess enjoy a chat before the Whibley’s Wander 5km

(Far right standing) Julie Whibley is thanked by some of the Mackay Road Runners for her and Andrew Whibley’s exceptional post-run brekky. Photo credit: Janelle Tilse

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From The Table

March 17, 2023

Tuesday morning fixture results March 7, 2023

Division 1:

Pelicans (Charlie Payne, Branko Vucurovic, John McGee, Veronica Shepherd) d Magpies (George Camilleri, Delma Knight, Noreen Fredericksen) 10-4. John d Noreen 8, -9, 7, -9, 8.

Cockatoos (Tony Bowman, Steve Mathieson, Peter Goodson, Don Boettcher) d Doves (Michael Ibbotson, Pam Joyce, Kevin Abbott, Coral Morgan) 10-4. Don d Kevin 8, -2, 7, -11, 5.

Division 2:

Parrots (Bryan Marshall, Judi Hicks, Marie Taylor) d Owls (Kim Challender, Robyn Bushell, Helen Ware) 7-5. Helen d Marie 5, -3, 10, -2, 5.

Ibis (Iris Grasso, Louise Gould, Fred Saliba) d Kookaburras (John Hamelink, Ken Best) 9-3. Ken d Louise -8, 5, 9, -13, 4.

Division 3:

Eagles (Sharon Muller, Frank Caruana, Glenda Dutton) d Storks (Madge Saunders, Thelma Caruana, Allison Day) 8-4. Sharon d Thelma -8, 7, -6, 8, 3.

Hawks (Gloria Vella, Pam Keune) d Pigeons (Bill Hey, Myles Dutton) 7-3. Pam d Bill 6, -11, 5, 8.

Mackay Table Tennis Tuesday night fixtures March 7, 2023:

Division 1:

Donic (Andrew McHugh, Barry Patterson, Graham Drury) d Victas (Daniel Warfield, Anne Sheridan, Steven Whiting) 11-0. Graham d Steven -4, -3, 2, 9, 8.

Tibhar (Allan Edwards, Mick Ruhl, Vince Boeske) d Joola (Emma Widdup, Robbie Richards) 7-4. Robbie d Allan 4, -8, -10, 9, 8.

Division 2:

Yasaka (Ian McKay, Duncan Sheridan, Peter Goodson, Lily Boland) d Stiga (Aanav Reelh, Tony Bowman, Steve Mathieson, Matthew West) 11-3. Peter d Aanav -5, 6, 4, -4, 9.

Andro (Janice Kent, Graeme Walker, Mark Sleeman, Will VanDeKaa) d Radak (Ishan Rana, Andrea Nicholson, George Camilleri, Delma Knight) 10-4. Janice d George -4, 5, -11, 9, 9.

Division 3:

Butterfly (Val Austin, Trent Day, Virginia Clayton) d Xiom (Donna Abbott, Craig VanDeKaa, Ollie Hamelink) 10-1. Donna d Val 8, -7, 4, 8.

Gewo (Noreen Fredericksen, John McGee, Tiffany Camilleri) d Nittaku (Jye Callander, Duncan Sheridan, Steve Crocker) 10-1. Noreen d Steve -15, 7, 8, -3, 9.

Pam Joyce and Don Boettcher in action in Tuesday morning table tennis fixtures. Photo: Charlie Payne

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Dynamic Duo Jaxon And Xavier To Spearhead St Patrick’s League Campaign

March 17, 2023

A six-year bond between two of the finest rugby league prospects in Mackay has blossomed into an enterprising combination for St Patrick’s College whiz kids Xavier Kerrisk and Jaxon Purdue.

Saddling up for their final season at the College, the dynamic duo are hungry for success in 2023 and eager to bring home more silverware.

It is shaping as a busy campaign for the Queensland Country Under 17 representatives who will spearhead a powerful St Patrick’s College first grade outfit in the various schoolboys competitions this year.

Kerrisk, a skilful hooker in the Emerging Maroons Under 18s squad, and classy half back Purdue are both trump cards in new coach Ian Schifilliti’s top grade side that shapes as a force to be reckoned with.

Both 17-year-old colts have signed scholarship deals with the North Queensland Cowboys and remain an integral part of the club’s Development Program.

After impressing officials at a Cowboys pre-season camp before Christmas both players are eager to show their wares in top company.

Xavier and Jaxon were recently named in the Capricornia 18yrs representative squad to compete at the Queensland School Sport State Championships in Townsville on May 22-23.

The pair will be joined by St Patrick’s teammates in lock Kayne Smith, fullback Will Shears, centre Tenzin Cantor and prop Tyler Shandiman.

Ever since they first teamed up at Mercy College as fresh-faced 13-year-olds the duo have shared an uncanny bond on the football field that has yielded plenty of success.

Purdue and Kerrisk quickly formed a lethal spine combination as playmaker and hooker with dashing fullback Shears to help the College lift the Cowboys Challenge Shield premiership trophy in 2021.

Last year they left their mark as St Patrick’s reached the final of the prestigious Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup competitions – turning in clever performances to underline their enormous potential.

As a just reward the pair were selected in the 2022 Confraternity Rugby League Merit Team along with centre Kai Simon and lock forward Henry Thorpe with St Patrick’s current Sports Co-ordinator Mercy campus Matthew Paul named Honorary Coach in recognition of his 20 years of sterling service to schoolboy rugby league.

Both Purdue and Kerrisk began their careers as six-year-olds with their respective Norths Devils and Walkerston Wanderers JRL clubs and after 12 consecutive seasons service will focus on their schoolboy commitments in 2023.

The pair have each appeared in three Mackay & District Junior League Grand Finals with Jaxon celebrating a premiership triumph in Under 16s and Xavier collecting two championship medals in Under 14s and Under 17s.

They are also key players for the Mackay Cutters Under 18s team in the Mal Meninga Cup series and have featured prominently in the team’s early round victories over Northern Pride (24-4) and Central Capras (36-24) and last Saturday’s narrow 24-20 loss to the Townsville Blackhawks at Jack Manski Oval.

Ball playing skipper Purdue has sparked the attack while livewire Kerrisk has grabbed six tries in three games with his sharp bursts from dummy half.

By Chris Karas

Great mates Jaxon Purdue and Xavier Kerrisk will again form a crack combination for St Patrick's College on the rugby league field this season

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Records Sunk With Depth Of Talent In The Pool

March 17, 2023

Schoolboy swim sensations Ethan Banks, Kaiden Neilsen and Mia Bradford were in a record breaking mood at the recent St Patrick’s College Swimming Carnival staged at the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex.

Seventeen-year-old Banks stole the show by smashing four existing records on the day to cap a memorable championship meet.

The outstanding prospect was crowned Year 12 Boys Champion after setting new records for the 50m freestyle (28.81 sec); 50m backstroke (34.63 sec); 50m breaststroke (38.78 sec) and 50m butterfly (32.06 sec).

Superfish Kaiden produced mighty performances in the pool to clinch the Year 7 Boys Champion trophy.

The versatile 12-year-old broke three records on the day after capturing the 50m freestyle (30.93 sec); 50m breaststroke (41.21 sec) and 50m butterfly (36.65 sec) titles.

There was also plenty of joy for Kaiden’s elder sister Mackenzie Neilsen, who was named Year 9 Girls champion after powerful performances in the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly events.

Madam Butterfly Mia dominated her age group – scooping the pool with record-breaking victories in the 50m freestyle (29.5 sec); 50m backstroke (35.75 sec); 50m breaststroke (43.38 sec) and 50m butterfly (33.25 sec) to earn the tag of Year 11 Girls Champion.

It was Mia’s fourth successive record in the 50m freestyle event. Her leading times of 29.69 sec (Year 8 – 2020); 28.31 sec (Year 9 – 2021) and 28.13 sec (Year 10- 2022) still stand today in the College record books.

Promising 13-year-old swimmer Audrey Bryan made it back-to-back Age Champion titles when named Year 8 Girls champion following her initial success as a Year 7 student in 2022.

Last year Audrey dominated her age group – creating new Aquatic records for the 50m freestyle (28.25 sec); 50m backstroke (36.60sec); 50m breaststroke (39.38 sec) and 50m butterfly (32.60sec).

It was a proud moment for the Noon family when siblings Wyatt Noon (Year 8 Boys Champion); Zanthia Noon (Year 10 Girls Champion) and Amelia Noon (Year 12 Girls Champion) achieved a unique treble.

There was double reason for Amelia to celebrate when she posted new records for Year 12 girl swimmers in the 50m backstroke (44.31 sec) and 50m butterfly (43.35 sec).

Karli Davis, 17, set a new Year 12 Girls record for the 50m freestyle (36.69 sec) and 17 year old Lillian Keeble for the 50m Breaststroke (48.72 sec).

16-year-old Jack Henderson followed in the footsteps of his famous brother Tom by claiming the Year 11 Boys Champion crown after setting new records for the 50m freestyle (29.16 sec) and 50m breaststroke (39.93 sec).

Brodie Carlill, 15, also collected a record double in the Year 11 Boys 50m backstroke (35.22 sec) and 50m butterfly (34.68 sec).

Other Age champions included Isabelle Miles (Year 7 Girls); Rourke Bagley (Year 9 Boys) and Declan Grady (Year 10 Boys).

By Chris Karas

St Patrick's College Age Swimming champions pictured l  to r: Matthew Paul (Sports Coordinator Mercy Campus; Year 7 Girls Isabelle Miles, Year 7 Boys Kaiden Neilsen, Year 8 Girls Audrey Bryan, Year 9 Girls Mackenzie Neilsen, Year 8 Boys Wyatt Noon; Year 9 Boys Rourke Bagley, Year 10 Girls Zanthia Noon and Year 10 Boys Declan Grady

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Mackay Bowling Club News

March 17, 2023

Saturday afternoon saw the Mackay Bowling Club play Wests Tigers for the Tigers Head Challenge  with 52 players competing In Triples and Fours with Mackay Club coming out eventual winners.

A good afternoon of bowls was had by all, and some friendships made.

This weekend the Marian Shield is played at Marian and Gargett. Teams to represent Mackay Club are Glen Luck, Greg Thompson, Jim Wallace and Barry Paskins; Kevin Tranberg, Mick Coll, Peter Molloy and Noel Wilson; Brian Williams, Colin Marks, Joe Crocker and Ross Dunstan; Chris Molloy, Tony Hollows, Trevor Mayfield and Bruce Bridger.

Tuesday Social Play (22)

Winners of Winners: Robyn Schatkowski, Eddie Roberts

Winners of Losers: Arthur Naylor, Col Stevens, Brian Williams

Thursday Scroungers (12)

Kees Struik def Katrina Robinson

Friday Social Play

Col Stevens, Denise Mezzen def Robyn Schatkowski, Liz McIntosh.

Carol Savage, Barry Jenner def Perer Carter, Karina Dunn

Ladies Championships Results

Leanne Jenner, Julie Caban def Dot McNamara, Marie Mayfield.

Contributed by Mike Irving

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North Mackay Ladies Bowls Club Results

March 17, 2023

Wednesday March 8

Winners of our social games today were: Lesley Baumgarten, Narell Schmidtke and Lorraine Lemke.

Runners up were: Jan Comelli and Jean Zamparutti.

Wednesday was also the final in our B pairs competition with Lyn Tennant and Helen Goldston playing Pam Louis and Helen Fleming.

It was anyone’s game to the last end, it was a very exciting game to watch.

The ladies went end for end and showed some lovely shots.

Our eventual winners were Lyn Tennant and Helen Goldston.

Congrats ladies and you all played lovely bowls.

It also happened to be International Women’s Day, and a lovely raffle was conducted with lucky winners Narell Schmidtke and Neddy Thomsen taking home the spoils.

Championship Singles and B Singles competitions are now underway.

Contributed by Suzanne Hazledine

Helen Goldston and Lyn Tennant

Helen Fleming and Pam Louis

Narell Schmidtke and Neddy Thomsen

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Mixed Results As Cutters Kick Off Season

March 17, 2023

After a positive preseason, the BMD Premiership and Hostplus Cup Mackay Cutters travelled to Brisbane over the weekend to take on the Wynnum Manly Seagulls in Wynnum.

The Cutters made their highly anticipated BMD Premiership debut, defeating the Seagulls 30-8 in their first game together.

They completed a dominant first half 14-0 up thanks to tries from Alicia Martin, Zoe Cook, Shannon Mato and Samara Luta.

Luta crossed for her double early in the second half with Katie Green finishing the job with a try in the 57th to finish the game 30-8.

Coach Marco Peters told Queensland Rugby League he couldn't be prouder of the team.

"The girls just competed, which is what we wanted," he said.

"Effort was there all the way through.

“Good to be one from one.

"That was our first real game together... we'll get that cohesion going from now.”

The Hostplus Cup Cutters then took to the field, hoping to follow on from a strong end to their 2022 season.

The Seagulls scored early with Delouise Hoeter crossing in the eighth minute, followed by Cutters centre Flynn Camilleri opening the visitors’ account in the 24th.

With a Seagulls try and penalty goal late in the first half, the home side hit the sheds with a 14-6 lead.

After a relatively close start to the match, it was one way traffic throughout the second half.

Five unanswered tries, including one in the first minute of the second half, saw the home side run away to a 44-6 victory.

Also on Saturday, three junior Cutters squads travelled to Townsville to take on the Townsville Blackhawks in round four of the Cyril Connell Challenge, Mal Meninga Cup and Harvey Norman U19s.

The teams again returned to Mackay with mixed results, with the Cyril Connell Challenge Cutters going down 18-10, The Man Meninga Cup Cutters losing a close one 24-20 and the U19s girls walking away 24-18 victors.

All five teams return to BB Print Stadium this weekend for the first home game of the season, with gates opening at 10:00am.

The BMD Premiership Cutters started their inaugural season with a win while the Hostplus Cup Cutters went down in Wynnum. Photos supplied

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A Humid Sunday Sprint

March 17, 2023

The annual Construct Health Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology Mackay Road Runners 3km Club Championship was held in very humid conditions early Sunday morning from Queen’s Park car park.  

Over fifty competitors charged from the gun over the flat and fast course, however the steamy weather did play havoc with a lot of the runners’ lung and leg capacity, especially over the testing 3km sprint distance.

First placed Damian Rutland burst out of the gates with Hamish Donnollan, Luke Leven, Paul Mackenzie, Liam Mumford, Walker Murray, Rodney Elworthy, Nick Rewald, Jarrod Mackie, Matt Graves, Joe Grech, Michael Scholer, Grant Holmstrom, Derek Woods and Shane Donnollan hot on his heels.  

Damian maintained his extreme pace leading the field across the finish line first ahead of Hamish, Liam, Paul and Construct Health’s Nick.

A gut busting effort from Alana Knesevic saw her take gold in the female section ahead of fast finishing Lily Leven.  

Both girls ran an amazing race against a lot of great talent including Carolyn Mapes, Milly Bishop, Tahnie Malagueno, Carmel Mahon, Carol Dawes and Crystal Hawkins.

Winners and runner ups were rewarded with amazing prizes from the Construct Health Team who have sponsored the 3km event for several years.  

All runners were vying for valuable overall and age category club championship points as well as handicap points toward their season total.

Track training is of great benefit to sprint distance racing as well as endurance racing, therefore, runners can take advantage of Club Captain Jim Ford’s track training weekly Wednesdays at 5.30pm at the Aquatic and Recreational Centre.  

Everybody is welcome to attend, don’t need to be a Mackay Road Runners member and you don’t have to be just a runner.

This Sunday’s Whibley’s Wander 5km/12km will commence at 6:30am from 25 Duncan Street, West Mackay.

Many thanks to Julie and Andrew for opening up their home to a lot of smelly, sweaty runners to do their thing.

The handicap start race will commence at 6:30am sharp with runners being sent off on their official club handicap time.

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

The Construct Health Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiology Team celebrate with Mackay Road Runners 3km Club Championship winners and runners up – L-R Hamish Donnollan (2nd) and Damian Rutland (1st), Thomas, Nick, Dylan, Sarah, Lily Leven (2nd) and Alana Knesevic (1st)

Garry Thomas (sitting) takes a well-earned rest after a great sprint effort in the Mackay Road Runners 3km Club Championship

Over fifty junior and senior runners took part in the Mackay Road Runners 3km Club Championship from Queens Park

Legendary Mackay Road Runners champion runner, Judy Zahn (in her early seventies) still has the talent for a great 3km effort. Photo credit: Janelle Tilse

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Twilight City Run Launches Mackay Marina Run

March 9, 2023

The Mackay Marina Run calendar of events was officially launched last Friday before hundreds of social runners gathered for the Mackay Airport Twilight City Run across the Forgan Bridge.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor officially opened affairs earlier that day, thanking sponsors for their support.

“15 years has put this particular run on the map for Australia,” he said.

“This is an iconic event.

“The half marathon is the second biggest half marathon in Queensland.”

Event Founder Sandy Strong said the event has grown from 60 runners in its first iteration to a record participation of 3,300, with approximately 80% of runners being local.

“Every year we hope to break the record so we’re hopeful again,” he said.

“When I first started running, there was hardly anyone in the streets running and now, running is such a popular sport.

“I don’t know whether Mackay is moving in line with the trend or we’re ahead of the trend but there’s lots of people running in Mackay.”

WHAT: Mackay Marina Run

WHERE: Mackay Harbour

WHEN: Sunday, June 4


Mackay Marina Run thanked sponsors BMA, North Queensland Bulk Ports, Daly Bay, Isuzu, MM Electrical, City Fitness and more

Photo credit: Sam Gillespie

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Pioneer Swimming Club Attend NQ Champs In Townsville

March 9, 2023

The Pioneer Dolphins travelled to Townsville for the weekend of March 4-5 – our last carnival for the Long Course season. Swimming North Queensland held a fantastic meet at the Long Tan Memorial Pool. Our Dolphins swam strong, swam confident and swam with pride!  

Highlights of the weekend include:

• Many individual medals and personal best times being achieved by the team.

• Scores of medals in the relays.  A phenomenal and record total of 25 teams were entered by Pioneer Swim Club over the various relays and results were achieved by both the young and more experienced swimmers.

• Ella Bounden achieving a National Time in her 50m Backstroke – not only attaining a personal best once but twice on Saturday!

• Jade Bounden achieving a National Time in her 50m Freestyle – also attaining a personal best on Saturday and then again on Sunday!

• A legend comeback for retired Pioneer, Ben Miles – swimming in 2 of the relays.

• Madison Malagueno receiving Age Champion for 10-year-old female.

• Receiving compliments from another club on how supportive and united our club is and how wonderful it was to see each of our swimmers highly respect their coach.

What a representation and dominance by Pioneer! Coach Igor could not have been prouder, sporting a smile from ear to ear. His swimmers have been training hard under his guidance and mentoring. The results speak for themselves!

Ella and Jade will now travel to Nationals in April – stay tuned for our article on this exciting trip.

Whilst this may be the end of the Long Course season, the Short Course season will soon commence. Pioneer Swimming Club looks forward to seeing how our swimmers develop their skills over this next season.  

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

Pioneer Swimming Club at NQ Championships in Townsville

Isabelle, Madison, Ariah and Georgie receive 3rd place in their relay

Isaiah, Elliot, Oden and Ralph received 3rd place in their relay

Jade and Ella achieve National Times

Lily, Ava, Bethany and Olivia received 3rd place in their team relay

Madison achieved Age Champion for 10YO Females

Makenna, Joleigh, Annaliese and Madison received 1st place in their relay

Viktor, Jade, Kylie and Ben received 2nd place in their relay

Vitalyi, Jack, Nate and Alex received 3rd place in their relay

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Mackay Bowling Club Bowls News

March 9, 2023

This week the weather was a lot better and good numbers turned up with 28 for Tuesday Social bowls and 20 for Scroungers on Thursday.

This Saturday the Mackay Bowling Club will host Wests Tigers for the Tigers Head Challenge.

Teams will be mixed fours or triples.

A good afternoon of Bowls will be enjoyed by everyone.

Selected teams will be on the noticeboard.

No Men’s Competition will be played on March 11 or 12.

LADIES Championships Pairs:


Sunday 12th March 1pm

Thelma Fry, k Catanzariti, K Robinson, M Townsend v K Dunn, D Mezzin, Carol Savage, K Burns.


Tuesday Social

Winners of Winners - Leanne Jenner, Barry Jenner Peter Taaffe

Winner of Losers - Karie Catanzariti, Carol Savage, Brad Robinson.

