Australian Gold Medallist swimmer Libby Trickett.
Australian Gold Medallist swimmer Libby Trickett.

Passion pays off for sportspeople

LOWER Clarence sport will be showcased across the country from the Yamba Sports Complex this Saturday on ABC Radio Grandstand Active program thanks to the efforts of a few Lower Clarence sporting fanatics.

The planned outdoor broadcast, which will take place from 12 noon to 2pm on Saturday, is the result of a submission co-ordinated by Debrah Novak of Yamba who answered the program’s callout for interested communities to promote their area.

Ms Novak, will be part of the Grandstand on-air panel for the two hour program along with Olympic gold medallist Libby Trickett and regular Grandstander Simone Thurtell.

The Grandstand Active Visit The Bush Competition was open to all Queensland and NSW regional communities more than 150 kilometres from Sydney.

Ms Novak sought the help of her son and captain of Maclean High School, Jordan Fisher and sports teacher Wayne Rice and the Clarence Coast Magpies Junior Rugby League president Tim Ryan to formulate a ‘package’ concept for the program, including a Rotary dinner on Thursday night and a visit and talk at Maclean High School.

Ms Novak, well-known as an award winning Daily Examiner photographer and now chair of the Yamba Festival of Comedy, Music and Arts Committee, is passionate about her local community and sport.

As a follow-up to her initial 100-word letter outlining why Grandstand should come to Yamba, Ms Novak compiled a list of over 40 current and former Maclean High School students who ‘fly the Lower Clarence flag’ at a state, national and international level.

“It makes me so proud to think these people have got there through the hard work and passion of themselves, their parents and community,” Ms Novak said.

Ms Novak explained in her letter that when she moved address five years ago she didn’t take her television with her.

“I never used to listen to the radio and then decided to switch on and listen to the ABC North Coast radio.

“What I love about the ABC is they give a great Aussie perspective, there are no commercials and I have learned so much about my own country and the amazing people who do extraordinary things. These guys are the last thing I listen to at night and first thing in the morning, and this is where I heard about this competition,” she said.

“It will be wonderful to have Olympic swimmer Libby Trickett talking to all the kids around here. I know a lot of kids really admire and look up to her and we are a strong swimming community when you look at how well our kids did at the PSSA and CHS swimming titles this season; it was awesome,” she said.

Ms Thurtell said the program was bowled over by the level of enthusiasm for local sport which came through in the entry.

“We really like the idea of going to the school and broadcasting from the sideline of junior sport ... apparently soccer and rugby league and the Aussie Masters Swimming Championships will be going on nearby. We are quite excited,” she said.

Coincidentally, Ms Thurtell’s twin sisters reside in Yamba, but she is unlikely to be able to spend much time with them.

“Normally I could be accused of stitching this up, but they’re probably not going to be home on the long weekend, they’re on there way to Sydney,” she said.

Lower Clarence sports representatives

2010 U/19 Australian Rowing Champion Isaac Bolton

2010 U/16 NSW CHS Girls Relay Swimming team Champions

2010 Open CHS Boys medley relay champions

2010 Bronze medallist and Australian swim team member Dylan Brown

2010 Lloyd McDermott Rugby team Jordan Walker

2010 Cronulla Sharks Luke Douglas

2010 NSW Waratah Kane Douglas

2010 Penrith Panthers Daine Laurie

2010 World Big Wave Winner Laurie Towner

2010 Australian Iron woman Elyse Bennett

2010 World Long board titles Bryce Young

2010 World Surfing qualify series Dan Ross

2010 World Squash player Cameron Pilley ranked 16

2010 World Squash player Donna Urquhart ranked 16

2010 World Championship Sailing Gabrielle King

2010 National triathlete series Elly Franks

2010 World Endurance Athlete rider Morgan Pilley - Univega Pro Cycling Team Germany

2010 Australian Mini Grand Prix champion Luke Mitchell compete 2010 British Moto Grand Prix

2010 PGA Adam Wiseman

2010 PGA Adam Causley

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