Yamba Prawn Bowl attracts former Olympic Opals player
OLYMPIC silver medallist Annie La Fleur will be hoping to add some local silverware to her collection when she contests the fourth annual Prawn Bowl basketball carnival at Yamba this weekend.
La Fleur was part of the Australian Opals team which won silver at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and will line up for the Drunken State Laydeez, the favourites for the women's title.
She will grace the courts at Raymond Laurie Sports Centre for the first time on Saturday, as her team vies for the Prawn Bowl, as well as the five kilograms of prawns awarded to the winners.
Men's teams and boys and girls youth divisions will also compete.
"We have attracted top local senior and youth league men and women basketballers from all along the east coast," organiser Steve Smith said.
"Teams made up with players from Shoalhaven to the Sunshine Coast will play a round-robin-style competition on the Saturday, with playoffs and finals being played on the Sunday."
The Yamba Trawlers Junior Basketballers host the annual event, which is a major fundraiser for the club.
"The local Junior Yamba Trawler players are excited to be hosting the event and are proud of the number of teams nominated this year, which has seen a gradual increase since the first Prawn Bowl in 2010," Smith said.
"The winning teams will receive 5kg of Yamba Prawns, name engraved on the Prawn Bowl, championship medallions and free nomination to next year's Prawn Bowl to defend their title."
The men's division will see Bellingen, Grafton, Ballina, Lismore and Yamba fight it out for the Prawn Bowl, with Bellingen expected to give the defending champions from Ballina a run for their prawns.
The local Yamba Trawlers team will consist of a side with a variety of ages over 30 years, with four-time Tasmanian state player Russel Leary suiting up for his Yamba Trawlers and hoping to get the prawns.
"In the women's grade we have teams from Brisbane/Sunshine Coast all the way down to Sydney/Shoalhaven nominated with Lismore, Ballina and Byron Bay being the local North Coast sides nominated,'' Smith said.
"Ex-Opal Annie La Fleur's team, the Drunken State Laydeez, are favourites for the title, with Tall & Slow from Lismore looking to retain the title and cause an upset."
The Junior Yamba Trawlers are hoping the Prawn Bowl will raise some much-needed funds and ask all children, parents, spectators and interested persons to come along and watch all for a gold coin donation to the club.