Thursday Scroungers

Kees Struick def Geoff Jolley

Friday Social Play

Winners - Denise Mezzen, Col Stevens

Runners Up Barry Jenner, Val Edwards

Competition Matches were played over Saturday and Sunday with some close results in Men’s Open Singles, Men’s Open Pairs, Men’s B Singles, Ladies Championships Triples.

All Members are reminded tickets for the monster raffle will be on sale from the Bar.

Contributed by Mike Irving

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Rapid Rise To Queensland Suns Honours

March 9, 2023

Expressions of interest last year in playing schoolboys netball have proved a life changer for talented 18-year-old Mackay athlete Ben Pease.

From a reluctant participant to Queensland representative honours in the space of six months – that has been the incredible journey for the versatile colt with a solid background in basketball and AFL.

Ben will represent the Queensland Suns Under 20s side at the National Boys Netball Championships to be staged in Perth from April 7 to 17.

The skilful centre or wing attack forced his way into the Suns’ train-on squad after superb performances at the Suns’ representative trials in Brisbane last December.

It was a significant moment for the netball rookie who volunteered to play the sport before last year’s Queensland Independent Schools Sport Netball Championships in Mackay.

When organisers introduced a Boys Netball competition to the annual event in 2022 it was the likes of Ben and his St Patrick’s cohorts that put their hands up for consideration.

Under the guidance of Malea Ballantyne, Nadine Becker and Sarah Gibbs an eleven man squad - comprised of schoolboy athletes with strong links to basketball, AFL and boxing – was formed and etched their names in history.

Leading into QISSN, the boys finished runners up to Emerald State High School at the Vicki Wilson Cup round robin tournament staged in Yeppoon where they registered three wins from four matches played.  

Pease was an instant success during QISSN and underlined his potential by earning the tournament’s Most Valuable Player  

Award and being named along with shooter Will Randell in the inaugural All Stars Boys Team.

With a determined Pease leading the way the St Patrick’s rookies adapted quickly as they mastered the fundamentals of netball – dominating matches through their incredible fitness and eye hand coordination.

Strong performances at QISSN and later at the Vicki Wilson State Championships earned the crack centre a trial for a berth in the Queensland Suns Under 20s squad.

Growing up in Emerald, an adventurous Ben showed interest in motocross racing and competed in various Queensland titles before taking up basketball where he shone as a small forward with the local Chargers from the age of 12.

When the Pease family moved to Mackay at the end of 2020, versatile Ben turned his hand to AFL and proved a midfield sensation with the Bakers Creek Under 17s and A Grade squads.

So impressive was the super-fit teenager that he was asked to participate in the Northern Hub of the Gold Coast Suns AFL Academy which is based in Mackay.

Currently residing in Byron Bay where he works as a station hand, Ben is keen to stamp his mark at the National Men’s Netball Championships in Perth next month and later in the Brisbane Men’s Netball League.

He still has a strong passion for Australian Rules Football and will continue his career with the Ballina Bombers club in the Northern Rivers AFL competition.

By Chris Karas

Queensland Suns Under 20 Boys Netball centre Ben Pease has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the sport. He is pictured in action during QISSN and displaying his Most Valuable Player Award and All Stars Team medals

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North Mackay Bowls Club - 2023 AGM

March 9, 2023

On Sunday 26th February the NMBC held its AGM at Goosies. The Club is in a strong position with its finances reflecting the increasing revenue and support from patrons. The biggest challenge is the significant increase in insurance premiums and the ability to find cover for cyclones in central and north Queensland.

There were two contested Board positions: The Chairperson and the Finance Director. Neil Blucher was successful in being voted in as the new Chairperson and Ian Beveridge retaining the Finance Director position. The remaining Board positions were all confirmed as per 2022.

Ron Bowers was given the honour of a Life Membership in recognition of 40+ years of continuous service and membership of the Club.

Contributed by Ian Rowan

Ron Bowers being presented with his Life Membership by outgoing President Roland Dingle

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Mackay City Ladies Bowling Club Celebrating 30 Years

March 9, 2023

Mackay City Ladies Bowling Club celebrated their 30th year last month.

Special visitors Carmel Gibbs from Bowls Queensland and Lynette Jackson, Margot Stanley and Leanne Lewis from MDLBA joined the City Ladies for their special PAH on February 22.

Everyone enjoyed a game of bowls, ‘spiders’, luncheon and Cent Sale.

Lady President Marie Frederickson, presented special tributes to Norma Farrell, Doris Munro, Pauline Jones and Dawn Field as Foundation Members of the club.

A big thankyou to all members who assisted in the organising and running of the day.

Contributed by Shirley Sturgeon

A lucky Phyllis Morgan wins her first ever ‘spider’.

Foundation members Dawn Field, Pauline Jones, Norma Farrell and Doris Munro with current President Marie Frederickson.

Bowls Qld representative Carmel Gibbs, President Marie Frederickson and Ladies District President Lynette Jackson cutting the 30th birthday cake.

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North Mackay Ladies Bowls Results

March 9, 2023

Last Sunday saw Michele Stockton and Jo Inch face off against Deb Mackenzie and Chris Hall in the final of the North Mackay Ladies Club Championship pairs.

With a very excited and intent crowd watching on, Deb and Chris got off to a flying start.

Michele and Jo tried valiantly to claw their way back, but Deb and Chris were very determined to keep their lead.

The winners were Deb Mackenzie and Chris Hall.

Well done and a very big congratulations from everyone at the club.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday 1/3/2023 Ladies social bowls winners were Fleur Warner, Lyn McGuire and Lorraine Lemke.

Runners up were Sue Roscoe, Bev Woodward and Margaret Goldston.

Club Championship Singles and B singles are now underway with the final of the B pairs to be played next Wednesday.

Best of luck to those competing in these events.

Contributed by Suzanne Hazledine

North Mackay Ladies Club Championship pairs winners Chris Hall and Deb Mackenzie

Runners up Michele Stockton and Jo Inch

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100 Years Of Tennis In Mackay

March 3, 2023

The Mackay Tennis Association (MTA) is a community-based tennis club located in the heart of Mackay. The club, which celebrates its centenary this year, provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to play tennis and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.

MTA is renowned for its high-quality playing surfaces and friendly community of players. The club offers various levels of tennis coaching and fixtures, including pickleball, making it a great option for players of all skill levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, MTA has something for everyone.

In addition to its many tennis programs, MTA also offers a fully air-conditioned clubhouse that is available for hire by local businesses, which can accommodate groups of up to 100 people. With ample parking available on site, the Mackay Tennis clubhouse is the perfect location for your next business meeting, seminar or training session. To book the clubhouse, please contact us on 0435 524 985.

As the MTA celebrates its 100-year anniversary, there has never been a better time to become part of this welcoming and inclusive community.  To celebrate 100 years of tennis in Mackay, MTA is hosting a centenary dinner on Sat 9th September.  Please contact the club if you are interested in attending.

The club is passionate about promoting an active and healthy lifestyle and is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for all members.  Whether you are looking to play tennis, pickleball or hire the clubhouse for your next business function, the Mackay Tennis Association is the perfect choice. With its excellent facilities, convenient location, and friendly community of players, the MTA is the ideal place to get active and make new friends.

To become a member or find out more about the Mackay Tennis Association, please visit our website or contact 0435 524 985. We look forward to welcoming you to our tennis-loving community!

Tennis in Mackay in 1920

Official opening of Mackay Tennis Association in 1923

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Mackay Bowls Club News

March 3, 2023

On Thursday at Mackay Bowls Club, Scroungers were played with Kees Stuick def Steve Cassidy  in the final. Good close bowls were played throughout the arvo.

Tuesday Social Play was cancelled due to rain.

Friday Social Play Winners

Janice Nelson, Val Edwards, Col Stevens

Runners Up

Leanne Jenner Barry Jenner, Robyn Schatkowski

Sunday Barefoot Social Bowls

Arthur Nayler, Col Marks, def Janice Nelson, Squiggles

Competition Results

E Wynd, A Shepherd, D Wootton, B Bridger def G Collum R Mroz, R Blanchard, P Taaffe 23/8

Players are reminded that the West Tiger Challenge is on Saturday March 11 starting at 1:00pm.

Nominations form is on the notice board in the clubhouse.

This weekend Club Championships Continue with games being played from Friday afternoon with the Ladies Championships Fours.

Saturday: Ladies Championships Triples, Men’s Open Fours, Men’s Open Pairs.

Sunday: Men’s Open Pairs, Men’s Open Singles.

Players are reminded to support Monthly Raffle

NRL Footy Tipping begins this weekend.

Contributed by Mike Irving

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Mackay Table Tennis

March 3, 2023

Tuesday night fixture results February 21, 2023:

Division 1:

Donic (Andrew McHugh, Barry Patterson, Graham Drury) d Joola (Robbie Richards, Emma Widdup, Neil Brown) 7-4. Barry d Robbie -8, -4, 8, 5, 4.

Tibhar (Allan Edwards, Mick Ruhl, Vince Boeske) d Victas (Anne Sheridan, Steven Whiting, Geoff Denman) 6-5. Vince d Steven 7, -7, -9, 9, 7.

Division 2:

Andro (Janice Kent, Mark Sleeman, Will VanDeKaa) d Stiga (Graham Brake, Steve Mathieson, Matthew West) 7-6. Will d Matthew -11, 9, 9, -7, 12.

Yasaka (Ian McKay, Duncan Treloar, Peter Goodson, Lily Boland) d Radak (Lee Brake, Andrea Nicholson, George Camilleri, Delma Knight) 10-4. Duncan d Lee -9, 6, 7, -5, 13.

Division 3:

Nittaku (Steve Crocker, Coral Morgan, Duncan Sheridan) d Butterfly (Val Austin, Trent Day, Virginia Clayton) 8-3. Steve d Virginia 7, -8, 8, -13, 11.

Gewo (Victor Zhou, Tiffany Camilleri) d Xiom (Leo Gilbert, Ollie Hamelink, Donna Abbott) 6-5. Tiffany d Ollie 6, -6, 1, -9, 9.

Mackay Table Tennis Tuesday morning fixtures February 21, 2023:

Division 1:

Cockatoos (Andrea Nicholson, Steve Mathieson, Peter Goodson, Don Boettcher) d Magpies (George Camilleri, Delma Knight, Charles Hamlett) 8-6. Delma d Andrea -10, 2, 4, -5, 8.

Pelicans (Charlie Payne, Branko Vucurovic, John McGee, Veronica Shepherd) d Doves (Michael Ibbotson, Pam Joyce, Kevin Abbott, Coral Morgan) 8-6. Coral d John -5, -10, 6, 5, 8.

Division 2:

Ibis (Iris Grasso, Louise Gould, Fred Saliba) drew Parrots (Bryan Marshall, Judi Hicks) 6-all. Judi d Fred -7, 8, 7, -13, 4.

Owls (Kim Challender, Robyn Bushell, Helen Ware) d Kookaburras (John Hamelink, Ken Best, Kim Daffy) 9-3. Helen d John 8, -11, -7, 1, 5.

Division 3:

Pigeons (Ian Dodds, Bill Hey, Myles Dutton) d Storks (Madge Saunders, Allison Day) 7-5. Allison d Bill 9, 9, -5, -4, 3.

Eagles (Sharon Muller, Frank Caruana, Glenda Dutton) d Hawks (Pam Keune, Gloria Vella, Trish Zamparuti) 8-4. Sharon/Frank d Pam/Gloria 6, -8, -7, 9, 5.

Former Tuesday morning table tennis player Margaret Ross, centre, caught up with old friends Iris Grasso and Pam Joyce when she visited the Mackay Table Tennis Centre with husband Geoff on Tuesday morning. Margaret and Geoff now live on the Gold Coast. Photo: Charlie Payne

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Pioneer Dolphin Madison Malagueno’s Magic Start To 2023

March 3, 2023

Madison Malagueno, Pioneer Dolphin, has come leaps and bounds and grown to be a strong and confident swimmer under the mentoring of Coach Igor.  

Her year has started off with a bang, having competed in three State level events in February and another to come at the end of March, swimming in not only pool but open water competitions.  

Madison represented Capricornia School Sport at the Queensland State Aquathlon in Hervey Bay on February 4.

The Aquathlon event for 11–12-year-old age group saw children from across the state tackle a 1km run, 200m swim, 1km run.

Madison placed 3rd in the 11-year-old age group and 20th in the age bracket.

The following weekend, Madison travelled to the Brisbane Aquatic Centre for the Queensland Sprint Championships on February 11-12.

Madison did the club proud, medalling in the freestyle event – 3rd in the state for her age group.

She ranked highly in a field of over 200 swimmers for her other strokes also.

She then competed in the Youth State Championships for Surf Lifesaving Queensland in Mooloolaba from February 16-19.

Madison was selected to represent the North Barrier Branch (clubs from Forrest Beach to Sarina, her club being Eimeo Surf Lifesaving Club) in both beach and water events.

Madison proudly sports two gold medals for her beach sprints in the mixed and all female relay teams.  

Madison has also been selected to represent Capricornia School Sport at the Swimming State Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre to be held on March 26-28.

We are truly proud of you Madison and are equally excited for you and what your future holds.

Contributed by Pioneer Swim Club

Madison Malagueno at the Queensland Sprint Championships

Madison also competed in the Youth State Championships for Surf Lifesaving Queensland in Mooloolaba. Photos supplied

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Mackay Hot Shots Fly Capricornia Flag At State Champs

March 3, 2023

College netball stars Ainsley Carey, Rebecca Symons, Shaylah Pershouse and Tenille Cotter will fly the flag for Mackay at this year’s Queensland School Sport Netball State Championships in Brisbane.

The talented quartet impressed selectors with skilful performances at last week’s Capricornia representative trials at the Mackay Multi Sports Stadium to force their way into the respective 16-19yrs and 13-15yrs squads.

Outstanding wing attack Carey, shooter Symons, goalkeeper Pershouse and centre Cotter will be joined by Mackay State High School’s promising shooter Christa Nissen in powerful Capricornia representative line ups.

The State Netball Championship – to be held at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena from April 27 to 30 – is one of the highlight events on the Queensland School Sports calendar.

Carey, who will represent the Australian Indigenous team during this year’s Pacific Netball series, will spearhead the Capricornia 16-19yrs side alongside fellow Mackay natives Symons and Nissen.

All three produced dominant displays throughout the trials with Symons and Nissen confirming their status as two of the finest netball shooters in the region.

Emerging St Patrick’s centre Lillian Newland and goalkeeper Kaycee Ziegeler were named in the Possibles v Probables 16-19yrs squad but narrowly missed Capricornia selection.

Rising stars Pershouse and Cotter are two players to watch in the Capricornia 13-15yrs team.

The formidable duo are fierce competitors that thrive in pressure-cooker situations and show a maturity on court that far belies their years.

Unlucky omissions were Holy Spirit College duo Mia Slater, a dynamic wing attack and Alysse Atherton, a tyro goal defender/wing defence, who missed the cut despite figuring prominently in the Possibles v Probables selection trial.      

By Chris Karas

Outstanding Mackay netballers Shayla Pershouse (holding ball) and Tenille Cotter (fourth left) will represent Capricornia at this year’s Queensland School Sport Netball 13-15yrs State Championships in Brisbane. Also pictured are Mackay Schools reps Ava Symons, Addison Dee, Lacie Clark, Mia Slater, Tahlia Anderson, Kiana Dunn, Alysse Atherton and Rhyanna Ape

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Emerging Australian Indoor Hockey Honours For Ace Haiden

March 3, 2023

Have hockey stick and cricket bat will travel – that is the motto of Mackay’s 17 year old dual sports representative Haiden Mellifont (pictured).

When he is not cracking boundaries or unveiling his array of shots as a stylish top order batsman during the summer months, the gifted St Patrick’s College Year 12 student can be found plying his attacking skills on a hockey field.

All eyes will be on Haiden when he leads the Capricornia Boys 16-19 yrs representative cricket team into action at the Queensland Schoolboy Cricket Championships to be staged in Maroochydore from this Sunday March 5 to next Wednesday March 8.

The talented Mellifont is one of seven St Patrick’s College players named in a strong Capricornia squad that will line up against some of the finest schoolboy cricketers in the State.

Only six weeks ago versatile Hayden swapped his cricket bat for a hockey stick and gained selection in the Emerging Australian Under 18 Indoor Hockey squad after strong performances at the National titles staged at the Brisbane Sports Entertainment Centre.  

Mellifont scored three goals to help the Queensland Gold team finish a creditable fifth and caught the eye of national selectors with top displays at centre half and fullback.

The Emerging Under 18s will attend a training camp in Melbourne in preparation for an international series at home.

Earlier the gun midfielder led Mackay to victory at the State Indoor Hockey titles in Maryborough – inspiring team mates with his technical skills to earn himself yet another Maroons shirt.

Haiden first picked up a hockey stick at the age of eight while a student at Emmanuel Catholic Primary School at Mount Pleasant and has developed into a crack centre half since joining Norths Hockey Club as a fresh-faced 12 year old.

The lanky schoolboy was a key member of Norths’ premiership-winning second grade team in the Mackay Hockey Association in 2022 and is now fully entrenched in the club’s first grade line up.

Last year Haiden was named in the Queensland Hockey Under 19 Merit Team for a proposed ‘Test’ series against New Zealand and is on track for selection in the 2023 squad.

He will represent Mackay Schools in Rockhampton this week and hopes to lead Capricornia to back-to-back titles at the State Hockey Championships in Ipswich from May 18-21.

All-rounder Haiden is one of the young guns at Pioneer Valley Cricket Club and last summer was named Mackay Cricket Association’s Second Grade Player of the Year.

He started his cricket career with Brothers before linking with the Valley as a 13 year old and helping the club win four junior premierships.

The Mackay-Whitsundays representative has blossomed into a dashing top order batsman and handy seam bowler in the senior ranks and figured in the Valley’s triumphant second grade X1 that captured the 40 overs one day competition last summer.

By Chris Karas

Haiden Mellifont is a representative player in both hockey and cricket

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Cutters Lose Final Trial

March 3, 2023

The Mackay Cutters returned to BB Print Stadium on the weekend, facing up for their third and final preseason trial.

The gameday was originally touted as a double header, with the BMD Premiership Cutters scheduled to take on the Central Queensland Capras before the Hostplus Cup Cutters welcomed the Townsville Blackhawks.

The Central Queensland Capras, however, informed the club earlier in the week that they unfortunately had to withdraw from the trial match against the Cutters BMD Premiership squad.

The BMD squad hosted a Community Inclusive event with Mackay junior girls instead, giving girls an exclusive opportunity to train with our BMD Mackay Cutters before the Hostplus Cup game kicked off.

The Hostplus Cup Cutters later took to the field, starting the game with a bang and finishing the first half 16-4.

The second half was a scoreless affair for the Cutters, however, as the Blackhawks hit back hard, finishing the game with a 16-28 win.

The loss comes as the first from three preseason trials, with plenty of positives to take into round one next Saturday March 11 against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls at Manly.

Meanwhile, the Cutters junior squads all had success against the Northern Pride in Cairns with the Harvey Norman Under 19 Girls winning 26-6, the Mal Meninga Cup Cutters winning 24-4 and the Cyril Connel Cutters winning 20-4.

Photo credit: Marty Strecker Photography

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March 3, 2023

Local Athletics Season Getting Underway

On your marks, get set, go!

The Mackay Athletics Club is gearing up for an exciting season of competition and camaraderie. From seasoned veterans to fresh-faced beginners, our club welcomes athletes of all ages, abilities, and skill levels. This has helped to build a strong base of competitive and experienced athletes over the years throughout all disciplines of the sport.

As the starting gun sounds on March 4th at 12.30pm, our athletes will be hitting the ground running, with competitions scheduled throughout the month in Brisbane and Sydney. But it's not all about winning medals – we're a family-friendly club that values development, support, and unity. That's why we're changing things up in 2023, with older members stepping up to mentor and assist our younger ones.

So, whether you're a sprinter, a jumper, or a thrower, come join the Mackay Athletics Club and reach new heights!

Commencing on March 4 at 12.30pm, the upcoming season is shaping up to be an amazing one.  

The month of March sees many of our athletes compete in Brisbane and Sydney in Queensland Athletics Championships March 9-12, Australian Masters Championships March 10-13, Queensland Athletics 3000m and the NQ Cross Country Championships.

Later in April, our amazing athletes will compete at the Chemist Warehouse Australian Open, Under 20 and Junior (Under 13 to Under 19) over two different weekends.

The Mackay Athletics Club offers coaching for club members with cost and details found on our website. As a general rule, if you are already coached by someone, it is best practice to discuss this with your coach.

In 2023, the Mackay Athletics Club will make some changes to how we run our season. We will split the afternoon into two sessions to better support our members.

The first session is for athletes aged five to 12, and events will run as normal. This session is designed to give younger members more opportunities for development, with support from our older athletes and their parents. We are inviting our older club members to join us at the normal time to help support our newer and younger members.

The second session is for athletes aged 13 to masters level, and will be run differently to give those who specialize in certain disciplines more opportunities to compete.

Visit or Mackay Athletics Club | Mackay QLD | Facebook for more information.

Contributed by Belinda Rule

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Road Runners Take On The Hills

February 23, 2023

Hilly scenic views were a highlight for the Mackay Road Runners’ (MRR) second race of the 2023 program as they challenged themselves to an undulating 5/10km Rural View Lookout event.  

The annual event is surprisingly popular with the local contingent of runners despite the many ascents and descents to test the legs and the lungs.  

Hopefully, no one overdid it as the conditions were extremely humid with little breeze amongst the peaks and troughs of the Rural View loop.

Newly appointed MRR Vice President Brendan Bishop was great in his first outing, offering  a respectful thanks to Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country.  

Brendan then passed on important notices and updates before advising the two loop course description from Wallman’s Court to the Rural View lookout and return.  Brendan thanked Andrew Short for his excellent work once again in setting up the course with multiple signs directing runners through the course.  

First male in the 5km was newcomer Jared Mackie, who did a sensational 5km run over the gruelling course ahead of second placed Oliver Rule and Darrin Pullen.

Likewise, talented junior runner, Millie Bishop easily accounted for the 5km to be first female ahead of Jo Hughes and Mel Harris.  

Damian Rutland was sensational in the 10km marginally taking the win from speedsters Paul Mackenzie and Mick Vivian.  

Alana Knesevic continued her amazing form with a sound win over second placed Jose Short who was only 10 seconds ahead of a fast finishing Carolyn Mapes.

Well done to runners completing their individual event, with excellent performances from new runners Walker Murray and Grant Holstrom in the 10km and Jared Mackie and Lauren Connor in the 5km.

Congratulations and welcome to them as well as the return of our existing members.  

This Sunday the MRR will host its first Club Championship run of the 2023 season from Queens Park carpark, Shakespeare Street entrance.  

To accrue club championship points and handicap points, runners must be a member of MRR, therefore, don’t miss out, register online asap at

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

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North Mackay Ladies Bowls Results

February 23, 2023

Wednesday Ladies Social Bowls played on the 15th February.

The winning team was a pairs game with Fleur Warner and Margaret Goldston. Runners up were Gloria Sam, Judith Snow and Wendy McGee.

Club Championship pairs is now underway with results in coming weeks.

Contributed by Sue Hazledine

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Mackay Bowls Club News

February 23, 2023

On Saturday, the Mackay Bowls Club played a Ladies v Men Challenge.

Congratulations to the men who were victorious defeating women on all rinks.

On the day, bowls and the club were the winners with 30 members enjoying an afternoon of good bowls and friendship.

Rink Winners

Mick Irving, Mick Coll, Steve Cassidy def Val Edwards, Hazel Chiconi, Carol Savage

Alan Summerfield, Gary Blackburn Brian Williams def Helen Truscott, Julie Caban, Wendy Pomeroy

Alan Bartlett, Peter Molloy, Chris Molloy def Janice Nelson, Robyn Schatkowski

Barry Jenner, Col Stevens, Barry Paskins def Denise Mezzen, Marie Mayfield

Col Marks, Greg Thomsen, Trevor Mayfield def Tony Blucher, Thelma Fry, Leanne Jenner


Tuesday Social Bowls

Winners of Winners

Leanne Jenner, Barry Jenner, Peter Taaffe

Winner of Losers

Robyn Schatkowski, Whare Herewini, Barry Paskins

Thursday Scroungers

Whare Herewini def Mick Coll

Friday Social Play

Winner of Winners

Barry Jenner and Marie Mayfield

Winner of Losers

Leanne Jenner and Lyn Jackson

Ladies Championships fours and pairs start on Friday (today) as well as Social Bowls.

Men’s Club Championships start on Saturday with open fours and open pairs starting at 1.00pm.

Barefoot social bowls is on Sunday starting at 3.00pm. Everyone welcome.

Players are reminded that Wests Tigers Challenge is on Saturday 12th March.

Contributed by Mike Irving

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February 23, 2023

With an event sponsored by Bushman’s Bakery, it was extremely appropriate that the winning team of Goosies’ ‘Under the Shed’ tournament was named the ‘Dough Makers’!

It’s a major event for the local bowls club in North Mackay, attracting bowlers from across Queensland to have a crack at the $12,000 prize pool. As a Bowls Australia Tier 3 ranked event, bowlers know they will face fierce competition in the mission to land nearest the jack.

Held last weekend on the 18 and 19 February, it was a heavily contested event, and though the competition was tight with many games being decided by one or two points, many return each year for the camaraderie. This year, 32 teams competed over the two days, each playing five games to determine the winner.

The winning team was Peter Grant, Paul Goldston, Gary Simmons and Peter Blackburn.

It was a very successful weekend for the North Mackay Club as well as Mackay Bowls in general.

Contributed by Ian Rowan

Teams at Goosies in the Under the Shed competition

The final game for The Dough Makers

The winning team, the Dough Makers

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Futsal Star Barcelona Bound

February 23, 2023

A young footballer who recently dipped his toes in futsal is now saving up to travel to Barcelona in June to represent Australia in the indoor game.

12-year-old Blake Potter first kicked a football at the age of four.

It’s been his lifelong dream to play professional football but when his Mackay State High School Football Academy coaches selected him in their futsal team for last year’s Whitsunday School Titles, representative futsal beckoned.

From there, he was selected to represent Queensland Country, gelling with a team of boys he’d never met or played with, before being selected to represent U13 Australia in Barcelona in June.

“It felt really good,” said Blake.

“I was a bit shocked actually.”

Blake and his family moved to Mackay early last year from Melbourne, where Blake played with various football academies and clubs including in the NPL Club Oakleigh Cannons system.

He’s played for both Magpies Crusaders and Mackay Lions since relocating and looks to develop his skills through futsal.

“Futsal’s definitely more fast paced, and you need indoor footwork but outdoor is more of a controlled game,” said Blake.

“Your foot skills really develop a lot, playing futsal, which he can transfer into the outdoor game,” agreed his mother, Amber Potter.

Blake has been working hard to fund his Spain trip, with local businesses paying him to drop pamphlets in letterboxes throughout town.

“When he found out he’d been selected and we showed him the cost, he said, ‘Can I get a job to help?’” said Amber.

“I was really proud of him, wanting to chip in and make it happen.”

As well as letterbox dropping, Blake has asked people in his neighbourhood to donate their cans and bottles, where he cashes them in to save for the trip.

Amber has also been putting together hampers with products donated from local businesses and started selling raffle tickets earlier this week.

“The local businesses have been so generous, it’s blown me away,” she said.

Anyone interested in buying raffle tickets or assisting in selling them can email Amber at

Before June, Blake will join a team representing Mackay at the Northern Regional Futsal Titles in Brisbane in April.

12-year-old Blake Potter will travel to Barcelona in June to represent Australia in futsal. Photos supplied

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Table Tennis Results

February 23, 2023

Mackay Table Tennis Tuesday morning fixtures Tuesday, February 14, 2023:

Division 1:

Pelicans (Charlie Payne, Branko Vucurovic, John McGee, Veronica Shepherd) d Magpies (George Camilleri, Delma Knight, Charles Hamlett) 9-5. Branko d George 7, 8, -11, -8, 9.

Cockatoos (Tony Bowman, Steve Mathieson, Peter Goodson, Don Boettcher) d Doves (Michael Ibbotson, Pam Joyce, Kevin Abbott, Coral Morgan) 10-4. Peter d Kevin 6, -6, 5, -6, 10.

Division 2:

Owls (Kim Challender, Robyn Bushell, Helen Ware) d Parrots (Bryan Marshall, Marie Taylor) 8-4. Marie d Kim -5, -6, 6, 10, 9.

Kookaburras (John Hamelink, Ken Best) d Ibis (Iris Grasso, Louise Gould) 7-5. Louise d John 5, 9, -14, 9.

Division 3:

Eagles (Sharon Muller, Frank Caruana, Glenda Dutton) d Storks (Madge Saunders, Thelma Caruana, Allison Day) 9-3. Glenda d Allison -10, -6, 4, 8, 11.

Hawks (Pam Keune, Gloria Vella, Trish Zamparuti) d Pigeons (Ian Dodds, Bill Hey, Myles Dutton) 9-3. Gloria d Ian 7, -8, -8, 7, 1.

Mackay Table Tennis Tuesday night fixtures February 14, 2023:

Division 1:

Tibhar (Mick Ruhl, Timothy Shehan, Allan Edwards) d Joola (Robbie Richards, Emma Widdup, Neil Brown) 7-4. Robbie d Timothy 9, -11, -7, 4, 9.

Victas (Anne Sheridan, Steven Whiting, Geoff Denman) d Donic (Graham Drury, Andrew McHugh, Daniel Warfield) 7-4. Andrew d Steven -8, 8, 9, -10, 9.

Division 2:

Radak (Lee Brake, Andrea Nicholson, George Camilleri) d Andro (Janice Kent, Graeme Walker, Mark Sleeman) 9-5. Andrea d Graeme 6, 10, -5, -5, 11.

Yasaka (Ian McKay, Duncan Treloar, Peter Goodson, Lily Boland) d Stiga (Graham Brake, Tony Bowman, Steve Mathieson, Matthew West) 9-5. Ian d Tony -5, 6, 11, -6, 8.

Division 3:

Gewo (Simon Hogan, Rymer Tabulo, Aarnav Reelh) d Nittaku (Steve Crocker, Jye Callander, Duncan Sheridan) 8-3. Aarnav d Steve 9, -7, -5, 9, 1.

Butterfly (Virginia Clayton, Val Austin, Trent Day) d Xiom (Leo Gilbert, Ollie Hamelink, Donna Abbott) 8-3. Virginia d Donna -4, -5, 7, 9, 9.

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T20 Finals Down To The Wire

February 23, 2023

The Mackay Cricket Dixon Homes T20 Shootout season came to a close on Saturday with a double header on Great Barrier Reef Arena, headlined by the Division 1 decider between Pioneer Valley and Magpies.

Pioneer Valley picked up the bat first after winning the toss, with openers Jack Sambell and Mitchell English forming a solid opening partnership.

Sambell was the first to go, departing for 23 runs off 21 deliveries in the fifth over, with bowler Todd Dixon striking again on the very next ball.

English went on to top score with 30 runs off 28, with the rest of the order struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking, leaving Pioneer Valley with 7/98 from 20 overs.

Dixon led the bowling attack finishing his four overs on 3/20, while Liam Zurvas and Andrew Borg both finished the innings with a wicket each and two run outs accounting for the other two wickets.

Magpies had an equally shaky innings, with only number five batsman Jaxn Sign getting settled at the crease.

Sign top scored with 35 off 49 not out and was assisted by Kai Higham with 14 and Blake Ryan with 13 in chasing down the total, reaching 7/99 with one ball remaining.

Alistair Houghton, Timothy Cridland and Cody Filewood finished with two wickets each and English with one, but it wasn’t enough in the end.

Another extremely close game was played out earlier in the afternoon, with the Division 2 final between Pioneer Valley and Norths playing out in an eerily similar fashion.

Pioneer Valley again won the toss and chose to bat, with openers Haiden Mellifont and Cooper Spencer top scoring with 37 and 32 respectively, helped by Dean Zeller with 19 to get the batting side to a respectable 8/150.

Ashley Murphy did the damage with the ball for Norths, finishing with three wickets and assisted by Lachlan Brett and Christopher Bell with two each.

After losing the early wicket of Chris Day, Norths took on the chase calmly and efficiently, with a 50 from Shawn Day, 32 from Daniel Tatow and 30 from Russel Counsell helping them to 4/151, again with one ball to spare.

One wicket each for B Reginato and H Kirkwood and two run outs gave Pioneer Valley a chance, but Norths held on, scoring the winning runs with a thick edge past the keeper.

Magpies defeated Pioneer Valley in a closely fought Division 1 final

Pioneer Valley and Norths faced off in the Division 2 final, with Norths finishing on top. Photos supplied

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Pedal Prix Season Underway

February 23, 2023

With plenty of school sports underway, Mackay Northern Beaches State High School students enjoyed their first training sessions for the 2023 Pedal Prix season.

Pedal Prix is a STEM activity challenge tasking students with driving, maintaining and scrutinising human-powered vehicles.

Students were eager to get involved and begin learning about everything relating to Pedal Prix.

Mackay Northern Beaches State High School students have started training for the upcoming Pedal Prix season. Photo supplied

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February 23, 2023

Mackay Cutters V Townsville Blackhawks

Round: Trial 3

Venue: BB Print Stadium

Date: Sat February 25

Kickoff: 6.00pm

2023 Hostplus Cup Team List

1 Logen Dillon

2 Jake Riley

3 Joshua Smith

4 Flynn Camilleri

5 Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy

6 Adam Cook

7 Brandon Finnegan

8 Garrett Smith

9 Kyle Schneider

10 Hiale Roycroft

11 Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano

12 Luke Webley

13 Matthew Vessey

14 Bayley Gill

15 Adam Cuthbertson

16 Asher O’Donnell

17 Robson Stevens

18 Jack Hoffmann

19 Jaylan To’o

20 Joel Brown

21 Walter Lauenstein

22 Kane Simon

23 Henri Stocks

24 Hayden Pace

25 Dario Takitaki

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Mellifont Chases Dual Queensland Rep Honours

February 23, 2023

Some of Mackay’s most promising junior cricketers will pad up for Capricornia at the Queensland State Schoolboys Cricket Championships to be staged in Maroochydore from March 5-8.

Classy opening batsman Haiden Mellifont is one of seven St Patrick’s College players named in a strong Capricornia Boys 16-19yrs representative squad that will compete against rival regions at the four-day event.

The team will be coached and managed by local Mackay cricket legends Adam Knezevic and Chris Dunn, who are both teachers at St Patrick’s College.

17-year-old Mellifont, a regular top order batsman in the Pioneer Valley Cricket Club reserve grade X1, will skipper the team during the prestigious Carnival and will be joined by Mackay school colleagues Liam Zurvas, Joel McFarlane, Nick Beardmore, Liam Newbery, Cameron Tomerini and Etienne Pretorius.

Other squad members include Colby Rudd (The Cathedral College Rockhampton); Cayden Kent and Rory Connor (Rockhampton Grammar School); Caden Keirsnowski (Gladstone State High) and Liam Welsh (St Brendan’s College Yeppoon).

The talented Zurvas, an accomplished keeper-batsman from the Magpies Cricket Club, is also established in the Mackay Cricket Association’s second grade ranks along with dashing top order batsmen McFarlane and Pretorius (Walkerston); batting all-rounder Liam Newbery (Walkerston); leg spinner Nick Beardmore and off spinner Cameron Tomerini (Brothers).  

Rising star Zurvas had reason to celebrate last Saturday when he joined elder brothers Ben and Adam in helping the Magpies capture the Division 1 Twenty20 Shootout trophy with a thrilling Grand Final win over Pioneer Valley at Great Barrier Reef Arena.

Jaxn Sign proved the hero with a fine knock of 35 not out as the Magpies (7-99) eclipsed the Valley’s 7-98 in the final over.

A dual Capricornia schools’ representative, the versatile Mellifont is also an outstanding hockey prospect and firmly established in the current Hockey Queensland Under 18 State squad for 2023.  

Haiden hails from the strong Mackay Hockey Association and turned in consistent displays at an elite level last season.  

He was named in the Queensland Representative School Sport 19yrs Hockey Merit Team and claimed the Best & Fairest trophy for his superb performances in the 2022 Mackay Hockey A2 Mens competition.  

Mellifont impressed keen judges with classy displays for Queensland Gold at the Hockey Australia Under 18 Championships in Cairns last year.  

Last Saturday he top-scored for Pioneer Valley with a dashing 37 runs off 27 balls in the club’s Division 2 Twenty20 Shootout Grand Final loss to Norths Cricket Club at Great Barrier Reef Arena.

Mellifont cracked four boundaries and shared an opening stand of 61 with keeper Cooper Spencer (32) as the Valley posted 8-150 off their allotted overs.

In reply, Norths trio Shawn Day (50 runs off 49 balls), Daniel Tatow (32 off 24 balls) and keeper Russel Counsell (30 off 27 balls) combined to help steer their side to victory with a ball to spare.

MEANWHILE emerging St Patrick’s College keeper/batter Haylee Holdsworth will represent Capricornia at this year’s Queensland Schools State Cricket Championships from March 13-16 at Rockhampton Cricket Grounds.


By Chris Karas

Classy St Patrick’s College batsman Haiden Mellifont will skipper the Capricornia representative X1 at the upcoming Queensland Schoolboys Cricket Championships in Maroochydore next month

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Pioneer Dolphins Seal The Deal In Emerald

February 23, 2023

The weekend of February 3 and 4 saw a small tribe of Dolphins head to Emerald for the Emerald Seals Swimming Carnival.

Brothers Ralph and Rex Traeger as well as brothers Nate and Isaiah Espartinez had a fabulous day with Ralph taking out 8-year-old Age Champion and Isaiah taking out 9-year-old Runner’s Up Age Champion.

The whole club was not able to attend this carnival, but all cheered from afar and followed the results closely. Well done to all boys for fantastic results!

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

L-R Ralph Traeger, Rex Traeger, Isaiah Espartinez and Nate Espartinez

Ralph 8-year-old age champion and Isaiah 9-year-old runner up age champion

Ready to race. Photos supplied: Tahnie Malagueno

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From Mackay To The World Stage

February 23, 2023

Marwood Takes On Virtual Cycling's Best In World Championships

Last Sunday, ten Australian athletes, including local cyclist Kyle Marwood, geared up for the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships, which is the premier virtual bike race in the world. The competitors raced across dozens of time zones and on two different days around the world. Primetime racing in Europe meant a pre-dawn challenge for the Aussies.

The World Championships had a different format this year, discarding the one-off scratch race in favour of a three race elimination style format. Although men’s world champion Jay Vine was unable to start, the Australian men’s team had the depth to challenge for results. Those with the most experience were 2022 silver medallist Freddy Ovett and fourth-place getter Ben Hill, two capable finishers on punchy terrain.

Last year, Sam Hill and Torben Partridge-Madsen provided valuable support to set up Australia’s one-two result, and they returned to the squad. Meanwhile, Josh Harris and local Mackay cyclist, Kyle Marwood, made their debuts. Marwood was a staple of last year's AusCycling Club Esports Series and made his national representative debut in the event. He is the owner of Mackay Cycles located in Ooralea and is a regular competitor at the Mackay Cycling Club's local races.

He geared up just after midnight and was supported by fellow Mackay Cycling Club members, Aram Drake and Jarrod Sampson in his garage, ready to tackle the world championship event in the early hours of Sunday morning.

In the first race of the men’s event, Marwood was amongst only three Australian riders in the top 30 who qualified for the second round. Freddy Ovett, who won the silver medal in 2022, progressed alongside Kyle Marwood and Ben Hill, who both made it through the first round in 29th and 30th respectively after a bunch sprint. Unfortunately, Marwood and Hill were eliminated in the second section of the race, which was the hilly component of the three-race challenge. Marwood finished 26th overall in the world. Ovett was the best-placed Australian, finishing in 6th overall.

Although Marwood did not medal, his participation in the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships was a significant achievement. It is a testament to his passion for cycling and dedication to the sport.

Kyle Marwood represented Australia last weekend in the UCI Cycling Esports World Championships

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Cycling Club's Criterium Series Surges Towards The Finish

February 23, 2023

With gears clicking and wheels spinning, the Mackay Cycling Club's Criterium Series, sponsored by Mackay Cycles, has been a thrilling showcase of talent and endurance.

The second race of the three-event series saw more than 65 riders take to the roads of CQUniversity in Ooralea, pushing themselves to the limit as they sped around the circuit closed to traffic. From the U9 age group all the way up to seniors in A to D grades, the competition has been fierce, with riders vying for the top spot in their categories. With the final race of the series approaching, the riders are gearing up for one last push to the finish line, hoping to secure their place on the podium and claim victory in this thrilling test of skill and determination.

The Criterium Series has seen some fierce competition, with riders vying for the top spot in their respective categories. The in-form Kyle Marwood has been untouchable on the road, leading the A-grade after two events. Ben Sutton and Luke Schatkowski are tied at the top of the B-grade with one win each, while Mark Sheather has taken two from two to top the C grade. Mark Johnston also won both races in a heavily contested D grade to sit in first place.

In the juniors, Angus Wicks leads the U17 with two from two wins, while Peter Schatkowski and John Thomas are tied at the top of the U15 with a win each. Matthew Schatkowski leads the U13 with two from two, while Scott Bennett tops the U11 with two wins. Hamish Brennan rounds out the results, leading the U9 competition with two wins.

The Mackay Cycling Club's Criterium Series has showcased some exceptional cycling talent, and the final race promises to be an exciting event, with riders battling it out for top honours in their categories.

Cyclists took to the streets of the CQUniversity campus in Ooralea last weekend for race two in the Mackay Cycles Criterium Series. Photo credit: Photos By Nell

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Chasing Glory On The Track and Field

February 23, 2023

Mackay Athletics Club Summer Series Delivers Action-Packed Competition

With a burst of energy and a flurry of activity, the Mackay Athletics Club Summer Series number 3 competition sprinted into action last weekend. Athletes from across Queensland took to the track and field, leaping, throwing, and racing with the skill and precision of seasoned pros. The event showcased a range of athletic disciplines, including the High Jump, Long Jump, Discus, Javelin, Triple Jump, 3000m, 60m, 100m, and the 800m. As runners exploded out of the starting blocks and jumpers soared through the air, the competition was a true testament to the spirit of athletics and the dedication of its participants.

The event was also extremely well supported by athletes from the Mackay, Isaac, and Whitsunday regions.

The competition provided a fantastic opportunity for athletes to get some competing time in before various upcoming competitions. These include the Queensland Athletics Championships in Brisbane from the 9th to the 12th of March, which is now open to U13's through to the Open age group. The Australian Masters Championships in Sydney on the 10th and 13th of March, the Queensland Athletics 3000m Championships in Brisbane on the 1st of March, and the NQ Cross Country Championships at Galbraith Park in Cannon Valley on the 19th of March. Additionally, the Chemist Warehouse Australian Open and Under 20 Track & Field Championships will take place from the 30th of March to the 2nd of April in Brisbane, and the Chemist Warehouse Australian Junior (Under 13 to Under 18) Track & Field Championships will take place from the 13th to the 16th of April, also in Brisbane.

The Mackay Athletics Club Summer Series number 3 competition was a testament to the dedication and sportsmanship of athletes across the state. The event was made possible by the hard work and effort of the organizing committee, volunteers, and participants who made it a success. The Mackay Athletics Club can be proud of its efforts in supporting and promoting athletics in the region by providing an off-season series to prepare athletes for the upcoming year.

Athletes competed last weekend at the final of the Mackay Athletics Club’s Summer Series competition. Photo credit: Mackay Athletics Club

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Eungella Dam Attracts World Championships Again

February 23, 2023

Nominations are now open for Mackay Area Fish Stocking Association (MAFSA) Inc’s premier fundraising event at Eungella Dam, where both Junior and Senior anglers compete for the title of World Champion Angler in their respective divisions.

The event, the INDT 2023 World Sooty Championship will be held over two days on the 29th and 30th April, and is expected to attract more than 100 anglers to experience the wonderful Sooty Grunter fishing in Eungella Dam.

The dam is regularly stocked by MAFSA with funds generated by the Queensland Stocked Impoundment Permit ( SIP) scheme. MAFSA also raises funds locally to supplement stocking of native sooty grunter in the dam.

2023 will be the 18th time the tournament has been held. It attracts local anglers as well as from centres such as Mt Isa, Townsville, Dalby, Brisbane and anglers from interstate have also fished the tournament. Many anglers make it a family weekend at the dam and campers not in the event are always interested in seeing the quality of the fish caught in the tournament.

All scoring fish (minimum 300mm) are returned to the control area in on board tanks and after measuring for scoring purposes the fish are held in an above ground shaded swimming pool and released back into the dam at the end of each of the three sessions. Poor condition fish are disqualified and MAFSA emphasises the proper handling of the fish to ensure the tournament has a minimum impact on the fish numbers in the dam.

MAFSA Inc. holds the event in partnership with Sunwater and is supported by many local sponsors including INDT whose MD Craig Birkett is a regular competitor and often features among the top placings.

“MAFSA has created awesome freshwater fisheries in the Mackay area which regularly attract anglers from all over Australia and several anglers from Japan and the USA have enjoyed these fisheries,” Mr Birkett said.

“I am  proud to be associated with the volunteers of MAFSA  who work tirelessly to bring world class fishing experiences to Mackay’s dams for the benefit of locals and tourists alike.

“My Company has for several years supported the event as naming rights sponsor in recognition of the importance of MAFSA’s efforts” Mr Birkett said.

Long-time sponsors like Tackleworld Mackay, Reef Marine and Mackay Regional Council continue to support the tournament recognising it as a valuable fundraiser which enables MAFSA to enhance the “liveability” of the region and attract visitors to our area.

MAFSA Chairman Tim Swann said, “This is our major fundraiser for the year and during the tournament we will also be releasing more sooty grunter fingerlings into Eungella dam.

“The dam is already the premier Sooty Grunter fishery in Queensland and we will continue to enhance its reputation as a high quality Sooty Grunter fishery capable of attracting anglers from far and wide.

“I urge anglers to nominate early to avoid missing out as numbers are capped at 120 to compete for the quality prizes and trophies on offer,” he said.

Nominations and catering packages can be booked online at TryBooking and search “MAFSA” in the buy section.

“We look forward to another successful INDT 2023 World Sooty Championship tournament and welcoming regular and new competitors to the event,” Mr Swann concluded.

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U18 Meteorettes Secure State Silver

February 16, 2023

The McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes recently travelled to the Gold Coast to compete in the Basketball Queensland Under 18 State Championship.

The girls made it to an epic Division 1 Grand Final, finishing second in their pool and defeating the Gold Coast Rollers 63-51 in the semi.

In a decider that went down to the wire, the Meteorettes ultimately went down to the Logan Thunder 73-72.

Monique Bobongie starred, scoring 30 points, with Charli Bliss contributing 22 and Hannah Jensen 12.

Congratulations to Ross, Troy, Kylie and the girls on their massive efforts to secure Silver Medals.

The Mackay Meteorettes secured silver medals in the Basketball Queensland Under 18 State Championship on the Gold Coast last month. Photo supplied

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Mackay Contingent In Queensland North Teams

February 16, 2023

There was a solid Mackay representation in the Under 15 Queensland North teams recently competing at the Southern Cross Challenge held in Victoria.

Congrats to the Mackay Basketball junior players who did Mackay proud.

Eden Catip, Isabel Smith, Maggie Thorburn, Skye Vaughn and Lily Mapp all made the girls team while Usai Bickley, Cooper Currie and Treyce Cianter represented the boys.

The Queensland North girls finished 4th with the Queensland North boys coming 8th.

Well done to all involved.

Eight Mackay players represented Queensland North at the U15 Southern Cross Challenge in Victoria last month. Photos supplied

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Mackay Netballers Set To Strike At Capricornia Trials

February 16, 2023

Australian Indigenous centre court sensation Ainsley Carey heads a strong St Patrick’s College netball contingent that will represent Mackay at next Monday’s Capricornia trials to be staged at Mackay Basketball Stadium.

The gifted 17-year-old centre/wing attack, who shone for Queensland at the recent National Indigenous Netball Championships on the Gold Coast, is one of the brightest prospects in the State and a product of the Mackay Magpies Netball Club.

Ainsley is one of five St Patrick’s College players in the Mackay District School Sport Netball Senior 16 - 19yrs squad that will push their claims for Capricornia representative selection.

Other St Patrick’s whiz kids to watch include outstanding defenders Mischa Dinsdale and goalkeeper Kacee Ziegeler, centre Lillian Newland and shooter Rebecca Symons.

They’ll be joined by promising Holy Spirit College defenders Elizabeth Lee and Stella Brooks; Whitsunday Anglican College shooters Eden Bagley and Isabel Milful and Mackay State High School shooter Christa Nissen.

The squad will be coached by experienced and respected St Patrick’s College mentor Diana Bailey.

During the trials Mackay will compete against teams from Port Curtis, Central Highlands and Rockhampton.



ST PATRICK’S players also dominate selections in the Mackay District School Sport Netball 13 - 15yrs Junior squad which includes emerging goalkeeper Shaylah Pershouse and centre court ace Tenille Cotter.

Talented shooters/goal attacks Kiana Dunn and Tahlia Anderson and goal attack/wing attack Lacie Clark will also fly the St Patrick’s flag along with leading coach Christine Newland.

Other players featured include rising Holy Spirit College trio Ava Symons (goal attack/shooter); Mia Slater (wing attack/centre/wing defender) and Alysse Atherton (goal defender/wing defence) and Mackay State High School’s sharp centre court/shooter Rhyanna Ape and impressive goalkeeper Addison Dee.

Exciting prospects Ziegeler, Pershouse and Cotter have been chosen to participate on the Wanderers Australia International Netball tour of England and France in 2024 where they’ll play eight matches against top club, county and representative teams in the United Kingdom.  

The trio helped Mercy College capture the Division 6 Trophy at last year’s Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Netball (QISSN) tournament after edging out rivals Marist College Emerald 16-15 in a thrilling Grand Final contest.  

Dinsdale was named the competition’s Most Valuable Player after classy performances during the series and caught the eye of Australian Diamonds great Vicki Wilson, who labelled the Mercy school girl “an exceptional talent.”  

The skilful Rebecca Symons was named St Patrick’s Most Valuable Player at the 2022 QISSN event.

By Chris Karas

St Patrick's College senior netballers Lillian Newland, Mischa Dinsdale, Rebecca Symons, Kacee Ziegeler and Ainsley Carey will represent Mackay Schools at next Monday's Capricornia 16 - 19yrs netball trials

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Pioneer Swimming Club Attend Queensland Sprint Championships

February 16, 2023

On the weekend of 11-12 February 2023, Pioneer Dolphins travelled to the big smoke, Brisbane, for an action-packed weekend of competition at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

The fastest in the state battled it out for absolute supremacy in the “sprint” distance of 50m over the four strokes.

Pioneer Swimming Club celebrated a whopping 32 Dolphins having qualified for the event with 16 travelling to compete – Kylie Smith, Jade Bounden, Kailu Bellear, Kingston Baker, Yasmin Seedwell, Ella Bounden, Zahli Herring, Georgie Brand, Alex Moss, Ariah Corrigan, Isabelle Miles, August Baker, Madison Malagueno, Joleigh Strydom, Annaliese Miles and Yvonne Bellear.

Special mentions for highlights over the weekend include Jade Bounden placing 2nd in 18-year Freestyle, 3rd in Breaststroke and 4th in Butterfly; Kylie Smith placing 5th in Open Backstroke and 9th in Butterfly; Madison Malagueno placing 3rd in 10-year freestyle; Alex Moss placing 7th in 11-year breaststroke; and personal bests being achieved by most of our state team.

Igor joined the team on the trip to Brisbane and was one very proud Coach!

Our Dolphins celebrated their phenomenal weekend of swimming at the Brisbane Eat Street before returning to Mackay to start preparation for our next exciting event, NQ Championships to be held in Townsville on 4-5 March.  

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

Pioneer Dolphins travelled to Brisbane for the Queensland Sprint Championships over the weekend

Jade Bounden received medals in breaststroke and freestyle and finalist in fly

Kylie Smith finalist in Butterfly and Backstroke Finals

Madison Malagueno receiving her bronze medal for freestyle

Alex Moss received a finalist ribbon for breaststroke. Photos supplied

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Raiders Sign Emerging Mackay Rugby League Forward

February 16, 2023

From the warm tropics of northern Queensland to the frosty southern temperatures of the Australian Capital Territory, at the northern tip of the Australian Alps.

That is the future lifestyle for promising St Patrick’s College rugby league forward Mark Morrow after securing a three-year NRL contract with the Canberra Raiders.

The power running forward is bound for the nation’s capital when he completes his schooling in Mackay and has already impressed Raiders officials with his natural athletic prowess, work ethic and skill set while attending a pre-season camp at the club’s headquarters in Braddon.

As the 2023 season moves into full swing, the 15-year-old Morrow is determined to make every post a winner when he trots onto the field for St Patrick’s in the region’s schoolboys competition ranks; club side Mackay Wests Tigers in the Mackay & District Junior League or the Mackay Cutters in the Under 16 Cyril Connell Cup series.

It is undeniably a heavy match schedule but one the super fit Morrow will definitely relish when the first ball is officially kicked off for the new season.

A delighted Mark described his trip to the ACT as “a memorable experience” and a valuable introduction and education on NRL operations.

“I met the Raiders NRL squad at the camp and was over the moon when Kangaroos World Cup star Jack Wighton came over and made me feel welcome,” beamed Mark.

“We had a talk about my rugby league journey to date and Jack passed on tips on how to improve my game,” he added.

The impact forward was part of a squad of 24 top juniors aged between 15 and 18 from across Queensland and NSW invited to trial with the Raiders down south.

Morrow chalks up a 10-year service milestone with his beloved Tigers this season when he lines up for the Under 16 black and golds.

He remembers playing in his first trophy decider for the Tigers back in 2017.

“We lost to the Townsville Western Lions by three tries to one (12-4) in the final of the Gorden Tallis Cup,” Mark recalled.

Mark participated in the Broncos Rugby League Academy from the age of 12 and the Cowboys Academy since turning 14 before linking with the Raiders.

He represented Capricornia at the Queensland School Sports Rugby League State Championships in Under 11s, Under 12s and Under 15s and last year also lined up at the State AFL titles as a defender.

Mark is one of the big guns in a powerful and hungry St Patrick’s Year 10 team that is on the prowl for another Cowboys Challenge Shield title.

Having tasted defeat after the bell in last year’s Challenge Grand Final this Raider in waiting is determined to get his hands on the trophy in 2023.

By Chris Karas

Emerging St Patrick’s College rugby league forward Mark Morrow will swap the sun and tropics for chilly winters when he takes up a three-year deal with the Canberra Raiders

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On The Greens At Goosies Issue 131

February 16, 2023

Monday - mixed pairs draw was won by Lidia McCarthy and Ray McCarthy. Second draw winners were Vic Gaudian and Peter Miller, and the lucky prize draw was won by Marie Duck and D Evans.

Wednesday - NMBC Ladies Section winners were Lyn Tennant and Isla Comelli. Runners up were Debbie Mackenzie, Gloria Sam and Doris Dodds.

Wednesday was also the semi-final of the ladies club championship 4’s with the final played on Thursday morning. The final winning team players are Marie Bragg, Chris Hall, Michele Stockton, Dorothy (Nuggie) Pratt. Valiant runners up were Donna Gordon, Coral Francis, Deb Mackenzie, Lorna Bowers.

Thursday – Goosies first prize was taken out by Andrew Coates and Shayne Trannore. Second draw winners were Vern Mietzel and Pat Elgey.

Kitty Toucher was not won!

Friday - Mixed pairs best card winners were Col Crocker and Tom Crocker. Winners of the lucky draw were Vern Mietzel and Wayne Mietzel. Runners up were Eric Galletly and Shirley Bartolo.

Saturday - NMBC Men’s section winners were Kenny Dwyer, Shayne Trannore and Ernie Sealy. Runners up Eric Galletly, Asko Helenius and Kenny Lane.

Contributed by Ian Rowan and Suzanne Hazledine

“A” Grade Fours and NMBC Singles

Club Championship 4’s winners Chris Hall, Marie Bragg, Nuggie Pratt and Michele Stockton

Runners up Lorna Bowers, Deb Mackenzie, Donna Gordon, Coral Francis

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Cutters Shine In Cowboys Trial

February 16, 2023

While the Mackay Cutters took to the BB Print Stadium field on Saturday, a few key players were absent after being called into the Cowboys squad for their first Pre-season Challenge match against the Dolphins.

Hooker Kyle Scheider and halfback Adam Cook took to the field in Cairns on Sunday as the Cowboys played out a 22 all draw against the NRL’s freshest franchise.

Winger Laitia Moceidreke and centre Gehamat Shibasaki also played for their contracted club after appearing for the Cutters 18 and five times respectively in 2022.

Moceidreke, who played one NRL game for the Cowboys in 2021 and was the top try scorer for the Cutters in 2022, starred with two tries, including a clutch final-minute four-pointer to guarantee the draw.

The Dolphins were the first to score in the seventh minute followed by Moceidreke opening the Cowboys’ account just four minutes later.

The Cowboys led 18-4 after 32 minutes before the Dolphins made their way back into the game, leading 18-22 with eight minutes to play.

Moceidreke crossed untouched in the final minute to even things up at 22-22.

Schnieder’s consistency in attack and defence was on display, including a pinpoint kick in the 62nd to set up a try that was ultimately disallowed, and Townsville junior Cook got his first taste of the big time, donning the Cowboys jersey for the first time and taking the field with about 30 minutes to go.

“It’s obviously something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid,” Cook said after the game.

“When I got on there, I was just trying to do my role and make sure we completed the sets and I thought we did that.”

Looking to the 2023 Cutters season, Cook said he’s looking forward to a good year.

“We’re looking really good,” he said.

“Commo’s (Coach Michael Comerford) got a good group of boys there ready to go so I'm looking forward to a good season.”

Cutters’ halfback Adam Cook donned the Cowboys jersey for the first time on Sunday. Photo supplied: North Queensland Cowboys

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Road Runners Start The Season At Gooseponds

February 16, 2023

Over seventy runners braved the heat wave conditions as they competed in a one, two or three loop course around the beautiful, mostly shaded Gooseponds from the Willis Street dog park carpark.  

The social event was a great start to the formal 2023 season with the first handicap points run on next Sunday morning at Wallmans Rd cul-de-sac, Rural View.  

All runners must register online so that they are immediately eligible for club championship and handicap points towards end of year trophies.  

Also check out the 2023 calendar on the website for weekly events, times and locations.  

Please check regularly in case of any updates or changes to the program.

Many thanks to Mr Colin Meng who has once again generously accepted to be the Mackay Road Runners Club Patron, bringing his reign to over 15 years.  

Col also formally announced the first race of the season with a welcome speech before cutting the ribbon to open the 2023 season.

Thanks to Col and his family for also providing Zooper Doopers for a much needed boost of hydration post-race.  

The continuing temperatures can be fatal; therefore, all runners must ensure they seriously maintain their hydration levels throughout the week as well as on training and race days.

Thanks to Tim Magoffin and Andrew Short for setting up the course for the event, merchandiser Jo Hughes, registrar Julie Whibley and timekeeper Arthur Dick as well as the many helpers assisting in pack-up afterwards.

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

Over seventy Mackay Road Runners joined Patron Col Meng (standing far left) as he opened the first official run of the 2023 formal program

Jordan Miller enjoyed a lap of the Gooseponds with his kids

L-R Tim Magoffin, Therese Hackney and Alan Zamparutti share a laugh

Birthday boy Stuart Sprott turned 79 on the first run of the season and is going strong too

Toby Rule leads over seventy runners out of the starting chute. Photo credit: Janelle Tilse

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Cutters Show Positive Signs In Pre-Season Trials

February 16, 2023

Footy returned to BB Print Stadium on Saturday, giving punters a look at what they can expect from the Mackay Cutters in 2023 with four teams playing their first trials of the season.

The Cutters hosted the Central Queensland Capras with Cyril Connell Challenge, Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, Harvey Norman Under 19 Girls and Hostplus Cup teams all facing off.

The Cyril Connell Challenge sides were the first to take the field, with the under-16 boys kicking off in the heat of the early afternoon.

The arm wrestle of the first half finished with the Cutters and the Capras tied at 8-8, but the home team kicked into gear in the second half, finishing strongly with a 20-8 win.

It was the under 18 boys to run out next, with the Mal Meninga Cup sides facing off in an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

It was looking dire for the Cutters, as the visitors went into half time with a 0-16 lead, but an inspired second half effort saw the Cutters score 20 unanswered points to finish 20-16 victors.

The difference couldn’t be split between the Harvey Norman U19 Girls squads, with an 8-8 half time score resulting in an epic 16-16 draw at full time.

Finally, the Hostplus Cup squad showed positive signs under new coach Michael Comerford, defeating their central Queensland rivals 24-10.

The Cutters travel to Airlie Beach this weekend with the Hastings Deering Colts, BMD Premiership and Hostplus Cup sides all taking the field at Whitsundays Sports Park on Saturday.

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Bridge Players Take Top Title In Townsville

February 16, 2023

Congratulations to the Mackay team on winning the Australia Day Swiss Teams in Townsville held 28th and 29th January 2023. This is a fabulous win, as it was a very competitive event. Team - Max, Diane, Janelle and Terry.

Big Congratulations to Eric Goodchild receiving first place in the James Sullivan Silver Master Award 2022 and Terry Sheedy receiving first place in the James Sullivan Grand Master Award.

Weekly Results

Monday 6 February 2023 – Week 3 of 23 Nation Wide Pairs 8 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st David Ting / Eric Goodchild

2nd Alan Brown / Frances Brown

3rd Janelle Conroy / Terrence Sheedy

4th Monica Darley / Robert Carless


1st Helen Van Den Broek / Jan Harris

2nd Margaret Lane / Barbara Tait

3rd Maria Setiyawan / Geoff Taylor

4th Angela Wilk / Ming Ting

Tuesday Evening 7 February 2023 – 5 Table Mitchell One Winner

1st Helen Van Den Broek / Terrence Sheedy

2nd Janine Rodgers / Jan Harris

3rd Ken Seaniger / Maria Setiyawan

4th Sandra Morris / Diane Morgan

Wednesday 8 February 2023 – 9 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st Diane Holewa / Max Holewa

2nd Janet Hansen / Del Ryan

3rd Maria Setiyawan / Frances Brown

4th Monica Darley / Kath Poole


1st Janelle Conroy / Alan Brown

2nd Jan Harris / Sandra Morris

3rd Terrence Sheedy / Eric Leivesley

4th Joy Robinson / Robert Carless

Thursday 9 February 2023 –5 Table One Winner

1st Ken Seaniger / Robert Carless

2nd Geoff Taylor / Faye Wright

3rd Richard Wix / Patricia Garner

4th Mick Robins / Ann Whitmore

Friday 10 February 2023 – 8 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st Helen Van Den Broek / Don Poole

2nd Monica Darley / Victor Mason

3rd Mary Rose Ramsden / Noel Saunders

4th Joyce Deguara / Toni Large


1st Christine Nice / Maria Setiyawan

2nd Geoff Taylor / Joy Robinson

3rd Terrence Sheedy / Janelle Conroy

4th Anne Whitmore / Julie O’Neill

Saturday 11 February 2023 – 12 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st Joy Robinson / Ken Seaniger

2nd Antonia Tarradas / Christine Nice

3rd Janet Hansen / Diane Morgan

4th Vicki Taylor / Toni Large


1st Ted Cullinan / Noel Saunders

2nd Debra Goodchild / Eric Goodchild

3rd Janine Rodgers / Terrence Sheedy

4th Helen Van Den Broek / Joy Brunette

Di, Max, Janelle and Terry won the Australia Day Swiss Teams in Townsville

Eric Goodchild receiving first place in the James Sullivan Silver Master Award

Terry Sheedy receiving first place in the James Sullivan Grand Master Award

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A Marvellous Meet At Mirani Swimming Club

February 9, 2023

Saturday, 28 January 2023, made for an exciting day for our Dolphins – a local swim meet in our beautiful Mackay, hosted by Mirani Swimming Club.  48 swimmers from Pioneer Swimming Club made our way out to Mirani where our swimmers enjoyed a day in the sun seeking more personal bests.

Under the guidance of Coach Igor, our swimmers keep smashing goals they set for themselves. Yvonne Bellear did just that – swimming under the qualifying time for 50m freestyle, allowing her to nominate for the Queensland Sprint Championships held in Brisbane on 11-12 February.  Jack Smith also beat his personal best and met the qualifying time for 50m freestyle. Zahli Herring qualified for another 2 events (having already qualified for 50m freestyle) – 50m Backstroke and 50m Breaststroke; and Annaliese Miles qualified for her third event (having already qualified for freestyle and backstroke) – 50m butterfly.  We have quite the State Team building! Igor’s mentoring is working a treat.  

The Carnival also holds a “Dash for Cash” event – the fastest 6 swimmers (in certain age groups) swim the 50m freestyle dashing for staged prize money (first place taking out the highest amount, second taking slightly less and so on). The following Dolphins qualified/ swam in the event: Ralph Traeger, Madison Malagueno, Annaliese Miles, Joleigh Strydom, Georgie Brand, Alex Moss, Henry Porter, Yasmin Seedwell, Ella Bounden, Kailu Bellear, Viktor Lee and our frequently visiting swimmer from Darwin, Dylan Mende.

The grounds and pool at the Mirani Swimming Pool are always a treat for our swimmers and the day did not disappoint. Thank you, Mirani Swimming Club!

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

Group Image: Pioneer Swimming Team at the Mirani Swimming Club meet

Image 1 Ashlee Berridge and Kenny Brand

Image 2 Bethany Miles Luka Herring Makenna Malagueno

Image 3 Luka Herring and Bethany Miles

Image 4 Max Demin and Rex Traeger

Image 5 Xavier Saxby

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You Must Be Mad

February 9, 2023

Round the twist. Mad as a March hare.

How could anyone ride a bike like that? They’d have to be MAD.

Why is it that Mackay and District (MAD) BMX Club Inc. has built a reputation as one of the region’s favourite pastimes where kids shoot around its two, custom-built tracks in Mackay and Walkerston?

It’s because anyone can ride a bike!

Children from as young as two years of age head out to the courses in droves to take part in the weekly outings at the MAD BMX Club because they have already fallen in love with the sport.

There are toddlers with energy to burn, those already with a competitive fervour, and the ones looking for fun. And one better for parents looking for flexibility: you’re not locked into attending every week.

And it’s not just youngsters that take in the adrenaline-fuelled riding, adults of all ages find a community in BMX unlike any other, especially those who get to ride with their kids– and there are opportunities aplenty to come and try it for free.

MAD BMX Club will be hosting a booth at this weekend’s Mackay Sports Expo and a Come and Try Day next weekend on Sunday, February 19 for all ages to have a try at its Mackay Track.

Maybe you could find the sense of freedom that BMX gives its riders yourself.

Image: Darting around the course at Mackay and District (MAD) BMX Club Inc. is one of the region’s favourite pastimes

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Team Sport with a WOW factor

February 9, 2023

Over the past decade, cheerleading as a competitive team sport has grown exponentially nationwide and worldwide, with the 2022 AASCF (Australian) National Championships having over 13,000 athletes for this single event.

It is not surprising that over the past 18 years, Adrenalin Cheer & Dance has played a role locally, educating students about the competitive sport and building a program that supports individual athlete development and excellence as well as team success.

If you weren't sure what this sport involves, a cheer team might consist of around 8 to 32 athletes executing a series of tumbling, dance, stunts, pyramid, and toss skills designed to be performed with a high level of precision to a fast-paced soundtrack. For this reason, you can imagine a well-rounded team requires athletes of all physiques and skill sets, making it an ideal and inclusive sport for all.

The local sporting club in Mackay trains everything from the casual first-time students up to the competitive athlete, a place for every student, accommodating to those looking to compete and build new, lifelong friendships.

Adrenalin Cheer and Dance hold recreational classes, building skills and confidence for new students and offering competitive programs opportunities for beginners up to level five cheer in addition to pom and hip hop teams.

The expert coaches come from backgrounds as competitive athletes, bringing their wealth of skills to the floor with them.

With a pedigree of past and present success, Adrenalin has claimed national titles, as well as placed and won international championships in both cheerleading and hip hop.

If you want to learn how to tumble, dance, or get started in cheerleading, you’ll find Adrenalin Cheer & Dance at the Mackay Sports Expo this weekend.

Image: Local studio Adrenalin Cheer & Dance is here to teach one of the world's fastest-growing sports

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Netball – A Game For All

February 9, 2023

When a sold-out crowd packed out Mackay Multisports Stadium to watch the Queensland Firebirds take on the Sunshine Coast Lightning last November, Mackay’s love of netball was evident.

Mackay Netball Association makes everyone’s netball dreams come true, with programs and competitions available for all ages and abilities.

Starting from ages five and six, your child can learn the fundamentals of the sport in the skills and drills program before Mackay Netball Association transitions them into one of 13 clubs in the region to play competition netball.

“It’s the largest female sport in Mackay and we’re looking to have boys and mixed teams as well,” said Mackay Netball Association Operations Manager Sharon Sutherland.

Starting your child in a sport has innumerable benefits including increased fitness, healthy growth of bones and muscles and improved coordination and balance, as well as many social benefits.

“A lot of kids make new friends because they play with not so much their schoolmates but everyone from the region,” said Sharon.

Mackay Netball are currently in week 2 of a NetSetGO! program delivered to over 120 young netballers at no cost to them with the assistance of a BMA Community Grant.  

With the season starting in March and a five-week NetSetGO! program to start in term two, now is the perfect time to consider netball.

Not only is it a fun, social and skilful game, there are plenty of opportunities for development, with teams representing Mackay in competitions all over Australia including the region’s first representative boys’ team heading to the Sunshine Coast later this year.

You can find Sharon and the team from Mackay Netball Association at the Mackay Sports Expo happening on Sunday, February 12 from 9:00am until 1:00pm at the MECC.

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‘Carn’ The Swannies

February 9, 2023

There’s nothing more Australian than footy - maybe a snag, but you can grab one of those at the Eastern Swans Australian Football Club while trying out the country’s favourite pastime on February 26.

You’d be hard-pressed to find an Aussie without knowledge of football: the sport on an oval field with central goal posts and outer posts where hard running, hard hits, and athleticism are king.

A sport linked so tightly with Australian culture, for youngsters Aussie Rules provides a great basis for creating technical skills, building fitness and friendship, and for adults, it is much the same.

With more than 1.5 million registered players, Aussie rules is the nation’s biggest sport and has a long history in Mackay – including with The Swans, a club with a rich past dating back to 1987 when it merged with East Mackay and Trend United.

The successful club is always on the lookout for talent, inviting locals to Come and Try AFL on February 26 from 11am to 1pm after this weekend’s Mackay Sports Expo, where those interested can find out more.

The club fields teams from under sixes to under 17s in the junior grades – with its full complement of experienced coaches guiding the next generation - and has sides for adults too, with men’s and women’s sides.

Looking for their eighth league title, the premier sides are eager to bring in fresh talent at every level of the club, building a strong foundation of players to take into the future.

Find them at the Mackay Sports Expo this weekend for more information.

Image: Mackay’s Eastern Swans Aussie Rules side – one of the region’s most successful – wants you!

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Steamy End To Summer Series

February 10, 2023

The final Mackay Road Runners Shawn’s Summer Social Series was held in appallingly humid conditions from the Memorial Pool car park last weekend.

The 5km and 10km course options were as usual adaptable for runners should they choose to reduce their distances.  

Many runners chose to take walk breaks and shorten their original distance intentions due to the extreme temperatures that were not helped by warm northerly breezes.  

Race Director Jim Ford is to be congratulated on great course options with varying twists and turns to make it interesting.  

The Mackay Road Runners Club are so grateful for Jim’s expertise along with Alana Knesevic’s support in making sure the Shawn’s Summer Social off season series is held every Sunday afternoon with awesome freezing Zooper Doopers, the favourite part after the race.  

Thank you to Jim and Alana, Adam, Vivian and Harvey for making this happen.

The gold coin donations from each run are put towards post run refreshments and end of year presentations.

Thanks to Jim and Alana as well as Andrew Short, Jo Hughes and Julie Whibley for assisting in a myriad of jobs including course selections, merchandise and reminder notices sent out each and every week.

This Sunday will be a very busy day with the Mackay Road Runners Club being present at the fantastic Mackay Sport Expo at the MECC from 9am to 1pm, then off to the first formal run on the 2023 Mackay Road Runners program in the afternoon.  

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

Image 1: L-R Shawn Claydon’s parents John and Bonnie Claydon and sister and brother-in-law Sharon and Jeff Stewart-Harris were special guests at the final 2022/23 series event

Image 2: L-R Helen Leven, Jo Hughes, Tam Wanstall, Emma Johnson and Kim Saron always enjoy a chat, prerace, post race and anytime in between. Photos credit: Janelle Tilse

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February 9, 2023

THE JET Maintenance Services Sports Expo and Sign-on will return to the MECC this weekend for the first time since 2020.

More than 80 local clubs will be on display, creating a one-stop-shop of sport and recreation opportunities.

Mayor Greg Williamson said it was exciting to be back at the MECC after COVID-19 caused the event to go online only for the past two years.

“The 2023 event will be action packed, with the crowd favourite mascot race, active zone demonstrations and all the usual prizes and competitions, such as nominate your favourite club and random draws,” Mayor Williamson said.

“The expo will include dozens of interactive booths, two active zone areas in the north foyer and south foyer and interactive activities outside,” he said.

“Some of the outdoor activities near the north foyer will include a scouts’ rope bridge and fastest-serve tennis.

“In an effort to make the event more inclusive and accessible, we'll also have a relaxed session, quiet-hour, from noon to 1pm.

“The relaxed session is for people who appreciate a quieter environment. The doors to the MECC will be opened, lights turned down and sound levels kept to a minimum.

“JET Maintenance Services is our naming rights sponsor for the first time this year and to celebrate they are giving away $1000 to one of the clubs.”

Those attending are encouraged to nominate their favourite club at the event for a chance to win.

One person who nominated their favourite club will also win an EvaKool Icebox esky, valued at $99, thanks to in-kind sponsor Brand Factor.

Harrup Park Country Club and its Great Barrier Reef Arena have come onboard again this year as sponsor of the active zone in the MECC plenary halls.

Other sponsors for the event include media partners 4MK, Star 101.9 and Channel 7 and in-kind sponsor Brand Factor.

The event will be held Sunday, February 12, from 9am to 1pm, with Star 101.9 broadcasting live.

For more information, visit the JET Maintenance Services Sports Expo and Sign-on page on council's website.

Image: Active Zone demonstration by Queensland Taekwondo Academy at the 2022 Sports Expo

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Care To Ceilidh?

February 9, 2023

There is a whole world out there that you are not aware of: the one of highland and Irish dancing available at Ceilidh Dance Studio Mackay.

Some might be familiar with the jig or stepdance where an Irish dancer, clothed in ornate, shimmering outfits, hops athletically to the fiddle with arms pinned to their sides, legs working.

But many will not know its variants or relatives, the Celtic forms distinct from each other like the Scottish highland dance where arms are raised, or the old style, or the reel, the slip jig, light jig.

At Ceilidh Dance Studio, students can learn the ways of these traditional dances, taking home with them the benefits of being taught the art of physical excellence, competitive spirit, stamina, and strength – forming lifelong friendships while they do it.

The Mackay studio is offering its first two lessons free. Come along to the Mackay Sports Expo this weekend to find out more about the world of Ceilidh.

Image: What is a Ceilidh (pronounced ˈkeɪli)? There’s no place better to find that out than Ceilidh Dance Studio Mackay

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Record Breaking Parkrun

February 9, 2023

You wouldn’t expect parkrun records to be set in the warm Mackay summer heat, but that’s exactly what happened last weekend.

Jared Havemann joined his fellow runners for the weekly social run through Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, blitzing the course in 16:27, the fastest time in Mackay parkrun’s history.

He was only the third person to join the Sub 17 Men’s club, alongside Julian Picot and Jade Bidgood earlier in January, with a previous best time of 16:43.

He then surpassed Jade’s previous best time of 16:29 by two seconds, eclipsing his own personal best by 16 seconds to claim the new record of 16:27.

“Whilst parkrun isn’t a ‘race’, it is absolutely awe inspiring to see the drive that these individuals have,” Mackay parkrun wrote on Facebook.

“It also proves that your name needs to start with the letter ‘J’ to join this club . . . your move Justin Rule.”

Image: Jared Havemann broke the Mackay parkrun course record

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Young Gun Earns Three Year Broncos Contract

February 9, 2023

Running onto Suncorp Stadium in a Brisbane Broncos jumper has always been a childhood dream for promising Mackay rugby league half back Adam McSherry.

The outstanding 14-year-old schoolboy prospect has taken a giant step towards realising that goal after securing a three-year contract with his beloved Broncos club.

Linking up with one of the highest profile sporting organisations in the country has given young McSherry a massive confidence boost in the lead up to this year’s Secondary Schools and Mackay & District Junior League competitions.

The future looks bright for the St Patrick’s College Year 10 student who is keen to push his claims for selection in the Capricornia and Queensland Under 15 representative rugby league teams this season.

He joins rising St Patrick’s College forward Cohen Jackson – a Maroons Under 15s rep in 2022 – on the Broncos books after also attracting interest from the North Queensland Cowboys.

Adam has unfinished business with St Patrick’s this campaign after a heart breaking Grand Final loss to Townsville’s Kirwan State High in the Cowboys Challenge Shield competition last season.

Having kicked a late penalty goal to give his Mercy College side the lead with 40 seconds left on the clock, Adam and teammates could only look on in horror as the Kirwan colts posted a try after the full-time bell to snatch an incredible victory.

“That loss still hurts and the team is determined to make amends and bring home the trophy this year,” revealed Adam, who will spearhead a powerful St Patrick’s squad during the 2023 Shield series.

With some of the finest rugby league talent in the Mackay region jostling for spots in Tom Gaviglio’s Cowboys Challenge squad, the St Patrick’s young guns shape as one of the teams to beat for this year’s title.

As chief playmaker the classy McSherry will use his vision, turn of speed, strength and passing and kicking skills to inspire teammates and with the spring-heeled number seven calling the shots, you can expect some enterprising football from the much-vaunted junior St Patrick’s outfit.

A Brothers Bulldogs junior product, Adam will saddle up for his tenth season with the club in 2023 where he has enjoyed tremendous success.

He starred in the Bulldogs’ Under 9 Paul Bowman Cup and Under 11 Laurie Spina Shield and Under 13 Nate Myles Cup winning sides that defeated Centrals Townsville in the final and figured in a semi-final loss to Gladstone Wallabies in the Under 10 Gordon Tallis Cup.

Adam has also featured prominently in Brothers’ recent Under 13 and Under 15 premiership victories in the Mackay & District Junior League.  

The talented half turned in a best on ground performance in the 24-20 triumph over Wanderers in the Under 13s Grand Final and showed his maturity and skill last season to help engineer a 30-20 win over Wests Tigers in the Under 15s decider.

Adam described last year’s premiership success as “a very special moment.”  

“I decided to test myself and play a year above my age group and really enjoyed the challenge,” quipped Adam.

‘Lining up against older opponents can be a tough task but I just played my natural game and learnt so much from my teammates along the way,” he said.

A highlight was capturing both the Under 13 Nate Myles Cup and Mackay Junior League premiership in 2021 as well as finishing the region’s top try scorer with 32 tries.

When asked to name the people that had influenced his rugby league career to date, Adam praised the efforts of his parents Stacey and Paul.

“My dad coaches at Brothers and has taught me the finer points while mum offers encouragement and advice whenever I play,” said Adam.

“I really appreciate their support,” he added.

By Chris Karas

Image: Rugby league playmaker Adam McSherry demonstrates his attacking skills for the Brothers Bulldogs against Wanderers in the Mackay & District Junior League

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Big Hitters Train Future Hot Shots

February 2, 2023

Mackay’s junior national table tennis champion Rebekah Stanley is putting back into her sport.

Although Bek now lives in Brisbane, she was back in Mackay last weekend to conduct a training camp with Brisbane coach Bruno Levis, with four juniors among the 12 working on their skills at the Mackay Table Tennis Centre.

Bek won the 2015 U15 national junior girls table tennis championship, showing plenty of ability early with the help of coaching from her father Jared and regular trips to South Korea for training camps.

The arrival in Mackay of South Korean coach Chanung Jung helped Bek’s rise, and she said her experiences as a junior competing at an elite level made her happy to see the keenness of the next generation of Mackay players.

“They enjoy it and they’re all showing great progress,” she said.

Although the Mackay club no longer has a full-time coach, the monthly training camps with Bruno and Bek are giving all players a chance to develop skills to a higher level.

They are available to all players from beginners and juniors to senior and advanced and one-on-one sessions are available with both coaches.

The next camp is scheduled for February 24-26. Contact Donna Abbott 0400 769 560 for more details.

By Charlie Payne

MAIN Camp 1:

Taking a break from the weekend training camp are Misha Palod, Tony Bowman, Donna Abbott, Emma Widdup, Aarnav Reelh, Ann-Louise Stewart, Steven Whiting, Bruno Levis, Graeme Walker, Rebekah Stanley, Anne Sheridan, Nehmat Dhaliwal, Saisha Palod and Janice Kent

Camp 2

Rebekah Stanley explains technique to Nehmat Dhaliwal and Saisha Palod as Bruno Levis demonstrates a high-toss serve

Camp 3

Mackay’s Emma Widdup goes one-on-one with coach Bruno Levis

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Local Lifesavers Ride Waves Of Success At Branch Titles

February 2, 2023

A small but strong team of 20 Mackay Surf Lifesaving competitors recently took on the best of the best on their home turf, the beautiful Harbour Beach, for the North Barrier Branch Titles, the premier surf sports event for this region.  

With competitors vying to take out the championships from clubs as far North as Ingham and South to Sarina, the team performed exceptionally well taking out a total of 63 podium finishes with 21 gold, silver and bronze placings, plus a number of minor placings.

Mackay competitors from U8’s up to masters took part in a range of events, from beach flags, beach sprints, beach relays, endurance runs, wade races, surf swims, board races, ironman/woman events and swim / board / ski and Cameron and Taplin relays (which combines all water events).  

“Our club culture is that we are small in numbers but strong in determination and this certainly showed in the results at Branch Titles," said Josh Grant, the Mackay Director of Surf Sports.  

“The team events have really been a strong point for our club, where we can field teams, including having younger nippers step up, we dominate.  

“As a club we could not be prouder,” he added.

“Our Masters crew should also be commended for taking out both the open and masters Taplin Relay, one of the grand finales to the whole weekend of surf sports.”


1. Mackay Nippers having some fun between events. Photo credits: Leah McLean Photography

2. Masters Team after smashing the board relay and taking out 1st place

3. U10 Harry Madden (centre / front) in action in beach flags finals, later taking out 1st place

4. U14 Junior Club Captains Molly Madden & Bodie Mau after taking out their board races

5. U9’s Jakob Djukic 1st & Tallon Close 2nd in beach flags

6. Mackay water safety volunteers enjoying what they do

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Move It When You Want, Where You Want

February 2, 2023

Move It NQ, a North Queensland Sports Foundation project, is aimed at supporting healthier and active lifestyles in the north Queensland regions and now you can access their health and fitness content on any device, anywhere, anytime.

Move It NQ On Demand offers over 1,000 fitness and wellbeing sessions from reputable fitness providers around the world including anything from meditation and mindfulness to full body conditioning programs and bootcamps, with most sessions requiring little to no equipment.

“There’s fitness sessions for all abilities and skill levels,” North Queensland Sports Foundation Senior Program Coordinator Megan Taylor said.

“It’s there, it’s on demand, you can access whatever kind of workout suits your ability at the touch of a button, especially for people who are in regional and remote areas who don’t always have access to the same facilities as people in the major centres.”

Participants will receive 30 days free access when they sign up and, from there, subscription is $3.99 a month or $39.99 for 12 months with proceeds going back into delivering health and wellbeing programs throughout the community.

There are also 10 x 12-month free vouchers to Move It NQ On Demand on offer to those who sign up at the Mackay Sports Expo.

Move It NQ, alongside Mackay Regional Council’s Active in the Regions program, also deliver 6-8 health and wellbeing sessions a week throughout the Mackay region.

For more information on those sessions and Move It NQ On Demand, jump on

You can find Megan and the team from North Queensland Sports Foundation at the Mackay Sports Expo happening on Sunday, February 12 from 9:00am until 1:00pm at the MECC.

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Learn To Swim At ARC

February 2, 2023

There are many benefits to your child learning to swim at a young age.

Swimming lessons develop unique motor-skills, build a foundation for physical activity and, most importantly, equip children with the tools to survive and thrive in the water.

“Swimming isn't just a skill where people can grow up and go to the Olympics,” said Mackay Aquatic & Recreation Centre (ARC) Aquatic School Coordinator Sam Westcott.

“With the amount of water that we have around not only Mackay but Queensland, swimming is that life saving skill that everyone should have.”

With that in mind, ARC offers a program of swimming lessons for children as young as six months old, teaching the foundations of swimming and water safety.

A weekly fee provides access to one swimming lesson a week, with the possibility of more, as well as unlimited access to the pool facilities for the child.

Along with Splish Splash Aqua Playgroup, for babies aged six months and under, and squad training, ARC offers everything for your child’s swimming development, no matter their age or ability.

You can find Sam and the team from ARC at the Mackay Sports Expo happening on Sunday, February 12 from 9:00am until 1:00pm at the MECC.

Images: GOswim swimming and water safety programs are equipping children to swim for life

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Joleigh Strydom Jumps To Attention

February 9, 2023

Joleigh Strydom, 10-year-old swimmer from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, joined the Pioneer Dolphins in September 2022 and has been turning heads ever since.

She trained under Rita Townsend in South Africa and her love for swimming was cemented thereon. Swimming competitions are only held via the schools in South Africa, so the regular competitions locally in North Queensland are a welcome treat for our girl.

Joleigh’s family relocated to Australia from South Africa to escape the high crime/ job shortages experienced in 2021. Her family sought out a similar lifestyle to their beloved South Africa choosing the gorgeous Mackay to call their new home.  

Under the guidance of Igor Demin (Pioneer Coach) Joleigh’s swimming has kicked up a gear. She has qualified for all four strokes (freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke) for the upcoming Queensland Championships in Brisbane on 11-12 February 2023.  Her favourite stroke is breaststroke, continuing to podium place in this event at most carnivals.

Joleigh has described her love for swimming is made easy whilst spending time with her friends in the squad.  She says Pioneer Swimming Club plays a big part of her life.

We are truly proud of you Joleigh and are equally excited for you and what your future holds.

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

Image: 10-year-old Joleigh Strydom joined the Pioneer Swimming Club after moving to Mackay from South Africa

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Thorpe Twins Ready To Take Step Up To Senior Ranks

February 2, 2023

Mackay rugby league twins Henry Thorpe and Harry Thorpe have always achieved success in pairs.

Since pulling on their first football boots at the age of five, the talented siblings have chalked up a long list of accomplishments together and dream of one day playing alongside each other in the National Rugby League competition.

Fresh from their heroic deeds with St Patrick's College in the Capricornia schoolboy ranks, the brothers Thorpe are keen to impress NRL talent scouts and earn a crack at the big league.

They'll both step up a class this season when they pit their skills for the Mackay Cutters Under 18s in the Mal Meninga Cup series and for the Mackay Magpies Under 20s team in the Mackay & District Junior League.

The Magpies junior products played pivotal roles during St Patrick's unwavering success in the Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup schoolboy competitions in recent seasons with standout performances at lock and five eighth.

Inspirational Henry proved a revelation in the forwards - skippering the first-grade team to Grand Final appearances in both competitions last season where they finished runners up to arch rivals Ignatius Park College Townsville.

The tough tackling lock showed his wares in Queensland's most prestigious schoolboy rugby league showpiece tournament and was rewarded for consistent displays with selection in the 2022 Confraternity Shield Merit Team.

Having overcome niggling injuries, the twins have now set their sights on making an impression in the Mackay senior ranks and hopefully securing their futures with an NRL club down the track.

Both Henry and Harry are entering their 14th season with the Mackay Magpies club where they have given yeoman service since being introduced to the code in the Under 6 Junior League division.

Under the coaching of their father Scott Thorpe – a legendary hooker from the Darling Downs in his heyday - the twins were part of a crack Magpies outfit that captured the Laurie Spina Shield (Under 11s); Jason Hetherington Cup (Under 12s) in Gladstone plus the Nate Myles Cup (Under 13s) trophies as well as lifting the Mackay & District Junior League Under 13s premiership during a golden three-year period.

A highlight for the twins was also gaining selection in the Queensland Under 12 Schoolboys representative team as second row forwards back in 2017 following strong performances for Capricornia in the State trials.

Both Henry and Harry left their mark as the young Maroons defeated a powerful NSW combination to clinch the National Primary Schools Rugby League championship title in Melbourne.

The twins spent their early high school days at Mackay State High School and were recognised for their developing skills by the Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Canberra Raiders.

Henry showed promise as a five eighth and Harry at lock in the Broncos Rugby League Academy at ages 13 and 14 before switching positions in the Cowboys Academy as 15- and 16-year-olds.

2022 proved a breakout year for the versatile siblings who featured in St Patrick's rugby league success with tireless performances across all competitions.

They were also part of the Mackay Cutters' Under 18 Mal Meninga Cup side that finished runners up to the Townsville Blackhawks and will spearhead the 2023 squad alongside school colleagues Xavier Kerrisk, Jaxon Purdue, Liam Doherty, Kai Simon and Matthew Watts.

The twins will saddle up again with their beloved Mackay Magpies in the Under 20 Junior League series and juggle work commitments with a view to forcing their way into the senior ranks.

A determined Henry has commenced studies for a Sports/Science degree at CQUniversity and is a valuable employee at the Integrated Bodies Athlete Development Centre while 18-year-old Harry is studying to become a school teacher and has acquired work as a Teacher Assistant at the St Patrick's College Mercy campus.

By Chris Karas


1: Harry Thorpe

2: Henry Thorpe

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On The Greens At Goosies

February 2, 2023


Monday - mixed pairs draw was won by Joyce Camilleri and Marie Bragg. Second draw winners were Graham Moore with Don Agnew, and the lucky prize draw was won by Darren Laurens and Robert Evans.

Wednesday - NMBC Ladies Section winners were Leslie Baumgarten, Bev McDonald and Debbie Mackenzie. Runners up were Robyn Rintoul, Wendy McGee and Chris Hall.

Thursday – Australia Day Event at Goosies first prize was taken out by Eric Galletly, Asco Helenius and Shane Trannore. Second draw winners were Chris Banney and Bert Hobbs. Best "Aussie" fancy dress prizes won by Dorothy Wise and Shane Trannore!

Friday - mixed pairs best card winners were Bob Kinname and Peter Horsburgh. Winners of the lucky draw were Lidia McCarthy and Ray McCarthy. Runners up were Coral Francis and Donna Gordon.

Contributed by Ian Rowan


1 "A" Grade Fours holding 3 shots

2 North Mackay Bowls Club Ladies come out in force to play every Wednesday

3  Umpire measuring for match point

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February 2, 2023

Sarina Bowls Club celebrated Australia Day in good old Aussie style.  About 60 locals joined in the celebrations with a game of bowls, damper, lamingtons and a sausage sizzle. A fun crowd enjoyed the afternoon and each other’s company.

Contributed by Rita Hughes

Image: Doris Wray, Be Be Smith and Bertha Archer at Sarina Bowls Club’ Australia Day celebrations

Image: Showing their Aussie spirt are John Large, Brian Adams, Ivy Henshaw and Greg Hughes

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Aussie Day Cards

February 2, 2023

The Australia Day Mackay Contract Bridge Club “Come and Try Bridge Day”, sponsored by Mackay Regional Council was a fantastic success. Many prospective Bridge players came to watch and learn about playing Bridge. Major Greg Williamson dropped in and congratulated all on a great day. Members and guests enjoyed cards and a sausage sizzle for Australia Day.

Club Vice President Lorna Shuttlewood said, “the day was a huge success and we were pleased with the many potential players in attendance.”


Monday 23 January 2023 – 8 Table Mitchell Green Points

1st Lorna Shuttlewood / Faye Wright

2nd Edward Kliese / Diane Stokes

3rd Margaret Jennings / Marilin Robins

1st Janelle Conroy / Terrence Sheedy

2nd Diane Holewa / Max Holewa

3rd Monica Darley / Geoff Taylor

Tuesday Evening 24 January 2023 – 5 Table Mitchell Green Points

1st Mick Robins / Diane Cox

2nd Diane Morgan / Sandra Morris

1st Lorna Shuttlewood / Jan Harris

2nd Faye Wright / Marilin Robins

Wednesday 25 January 2023 – 9 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st Mary Rose Ramsden / Noel Saunders

2nd Monica Darley / Kath Poole

3rd Joyce Deguara / Mary Cruickshank


1st Terrence Sheedy / Eric Leivesley

2nd David Ting / Eric Goodchild

3rd Jan Harris / Sandra Morris

Thursday 26 January 2023 – Australia Day 9 Table Mitchell Green Points

1st Geoff Taylor / Del Ryan

2nd Antonia Tarradas / Vic Mason

3rd Eric Goodchild / Debra Goodchild

1st Helen Van Den Broek / Patricia Garner

2nd Roland Taylor / Jaiden Taylor

3rd Janet Hansen / Diane Morgan

Friday 27 January 2023 – 8 Table Mitchell Green Points

1st Lorna Shuttlewood / Debra Goodchild

2nd Frances Brown / Geoff Taylor

3rd Mary Cruickshank / Noel Saunders

1st David Ting / Ming Ting

2nd Janine Rodgers / Richard Wix

3rd Diane Stokes / Marie McGuire

Saturday 28 January 2023 – 10 Table Green Points


1st Geoff Taylor / Del Ryan

2nd Richard Wix / Patricia Garner

3rd Monica Darley / Kath Poole


1st Janet Hansen / Diane Morgan

2nd David Ting / Ming Ting

3rd Ken Seaniger / Robert Carless

Image: Diane Morgan and Mayor Greg Williamson at Mackay Contract Bridge Club’s Australia Day event

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Pride And Passion Drive New Meteorettes Coach

January 26, 2023

Image: Jamiey Doevendans will lead the McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes charge in the NBL1 North competition

A well-known local coach has accepted the top coaching role with Mackay’s premier ladies basketball squad, saying he is looking forward to creating a culture based around pride and passion.

Mackay Basketball announced the appointment of Jamiey Doevendans as Head Coach of the McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes for the next two NBL1 seasons.

Doevendans has a long history of involvement with the Mackay Basketball NBL1 program, having served in various coaching roles over the past decade. He was an assistant coach with the Meteors men’s team for three years, during which he was a part of two QBL championship-winning campaigns. He then transitioned to the Meteorettes program as an assistant coach for seven seasons, during which he won another QBL title and helped guide the team to two more grand final appearances. Additionally, the local Mackay mentor spent seven years on the sidelines as an assistant coach with the Queensland North under 16 and under 18 girls state representative teams.

Mackay Basketball President Tara Smyth stated that the club is excited about Doevendans' transition into the Meteorettes NBL1 Head Coach position.

“Jamiey has been heavily invested in our Mackay Basketball QBL and NBL1 programs for a long period of time, so it’s great to see his commitment, dedication and efforts be rewarded with this opportunity to take the reins of our women’s squad,” said Smyth.

“While it’s his first season as a head coach at this level, he brings extensive experience to the role.”

Doevendans expressed pride in the opportunity to step into the top job.

“Being a prestigious position and the program having a rich history of success, I am honored in leading the McDonald’s Mackay Meteorettes for the next two seasons,” he said.

“My focus is to continue to create a culture and style of play built around working hard and competing with pride and passion. A team the local basketball community can be excited about coming to support.”

With Doevendans now locked in as coach, the club plans to announce Meteorettes player signings in the coming weeks.

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On The Greens At Goosies

January 26, 2023

Weekly Results

Monday mixed pairs draw was won by Lance Edwards and Lesley Baumgarten. Second draw winners were Trevor Laurens and Robert Masso and the lucky prize draw was won by Lesley Baumgarten and Greg Pembroke.

Wednesday NMBC Ladies Section had their Past Presidents, Life Members and Opening Day for 2023.

Thursday mixed pairs first draw was taken out by Lidia McCarthy and Ray McCarthy. Second draw winners were Hilary Jones Rowan and Ian Rowan. Greens vouchers were won by Robert Evans and Peter Cowling. Andrew Coates won the raffle. The kitty toucher jackpots.

Friday mixed pairs best card winners were Jean Zamparutti and Debbie Mackenzie. The kitty toucher was not won.

Contributed by Ian Rowan

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Preserving History New Honour Board A Smash Hit

January 26, 2023

Mackay Table Tennis stalwarts Donna and Kevin Abbott have put their money where their hearts are by donating a new honour board for the association.

The new honour board was installed late last year and stands beside the original, which holds the names of every president, secretary, treasurer, men’s and women’s champions, life members and patrons since the association was formed in 1937.

The original was installed at the new Mackay Table Tennis Centre in Bridge Rd when it was opened in 1972 and was donated by Jim Hardy and his son Peter, who formed the Kooyong Table Tennis Club in the 60s and raised funds at the hotel for the new centre.

Donna and Kev, and Donna’s late uncle Frank DeCampo, have a long association with the club.

Frank was treasurer for five years between 1961-64 and was among those fundraising for the new centre at a time when the association was playing competitions at the Church of England Hall in Shakespeare St.

Both Donna and Kev followed Frank’s footsteps and have been long-time players, supporters and fundraisers for the club.

Donna is now in a record 10th year as treasurer, and she, Kevin and Frank are all life members of the association.

By Charlie Payne

Donna and Kevin Abbott stand beside the new honour board at the Mackay Table Tennis Centre. Photos: Charlie Payne

The original honour board with the new board in the background at the entrance to the Mackay Table Tennis Centre

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Road Runners Hit The Beach

February 10, 2023

Lucky number thirteen of the Mackay Road Runners Shawn’s Summer Social Series was enjoyed by over thirty runners who gathered at the Bucasia Shopping Centre car park for a Sunday afternoon stroll through the beautiful Bucasia suburb onto the pathways and beaches towards Shoal Point and return.  

The 12km loop course and 5km shorter distance option was made tougher by the humid conditions and the soft sand, however, all runners came through to the end with big smiles for their efforts.

Club Captain/Race Director Jim Ford as usual had a couple of optional courses for runners to enjoy at whatever speed or distance they chose.  

Excellent performances came from the longer distance athletes Mick Scholer, Paul McKenzie, George Hannaford, Luke Leven, Oliver Rule, Andrew Wallace, June Bradley, Carmel Mahon and Stephen Oberg.  

The 5km runners including Daniel Stampa, Julie Whibley, Jo Hughes, Mel Harris and Lily Leven had a great outing with Adam and Alana Knesevic hitting the paths with the double pram with Vivian and Harvey on board.

This Sunday’s penultimate Shawn’s Summer Social Series event will commence at 5:30pm for a snakes and ladders style event throughout the streets of the City Centre.

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

Image1: L-R George, Grant and Paul welcome the cold water and air con at George’s clinic, Northern Beaches Spine Care Chiropractor after their 10km efforts

Image 2: Mel Harris in great form in the 5km event

Image 3: Club Captain/Race Director Jim Ford (front right) presents George Hannaford with a trophy from the 2022 Mackay Road Runners Presentation night where George was unable to attend

Image 4: Mick Scholer (right) was definitely the thorn among the roses with Jo, Julie, Helen and Lily with Dulcie (foreground). Photo credit: Janelle Tilse

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Rugby League Colts Rich In Talent

January 26, 2023

When St Patrick’s College Open Boys rugby league team launches its 2023 Secondary Schools campaign in coming weeks, they will take the field brimming with confidence and parading a squad with an enviable depth of talent.

Under the tutelage of former international Test centre and Townsville legend Ian Schifilitti, the Mackay colts have been training the house down in preparation for another dominant season in the Capricornia region.

Just like their female counterparts, the St Patrick’s senior boys outfit are aiming to go one step better in 2023 and bring home the Confraternity Shield and Aaron Payne Cup trophies.

After finishing runners up to archrivals Ignatius Park College Townsville in both competitions last season, the Mackay marauders are keen as ever to impress new coach Schifilitti and again taste championship success.

With the nucleus of the 2022 squad back on deck this season and bolstered by the inclusion of a batch of up-and-coming Year 10 rookies the sky's the limit for one of the region’s proudest sporting nurseries.

Boasting a spine that includes Queensland Country Under 17 representatives in classy hooker Xavier Kerrisk and skilful half back Jaxon Purdue plus dynamic fullback Will Shears, the St Patrick’s first grade line up shapes as a force to be reckoned with.

The much-vaunted trio along with promising lock forward Kayne Smith participated in a special pre-season camp in Townsville prior to Christmas as part of the North Queensland Cowboys Young Bucks squad.

They were joined by graduating St Patrick’s prospects in top forwards Liam Doherty and Matthew Watts and crack centre Kai Simon who attended the Cowboys’ Under 21 Young Guns camp.  

Other experienced senior players returning for St Patrick’s College this season include sharp backs Bailey Anderson, Tenzin Contor and Bailey Caruana.

The decorated Schifilitti – who played three Test matches for Italy at the 2000 Rugby League Emerging Nations Tournament in England - will also get the opportunity to blood talented Year 10 recruits in Sportsman of the Year Reuben Saron, a powerful and tireless prop; Queensland Schoolboys Under 15 representative forward Cohen Jackson along with emerging colts Saxon Crofts, Hunter Harris, Javen Ramsamy, Hudson Smith, utility half Kooper Shears and centres Toby Woodall and Lachlan Whippy.

By Chris Karas

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Declan Fraser Joins Tickford Racing

January 26, 2023

Tickford Racing has announced Mackay’s Declan Fraser as the newest member of their Tradie Racing team.

The talented Fraser will be joining the team for the 2023 Supercars Championship season, where the 22-year-old will take the wheel of the Tradie Ford Mustang for his first full season at the top level of Australian motorsport.

Fraser said it was a pretty special feeling to get the news.

“At the end of the Super2 season we didn’t really know where we were heading for 2023, so to get the call from Tim and everyone was pretty exciting,” he said.

“Getting from Super2 to the main game is a really tough step to make, especially from a financial perspective, so to have Tim and the team at Tickford Racing offer me this drive on performance is really special.

“It shows that Super2 is a great platform to prepare young drivers for the main game, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.

“It’s awesome to be representing Tradie as well, I’ve actually done four years of apprenticeship and have my tradesman’s certificate as an electrician.

“It’s a funny coincidence, but really cool to partner up with such a fun brand in Tradie, I can’t wait to get started.”

The Mackay native, now based in southeast Queensland, joins Tickford after years in the Dunlop Super2 Series, having claimed the 2022 series crown on the back of four wins and four poles in the 11-race campaign.

Fraser also made his Supercars and Bathurst 1000 debut in 2022, driving a wildcard entry with Triple Eight Race Engineering to an impressive eighth-place finish in the Great Race, the best finish of any wildcard entrant.

Tickford Racing co-owner Rod Nash praised the team’s new arrival.

“We are delighted to welcome Declan to the team with Tradie Racing for the 2023 season,” Mr Nash said.

“Declan has come along well in Super2 over the last couple of seasons and has developed into a strong young driver, we’re very happy to have him join the team.”

Image 1: Mackay native Declan Fraser has signed with Tickford Racing for the 2023 Supercars Championship season

Image 2: Fraser had a stellar 2022 including a Super2 Series crown and a Supercars debut. Photos supplied

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North Mackay Ladies Back Rolling In 2023

January 26, 2023

North Mackay Ladies Bowls welcomed back the 2023 season with an Open Day on Wednesday 18th January.  

President Lidia McCarthy welcomed life members, past presidents, players and guests to the game day.

After bowls a lovely afternoon tea was enjoyed, followed by a successful cent sale.

Thank you to all those who attended and the best of success in the coming year.

Winners of the Open Day game were Lurline Ford, Jean Zamparutti and Donna Gordon.

Runners up were Ann Smith, Neddy Thomsen and Hilary Jones Rowan.

Contributed by Sue Hazledine.

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Ralph’s a Record Breaker

January 26, 2023

Image: Ralph Traeger has broken records all over central and north Queensland. Photos supplied

What a year this superstar Dolphin has had!

Not just one record broken but two in the 2022-2023 season, and at the ripe young age of eight years old!

Ralph Traeger is a regular at swimming competitions for Pioneer Swim Club but his most memorable to date would have to be Caribeae Beef City Swimming Carnival held in Rockhampton on October 29, 2022 and the Cannonvale Cannons Swimming Carnival held in Airlie Beach on January 21-22, 2023.

At each of these meets, Ralph broke records – a feat reserved for swimming royalty.

At Caribeae (a Central Queensland event), Ralph broke a Beef City Record for 50m backstroke – previously set at 47.99 seconds.

Ralph swam the event in 47.07 seconds.

Then on the weekend just gone, Ralph shocked the local swimming community again, breaking a Swimming North Queensland record for 25m backstroke – previously set at 20.60 seconds.

Ralph swam the event in 19.79 seconds.

Watch this space because Ralph will continue to be a hot topic for our Club and the Mackay Community.

We have no doubt his aspirations include a path to future Olympics.  

We congratulate Ralph on such amazing achievements.  

We are incredibly proud of Ralph’s swim journey and honoured to call him a Pioneer Dolphin.

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

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Pioneer Swimming Club Dominate Pool At Cannonvale Carnival

January 26, 2023

Pioneer Swimming Club travelled to Cannonvale for a weekend of competition from January 21-22.

The club’s attendance was high, with 43 swimmers attending to challenge the local teams in a short course carnival hosted by Cannonvale Cannons Swimming Club.

The Dolphins swam strong, swam confident and swam with pride!  

Many of our swimmers achieved personal bests with many bringing home quite the loot of medals.

Recently, a hot topic and focus for several swimmers has been to attain a qualifying time/s to attend the State Sprints to be held at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre on February 11-12.

More Dolphins met these qualifying times, swimming strong at the Cannonvale Carnival, and will now join the State Team.  

The highlight of this carnival, and one all swimmers look forward to in the swim calendar, is the “Skins” Events.  

The fastest 6 swimmers for each stroke (Backstroke, Butterfly, Breaststroke and Freestyle) in the age groups 8-9 years, 10-12 years and 13+ years for both females and males are invited to swim in an elimination style process.

The races are 25m and the slowest swimmer is eliminated after each heat until there are 2 – the final being the decider.

Each of the 6 finalists are awarded cash, increasing for each heat, the winner receiving the most prize money.

The following Dolphins were finalists and some even taking out the win for their event: Kylie Smith, Jade Bounden and Viktor Lee for 13+ years; Georgie Brand, Madison Malagueno, Alex Moss and Henry Porter for 10-12 years; and Olivia Smith, Makenna Malagueno, Ava Corrigan, Ralph Traeger and Isaiah Espartinez for 8-9 years.

What a representation and dominance by Pioneer!

Pioneer Swimming Club wishes to thank Cannonvale Cannons for hosting such a successful and fun meet.

Our calendar continues to be busy with Mirani Swimming Club hosting a carnival this coming weekend.

If you have a child who is interested in giving swimming a go, please reach out by emailing our Club Secretary or via our socials (Facebook or Instagram).

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

Image 1: Pioneer Swim Club dominated at a recent carnival at Cannonvale

Image 2: Kylie Smith and Jade Bounden taking off

Image 3: Alex Moss

Image 4: Dylan Mende, Viktor Lee and Kailu Bellear

Image 5: Coach Igor Demin chatting with the swimmers

Image 6: The mum’s of Pioneer

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Mackay’s Flash Mikayla Is Reaping The Track Rewards

January 19, 2023

Claiming a national sporting title or medal is the ultimate accolade for any aspiring athlete.

For Mackay sprint sensation Mikayla Webb, anchoring the triumphant Queensland 4 x 100m relay sprint team at last month's National All Schools Track and Field Championships in Adelaide proved an "early Christmas present."

The relay gold medal capped a stellar season on the track for the 15 year old St Patrick's College student, who returned home as an Australian champion and with a bronze medal after grabbing third place in the National 100m Girls Final.

Quicksilver Mikayla – who competes for Mackay Athletics Club - used her blistering speed to flash home in a time of 12.12 seconds and secure a thrilling podium finish.

In the major Adelaide meet she was also pipped for a medal in the 200m National final after finishing fourth in a hot field of promising sprinters.

Earlier Mikayla demonstrated her competitive edge by clinching silver medals in the 100m and 200m dash at last year's Queensland Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in Brisbane.

Those stand out performances helped the record-breaking Webb earn recognition as one of the fastest young sprinters in the country after being named the Athletics North Queensland Emerging Athlete of the Year.

Her impressive results can be attributed to months of hard toil under renowned sprint coaches Tina and Luke Morse from ASSET (All Sports Speed Endurance Training) who have added speed and balance to her running technique.

Last year Mikayla smashed two long standing records when she won gold in both the 100m and 200m finals at the Oceania Schools Athletics Championships staged at the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

She scorched her rivals in the Girls 15yrs 100m event – clocking an impressive 12:12 seconds to eclipse the previous mark of 12:30 seconds in superb style.

The sprint queen backed up that golden performance by also clinching the 200m title with a sizzling record time of 25:65 seconds, bettering the previous best of 25:70 seconds.

Both sprint records had stood for two decades.

By Chris Karas

Mikayla Webb is one of the fastest teenagers in Australia. Photo credit: Athletics North Queensland

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Pioneer Swimming Club – Have You Met Our Coaches?

January 19, 2023

So, who are the coaches of the Pioneer Swimming Club? Who turns our fish into Dolphins?

Our Club is led by Igor Demin, Russian-born Olympian turned Coach.

Undoubtedly, if you have been to the Pioneer Swim Centre, you will have seen Igor and heard his unique whistle blow!

He tells us his father joined him up for boxing at the age of 7 and after two months, he instructed his father he was becoming a swimmer.

He has swum in many international competitions, swimming in almost all continents around the world – his most memorable moment being medaling at the Universiade in Japan.

Before joining the Pioneer Swimming Club in 2020, he was a member in and trained the National Team in Russia and has since coached in New Zealand and then, eventually, Australia.

Igor’s qualifications include a Master’s Degree in Coaching and Sports Medicine, but perhaps his best asset is his unique humor and spin on swimming.

We are fortunate to have Igor and we hope he never leaves us!

Kylie Smith wears many hats in our club – one being President of the Club, another being a competitive swimmer herself, still competing at State level competitions for our Club, and the last, and definitely not the least, Assistant Coach to Igor.

Kylie’s journey in swimming started when she was 7 years old – swimming a somewhat crooked resemblance of backstroke down the lane at her first school carnival.

She vied to learn to swim straight from that day forth.  

Her career has taken her to the 2000 Olympic Trials in Sydney and the 2006 Commonwealth Trials in Melbourne – believe or not, she made it for backstroke, although, by now, she had mastered swimming straight!

You will see Kylie on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons pacing the pool, assisting our mini-Dolphins with their stroke and focusing on their technique.  

If you are seeking to sign your child up for a squad, how do you get in touch with us?

Email the Club Secretary, Tahnie Malagueno, on  

We look forward to meeting you poolside soon!  

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

Pioneer Swimming Club Coach Igor Demin

Assistant Coach Kylie Smith

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Summertime And All That...

January 19, 2023

Local vocal ensemble Tutti is proud to present Summertime and All That... this February at the Conservatorium of Music Mackay.

But who is Tutti?

Tutti is an all-female vocal ensemble under the direction of Jan Whelan OAM. Jan is known around town not only for her work with the Mackay Choral Society and Mackay Musical Comedy Players but also her accompanying work with soloists, school choirs and music ministries. Jan started the ensemble back in 2002 as a small ensemble and trio and quartets. We were very proud when in 2022 Jan was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Awards for services to music as an accompanist.

Over the years many vocalists have graced the stage all over North Queensland under the name Tutti. The ensemble has competed several times in competitions across Queensland and have been described by several leading adjudicators as “spectacular” and “glamorous”.

Current vocalists of the group include some well-known members of the community, performers, teachers and key members of other performing groups.  All the members of the group have some knowledge and expertise in different music styles and the delectable combination of these voices is purely stunning. The program is filled with luscious harmonies and different song genres including swing, ballads and folk.

Summertime and All That... also includes guest artist Belinda Rooney on flute. There is something for everyone.

Tutti is excited and thrilled to present Summertime and All That...  to Mackay audiences on February 4 and 5 at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music Mackay, Building 21, 151 Boundary Road, Ooralea Qld 4740. Tickets can be purchased through trybooking:

Contributed by Isobel Gillman

Group members in local vocalensemble Tutti:

Top Row: Anne Atkinson,Vanessa Dale, Caroline Galea

2nd Row: Lynn Gallant, Isobel Gillman, Cecilia Hyde,Chantal Kay

3rd Row: Danielle McCully, Lauren Menzies, JeanetteOberg, Annie Pratt

4th Row: Shona Rosser, Caitlyn Schurmann, NicoleThomson, Jan Whelan OAM

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Top Level Table Tennis In PNG A Surprise Christmas Journey

January 12, 2023


- Children in traditional dress welcome to PNG Janice Kent, centre, and other umpires Samantha and Nane. Photos: Contributed

- Janice Kent, centre, takes the umpires chair for a group shot with other umpires at the ITTF Oceania tournament in Port Moresby

Umpiring at a high-level tournament at Port Moresby is the last thing Mackay Table Tennis president Janice Kent expected leading up to Christmas.

Janice was invited by Ryan Weingard of ITTF Oceania to attend and umpire at the ITTF Oceania tournament involving teams from New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia and took the challenge head-on.

“Progression in a sport that you are passionate about can take many pathways,” she said.

“For me, although I have not taken my eye off the ball and want to continue to play, I also see the need for more players to progress into the umpiring role – to know the rules and to know the role – to be impartial and fair when giving a true account of the game.  

“Since moving to Australia from NZ and attending my first regional tournament in Townsville, I was always being beaten and out in the first round.  But to keep the tournament going and wait for my club team players to either win or be ruled out of the competition I needed to fill in the day so umpiring here I come.

“For a couple of years, I attended the regional competitions and took the lead from my club buddy, Donna Abbott, to put my hand up when an umpire was requested.”

Janice said players needed to realise that umpires are human.

“They do make mistakes! They do miss some calls! But without them putting their hand up the tournaments don’t run so well and games don’t get played as quickly.”

She said that with the media and travel advice advising to only travel to PNG if extremely necessary, one would think that attending this small tournament in PNG didn’t tick the boxes.

“But I decided to throw my hat in the ring and if they wanted me to go, I was quite prepared to do so.

“When my flight was delayed and ended up having to be transferred to the following day I was concerned the road blocks were trying to tell me something.  But from the time I arrived in Port Moresby to the time I left I was looked after and treated so well by the locals, the competitors, the other officials and complete strangers and so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to be part of the tournament.’’

Teams competed from New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia.   The Australian team provided some top exhibition matches in the final of the men’s and women’s singles of the Oceania Cup with Nicholas Lum defeating Xin Yan (4 – 1) and Minhyung Jee defeating Yangzi Liu (4 – 3). The Pacific Cup was fought out between Geoffrey Loi (PNG) and Jeremy Dey (New Caledonia) in the Men’s Singles and Grace Yee (Fiji) and Julie Wanegui (New Caledonia).  Geoffrey Loi and Grace Yee were the eventual winners.

“Under the eagle eye of Stephen Gillespie as the tournament referee I refreshed a lot of skills that we don’t use at State and National competition.  Checking bats, flipping coins, checking the nets between games and even collecting the balls between games – time keeping, time outs, hand signals and working closely with your assistant umpire were all challenges to be overcome throughout the tournament and so glad that I went.

“Where to now? – more playing and more umpiring but to use what I learned during my PNG experience to improve the sport of table tennis at home – in Australia.”

By Charlie Payne

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Former Mackay Cyclists Make Podium At Road Nationals

January 12, 2023

Image 1: Alex Bogna (left) sprints for third place overall at the U23 AusCycling 2023 Road Cycling National Championships

Image 2: Dave Nicholas (left) pictured receiving his silver medal at the AusCycling 2023 Road Cycling National Championships

Professional Under 23 road cyclist Alex Bogna has proven worthy of his contract with the Alpecin-Deceuninck Development Team by coming third at last weekend’s AusCycling Road National Championships in South Australia.

The former Mackay Cycling Club member found himself in a break off the front of the peloton and could be seen doing a huge amount of work for the bunch to keep the riders at the front of the race.

Alastair MacKellar (Israel Cycling Academy) swept up the solo victory by reeling in the break before surging ahead solo to claim first place convincingly. Brady Gilmore (ARA Skip Capital), who had initially been part of MacKellar's three-man attack from the peloton, secured second by winning the sprint of five riders. Bogna out-sprinted James Panizza (Team BridgeLane) who had also been in the break with Bogna, for third place overall.

The race was held on the regular home to the Australian Road National Championships, an 11.6km circuit including the climb of Mount Buninyong Road. The U23 men’s race consisted of 12 laps, for 139km of racing.

Former Mackay Cycling Club member and Proserpine resident David Nicholas continued a run of good form by claiming silver at the Auscycling Road National Championships.

The para-cyclist has a long list of achievements on both the road and the track, including Olympic gold and world championship titles. He has been at the top level of para-cycling for more than a decade and shows no signs of slowing down. He currently resides in Bathurst, New South Wales.

Nicholas claimed second place in the road race, with Moreton Bay cyclist Kyle Willis winning gold.

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“Hell Week” Training No Holiday For Pioneer Swimmers

January 12, 2023

The festive season seems an eternity ago for Pioneer Swimming Club’s members as they conquer “Hell Week” training for the first two weeks of 2023.  Pioneer Swimmers hit the pool ‘running’ on January 2, swimming and training every morning and afternoon in their home pool, the Pioneer Swim Centre.

They have and will continue to step outside of their comfort zones, challenging themselves to activities and training sessions they have not yet undertaken.  Our seniors completed an average of approximately 50 to 60km in the pool in the first week and our juniors achieving approximately 30km.  Gym sessions and land-based strength training has been incorporated for all. Each swimmer has pushed their own individual boundaries and have already attained achievements they thought not possible.  

The first week was finished with a well-deserved barbeque breakfast.

“Hell Weeks” are meant to be intense. Gruelling. But oh-so rewarding!

Upon finishing this fortnight of Hell Week training, our swimmers will attend a number of local swimming competitions in Cannonvale and Mirani and others aspiring for the Queensland Sprint Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in early February.  

Contributed by Tahnie Malagueno

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NBA Aspirations For Teen Hooper, Cooper Currie

January 12, 2023

Image: Rising Souths and Mackay Meteors point guard Cooper Currie, 13, is one of the best junior basketball prospects in Queensland

Just like all aspiring young hoopers, Mackay schoolboy Cooper Currie dreams of one day plying his trade in the American National Basketball Association (NBA) competition.

Having already stamped his mark in Queensland Junior Development squads, the promising 13-year-old point guard, who shows a maturity that far belies his years, has taken giant steps towards realising a lifetime goal of joining the professional ranks of his chosen sport.

Currie is one of a batch of outstanding prospects from the Souths club in the Mackay Junior Basketball Association that have caught the eye of State selectors with impressive performances on the Queensland basketball scene.

The St Patrick’s College student joined talented club mates Treyce Ciantar (power forward) and shooting guard Usai Bickey at a National inter-state tournament for Under 15 Emerging State players in Melbourne this month as part of the Future Development Program.

It was a valuable experience for young Currie who more than held his own against players two years his senior in a pressure-packed national tournament atmosphere.

The competition featured the finest up and coming Under 15 talent from across the nation and provided Cooper and his colleagues with a limited time team preparation prior to playing a number of games, simulating that of an Australian Junior Championship series.  

Prior to the January event, Cooper was one of eleven Mackay Meteors and Meteorettes junior representative players that participated in the Basketball Queensland Under14 Future Development Program All-State Camp in Brisbane along with three coaches that included his mother Renae Currie, Liam Cochrane and Aleisha Catip.

It is fair to say that 2022 was a year to savour for the skillful Cooper on the basketball front.

He skippered the triumphant Mackay Meteors Under 14s team to a North Queensland Age Championship title with superb displays during the three-carnival series in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay – showing his leadership credentials and skills set on the boards.

With Cooper leading the way the Meteors combined effectively with each other on court and demonstrated their tactical nouse and natural lay-up and shooting skills to help bring home the trophy.

There was double reason to celebrate when the Mackay Meteorettes claimed the Under 14 Girls championship in a huge sporting fillip for the region.

Following his North Queensland title success, Currie represented Mackay at the State Junior Basketball Championships in Brisbane and turned in superb performances as a junior member of the Mercy College Year 10 side that finished a creditable seventh at the Champion Schools Basketball tournament on the Gold Coast last October.

When seeking guidance and advice on his game, Cooper has a mentor close at hand.  

His mother Renae is an accomplished player and coach in the Mackay region and a stalwart of the Souths club who has taught her son the finer points of basketball since the age of 5.

From the time a young basketball hopeful in Australia steps on the court, he or she most often aspires to participate in the strongest competitions on the planet – the United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

Cooper is no different.

He shares the same surname and on court position with Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry - widely regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time and as the greatest shooter in NBA history – and dreams of one day following in the steps of Aussie trailblazers Patty Mills, Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), Josh Giddey (Oklahoma City Thunder), Joe Ingles (Portland Trailblazers), Josh Green (Dallas Mavericks), Jock Landale (San Antonio Spurs), Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers), Dyson Daniels (New Orleans Pelicans) and Matthew Dellavedova (Sacramento Kings).

At the same age as Cooper, a young Steph Curry dominated the courts back in 2001-02 in Toronto with the all-conquering Queensway Christian College Saints Grade 7 and 8 boys team – scoring 40 points to 50 points a game as the side won the Canadian Schools Under 13s championship undefeated.

When Steph’s father Dell retired from a 16-year NBA career which included a three-year stint with the Toronto Raptors the family returned to Charlotte with young Curry later linking with the Warriors and proving the architect of four NBA championship titles.

Cooper’s immediate goals are to continue developing his skills with Souths and the Mackay Meteors, St Patrick’s College and force his way into the Queensland Under 16 representative squad.

If natural ability, vision and determination are any guide then the Mackay playmaker is well on the way to realising those dreams.

By Chris Karas

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Memorial Cricket Cup In Honour Of Friend And Future Leader, Finley

January 12, 2023

Image: Finley Smith

A memorial cricket cup and all-day event is on at Harrup Park this Saturday, honouring the memory of a talented young man taken too soon.

Finley Smith was known as an ‘ambassador’ and ‘future leader’ within the Mackay Community.

Finley had a successful career working in real estate with his father at Gardian. However, on 15th February 2022, at age 25, Finley unexpectedly passed away due to an epileptic seizure, leaving a big void in the lives of his family and friends.

Many described Finley as a compassionate and spirited young man who lit up any room he walked into. Friends described him as a man with quick wit, a cheeky laugh, sense of humour and loveable nature.

With the fast-approaching first anniversary of Finley’s passing, the people closest to him found a special way to remember him. And so was born the Finley Smith Memorial Cup. The event is an all-day cricket tournament that celebrates Finley’s life and love for cricket, while bringing the community together to help raise awareness for epilepsy.

The inaugural Finley Smith Memorial Cup will be held at Harrup Park on Saturday the 14th of January 2023. The day will see six teams competing in a round robin style competition, raffles, and an awards presentation.

All funds raised from this event will go to Epilepsy Action Australia (EAA) and honour the beloved Finley Smith. The event has brought friends, family, and even strangers unaware of Finley’s story closer together. So far, the Finley Smith Memorial Cup has helped raise an outstanding $24,640 as at January 10 for EAA and has no intention of stopping there.

To purchase a ticket to The Finley Smith Memorial Cup, donate $30 and show your donation receipt at the door on the day. Donate online,

For more information on the event, visit

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Mackay Contract Bridge Club Results

January 12, 2023

Images: The Mackay Contract Bridge Club enjoyed Christmas party festivities before enjoying a break. The 2023 season has now commenced

Happy New Year to everyone and welcome back to Contract Bridge for 2023

Monday 2 January 2023 – 5 Table One Winner – Green Points

1st Janelle Conroy / Terrence Sheedy

2nd Geoffrey Patterson / Noel Bugeia

3rd Ken Seaniger / Robert Carless

4th Griffin Bancroft / Anne Lutz

Wednesday 4 January 2023 – 9 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st Janet Hansen / Del Ryan

2nd Noel Bugeia / Doone Mitchell

3rd Janine Rodgers / Terrence Sheedy

4th Debbie Ludkin / Cath Willis


1st Janelle Conroy / Alan Brown

2nd Geoff Taylor / Ted Cullinan

3rd Gwen Liddle / Anne Lutz

4th Sandra Morris / Diane Stokes

Thursday Evening 5 January 2023 – 5 Table One Winner Green Points

1st Frances Brown / Alan Brown

2nd Janine Rodgers / Terrence Sheedy

3rd Janelle Conroy / Noel Bugeia

4th Annie Lynch / Geoff Taylor

Friday 6 January 2023 – 8 Table Mitchell Green Points


1st Lorna Shuttlewood / Robert Carless

2nd Helen Van Den Broek / Don Poole

3rd Nancy Martin / Kath Poole

4th Edward Kliese / Nancy Wix


1st Janine Rodgers / Richard Wix

2nd Noel Bugeia / Terrence Sheedy

3rd Geoff Taylor / Joy Robinson

4th Susan Wright / Geoffrey Patterson

Saturday 7 January 2023 – 10 Table Mitchell Green Points

1st Doone Mitchell / Lorna Shuttlewood

2nd Max Holewa / Diane Holewa

3rd Janelle Conroy / Robert Carless

4th Geoff Taylor / Del Ryan

1st Frances Brown / Alan Brown

2nd Janet Hansen / Diane Morgan

3rd Susan Wright / Patricia Garner

4th Monica Darley / Kath Poole

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Humid Hop For Road Runners Through Glenella

January 12, 2023

L-R: Riley Matsen, Peter Ford and Andrew Short well pleased with their running efforts in the 10km

Alana Ford (left) and Jose Short congratulate each other on their 10km efforts

L-R: Jo Hughes, Natasha Joynson, Kim Saron and Emma Johnson warmup before their 5km event

More than thirty competitors ran head-on into humid conditions last Sunday afternoon for the 11th race in the Shawn’s Summer Social Series with Mackay Road Runners.  

Race Director, Jim Ford, arranged a flat fast course through Glenella from the Magpies Sporting Complex with various race distance options. Oliver Rule, Joe Grech, Rodney Elworthy and Paul Mackenzie made the 12km distance look easy as they sprinted from the gun through the meandering course to the finish line. Birthday girl, Tahnie Malagueno, had a superb run over the longer distance especially after being spoilt all day by her family.  Excellent performances also came from Alana Knesevic, Carolyn Malagueno, Alan Zamparutti, Jose Short, Carmel Mahon, June Bradley, Andrew Wallace, Andrew Short, Peter Ford and newcomer Riley Matsen.

Five-kilometre athletes, Daniel Stampa, Kim Saron, Jo Hughes, Emily Dalglish, Emma Johnson, Natasha Joynson, Adam Knesevic, Jim Ford, Vivien and Harvey Knesevic found the shorter distance more to their liking with temperature soaring into the thirties with 87 per cent humidity.  Light winds and shaded pathways did alleviate the blazing sun to a small degree, however, all runners were looking for the zooper doopers by the finish line.

This Sunday’s Shawn’s Summer Series Social event commences at the usual time of 5:30pm with arrival at the Blacks Beach Tavern by 5:20pm at the latest for course description and Mackay Road Runners Club notices. The Blacks Beach annual event includes the infamous stairs and distances will be catered to varying levels of fitness.  

There will only be four more of the Shawn’s Summer Social Series before the formal Mackay Road Runner Season starts on 12th February.

Upcoming events for the Mackay Road Runners Club:

The Annual General Meeting on January 23 at Techserve office, Tennyson Street, Mackay at 5:30pm.

Mackay Road Runners hosting Parkrun January 28 at 7am.

Jet Maintenance Sports Expo and Sign-on at the MECC from 9am to 1pm on February 12.

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

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Season Kick-Off Around Corner For Cutters

January 5, 2023

The Mackay Cutters will kick-off their 2023 Hostplus Cup season in only two months, with the first game lined up against the Wynnum Manly Seagulls on March 11.

The Cutters managed to secure three out of four home games in the opening four rounds of the competition, with rounds two, three and four being played at BB Print Stadium.

The Cutters women in the all-new BMD Premiership will follow the same format as the men for the first six rounds, with round seven to be confirmed.

The Hastings Deering Colts U21 competition will start more than a month later, with round one a home game for the young Cutters side on April 22 against the Devils. However, the Harvey Norman U19 side will start their campaign first, with three away games, commencing on February 25 against the Pride.

The QCCS Mackay Cutters are optimistic for a stellar season, with exciting signings already announced last year.

Scotland Rugby League World Cup representative Kyle Schneider has re-signed with the QCCS Mackay Cutters. Schneider made three appearances for Scotland, finishing the World Cup with an 80-minute game against Fiji.

Kim Williams, Head of Football was contacted by Nathan Graham, Scotland’s Head Coach a couple of months before the World Cup.

“Any time we can help a player to play for his country, play for his heritage, that’s something, as a club, we need to be really proud of and keep supporting in the future,” Kim said.

Two more major re-signings for the season are Hiale Roycroft and Luke Webley, who will again turn out for the Cutters in 2023 after agreeing to terms last year.

Both players were priority signings for new Head Coach Michael Comerford after impressive performances throughout season 2022.

Coach Comerford said Hiale’s value to the squad goes well beyond his on-field contributions as he is a genuine leader within the club and a mentor to many of our young forwards.

“His commitment to self-improvement is an inspiration to our playing group and he is also a tireless worker within the community.”

Coach Comerford also said that Luke had a breakout season in 2022 where he cemented a spot in the 2nd row for the HostPlus Cup side, despite still being eligible for the Under 21s.

“He is a local Junior who has progressed rapidly through our pathways system to stamp himself as a genuine 1st Grade player in the HostPlus Cup.

“Luke’s signature for 2023 was a high priority for the Cutters as we believe he is a player who can progress to the next level with another season of Cup under his belt.”

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New Year’s Day Revitalising Road Runner’s Race

January 5, 2023

Heat, humidity, blustery breezes, lots of soft sand, snakes and hills all provided unique challenges for more than twenty runners who took part in a New Year’s Day run with the Mackay Road Runners.

Club Captain and Race Director, Jim Ford designed a loop course optional event with plenty of tough challenges where runners could choose from one to four loops. The day was made interesting by runners being confused about left and right turns at crucial sections of the course. Those who went astray made it back to the finish line clocking up the right number of kilometres for their chosen distance.

Paul Mackenzie made light work of the challenging steps and abundance of soft sand as well as supporting other runners when a snake came out to investigate.  Well done to Lily Leven who got a bit spooked by the wildlife, however, bravely finished the run in her usual commendable time. Luke Leven, who also put in a good solid 10km effort, needed Santa to have delivered a compass for Christmas. However, in all fairness, the trails were very tricky and when you go at his speed, it can be tough to see the markers.

Great to see new runners as well as the usual committed suspects having a great start to the year including Andrew Short, Jose Short, Adam Knesevic, Alana Knesevic, Natasha Joynson, Carmel Mahon, Peter Ford, David Isbister, Brownie, Alexa and Krystal.

This Sunday’s Shawn’s Summer Series commences from Magpies Sporting Complex Club carpark, Glenella.  

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

Mackay Road Runners Club Secretary, Julie Whibley (left) with Helen Leven and Dulcie the cattle dog

Jose Short takes in the views after the gruelling upward steps section

Paul Mackenzie making the soft sand and the challenging steps section look easy

Alana Knesevic takes an early lead on husband, Adam Knesevic in the first 3km loop

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Rainy End To Road Runners Year

December 23, 2022


1: Andrew Wallace (left) is happy to support the very wet Shawn’s Summer Social Series from Valley Street, North Mackay with (background) Emma Johnson, Natasha Joynson, Kim Saron and Jo Hughes

2: L-R Back - Andrew Wallace, Carmel Mahon, Andrew short and Alan Zamparutti. Front - Janelle Tilse, Kim Saron, Jo Hughes, Mel Esau and Paul McKenzie

3: Carmel Mahon has an excellent 10km over the very hilly course in rainy conditions

4: Ricky Parker enjoying one of his final runs with Mackay Road Runners before leaving for Brisbane next year

5: Alan Zamparutti enjoying the cooler conditions on reaching the pinnacle of Rotary lookout from Pollock Street

6: Tracey Brown enjoying the steady warm up before taking on the testing High Street section of the course

7: Derek Woods easily scales the 70 steps from High Street to the Rotary Lookout summit

8: Kim Saron happy with the final downhill section of the 5km. Photos supplied: Janelle Tilse

The final Shawn’s Summer Social Series 5/10km run before Christmas was held in very damp and cool conditions as compared with the previous weeks’ hot and humid temperatures.

Over twenty runners enjoyed the cool spell as Race Director and Club Captain Jim Ford announced the testing course which left from the Mackay North High School end of Valley Street.  

The run started with a slight uphill section before taking on the very steep unforgiving High Street ascent.  

The slippery surfaces made for serious footwork concentration especially on the descents with rain tumbling down throughout the entire event.

Excellent running came from Paul Mackenzie who took the lead early maintaining a great pace to cross the line first marginally ahead of the talented committed field of runners including Derek Woods, Ricky Parker, Andrew Short, Mel Esau, Carmel Mahon, Alan Zamparutti, Andrew Wallace, Steve Brown, Tracey Brown, Natasha Joynson, Kim Saron, Jo Hughes and Emma Johnson.

There will be no Shawn’s Summer Social Series event this Sunday due to the very special Christmas Day occasion, however the informal training sessions will continue on Wednesdays at the Aquatic & Recreational Complex at 5.30pm weather permitting.  

The following Sunday run for the Shawn’s Summer series will re-commence 5:30pm from the Seabreeze Tavern, Lamberts Beach on New Year’s Day – what a great way to start the year!

Mackay Road Runners look forward to another successful association within the community by bringing weekly running events to suit everyone, including the BMA Mackay Marina Run on 4th June.

Contributed by Janelle Tilse

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Season Celebrations For North Mackay Bowls

December 23, 2022


1: Daphne Offield; Hilary Jones-Rowan; Lois Deguara; Lyn Maguire; Bev Woodward; Elaine Buckton

2: Vice President Maureen Blucher

3: Raffle Ticket Sellers: Sheryl Cuttriss and Pam Louis

4: Games Coordinator: Debbie Mackenzie; Vice President: Maureen Blucher; President Lidia McCarthy; IPP: Lorraine Silman; Secretary: Helen Fleming

5: Marie Duck; Margaret Armitage; Carmel Bell; Cheryle Corbett; Marion Delaney

6: President Lidia lining up as Skip

North Mackay Ladies ended their season with a newly elected President, Lidia McCarthy. Maureen Blucher was elected as Vice President.

The club celebrated the end of play in 2022 with a Christmas lunch and fun games of bowls with 55 ladies attending.

Raffle ham winners were: 1st Prize Carmel O’Loughlin; 2nd Prize Isla Comelli and 3rd prize Val de Pinto. The doll (dressed and donated by Margaret Armitage) was won by Karla Wallman, daughter-in-law of Daphne Wallman. As usual a collection was taken up for a children’s charity and this year the club donated $300 to Riding for the Disabled.

North Mackay Ladies return for more fun on the green on Wednesday 18th January, 2023 when it will honour its past Presidents and life members.

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Father-Daughter Duo Lead CQ Cricket Team

December 23, 2022

Image 1: Mackay Whitsunday girls Back L-R Kelsey Waldon, Sorayah Cross, Matilda Faulkner. Front L-R Matilda Wiggins, Kiana Dunn, Jade Gersch

Image 2: Mackay Whitsunday players joined forces with Central Queensland players to form the Central Infernos. Photos supplied

A group of young cricketers from the Mackay Whitsunday and Central Queensland zones recently formed to represent the Central Infernos at the Queensland U15 Female State Cricket Challenge, led by Coach Paul Anderson and Assistant Coach and Paul’s daughter Ella of Mackay.

The U15 Central Infernos squad was selected from a carnival pitting Mackay Whitsunday, Central Queensland, North Queensland and Far North Queensland against each other, with Queensland Cricket selecting the Infernos from the Mackay Whitsunday and Central Queensland teams.

Kelsey Waldon, Jade Gersch, Kiana Dunn, Matilda Faulkner, Matilda Wiggins and Sorayah Cross were selected from Mackay Whitsunday with Paul and Ella in the coaching positions.

The Infernos came up against teams from north Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, the Darling Downs and Gold Coast and, despite winning one of five games, Paul said all players stood up to the task.

“They all played well and above what we expected from them, so they all tried their best and improved over the carnival,” he said.

“They all showed potential and all did something outstanding.”

Paul has coached at similar cricket carnivals for the last five years and said the quality of cricket has improved every year.

“This year, people were hitting a lot more boundaries, hitting sixes, the total scores teams were posting were much higher than in previous years, so the girls are certainly learning to play cricket in a more positive way,” he said.

18-year-old Ella came through the pathways system herself, playing at her first carnival at age 14 and filling the role of Assistant Coach at the last two carnivals.

“She really connects with the girls on a player level having been at the carnival before,” said Paul.

“She’s a good role model to have there for the younger girls and they really respect her input, and she respects them as well.

“It’s a really good thing to see those girls who have played in the pathway and are now coming back and taking up a coaching role.”

The official representative cricket calendar has wrapped up for 2022 with more games to be played in the new year.

“There’s certainly a lot of girls and women that want to play more representative cricket so we’re trying to organise some more games between Mackay Whitsunday and Central Queensland,” said Paul.

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Mackay’s All Stars At All Schools

December 23, 2022

Images: Oliver Rule (inside) and Cameron Wonnocott running in the 1500m

Hayley Colless in the U14 80m hurdles

Kayce Hoani-Vincent won bronze in the U16 pole vault

Mikayla Webb was part of the gold-winning Queensland 4 X 100m relay team

Toby Rule with his silver medal from the 3000m

While December has been a month of wrapping up 2022 for most of us, a group of talented Mackay athletes trekked across the country to the All Schools Track and Field Championships held in Adelaide. There was no winding down or early trifle for this group, who put it all on the line in one of the biggest competitions of the season.

Brothers Oliver and Toby Rule started the competition strong, with Oliver running a 1-second personal best in the 1500m and Toby finishing 4th in the steeplechase. The next day, Toby pulled out a superhuman effort to run a 31-second personal best in the 3000m, which awarded him richly with a silver medal.

Toby described the event as the “race of my life.”

“Crossing the finish line knowing I had placed at nationals was a competition highlight,” Toby said.

“I felt tired as I took the podium but happy with what I achieved.”

Oliver ran a competitive steeplechase, finishing in 8th place.

Oliver completed Year 12 this year and is planning to stay in Mackay to work, study and compete in 2023.

“I’ve started a traineeship with EHW Tech and will start at CQ University studying IT in February. I hope to compete for the Mackay Athletics Club and represent Queensland in 2023,” he said.

Speedster Mikayla Webb continued to show promise as one of the fastest teenagers in Australia by making both the 200m and 100m finals. She narrowly missed the podium in the 200m placing 4th, but snatched the bronze in the 100m by 0.002 of a second. Representing Queensland in the 4 X 100m relay, Mikayla helped anchor her team to a win, coming home as an Australian champion.

Kayce Hoani-Vincent won bronze in the U16 pole vault to cap off an impressive season.

James Galea came close to a podium place in the discus, placing 4th with a huge 5m personal best throw. He backed up with 5th placings in the hammer and shot put.

It was the first time at the championships for athletes Adison Byrd and Drew Lawn. Adison finished 10th overall in the U16 long jump equalling his personal best and ran a leg in the 4x100m final. He came 9th in the high jump and 9th in the triple jump. Drew finished 4th in the U17 triple jump, just short of his personal best and just outside the medals. Drew came 9th in the long jump and 11th in the high jump.

Jacob Adams ran a personal best in the U16 100m to place 11th and in the 200m to place 12th. Hayley Colless in the U14 came 10th in the 80m hurdles. Cameron Wonnocott ran a great personal best of 39 seconds in the 1500m placing 12th, and then running a 23-second personal best in the 800m to place 9th.

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On The Greens At Goosies

December 23, 2022

Images: End of year Saturday bowls at NMBC (Goosies)

Winners of Saturday bowls – Alan Dillon and Peter Cowling

Great Barrier Reef Arena (GBRA) won the finals of the 2022 Warehouse bowls at Goosies. Trophy presented by the organiser Don Agnew


Monday – mixed pairs draw Pam Louis and Gloria Sam. Runners up Bev Svenson and P. Shephard. Lucky draw Eric Skellern and Lawrence Borg.

No Wednesday bowls until 2023.

Thursday – Winners Margaret Fogg and Peter Rintoul. Runners up Sylvia Maikler and Ronny Maikler. Kitty toucher was not won.

Friday – Overall winners Michelle Stockton and Chris Banney. Winners lucky draw Tony Allsop and Val De Pinto. Runners up lucky draw Bevan Cooper and John Priest. Kitty toucher Alan Dillon and Peter Cowling.

Saturday - Winners Alan Dillon and Peter Cowling.

Runners up John Helenius and Asko Helenius. Jackpot Vic Gaudion and Peter Deleney.

Club organised bowls have finished until January 2023. Have a great Christmas and a safe, healthy New Year in 2023.

Contributed by Ian Rowan

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