Point Lonsdale’s Lucy Naylor has helped her school, St Ignatius Secondary College, claim a national title in the Australian Junior Surfing Championships.
The event, held in Margaret River over six days last month, is the biggest junior competition of its kind, featuring individual, team and school category titles.
Surfing alongside newly-crowned Australian U/16 champion Ellie Harrison, Naylor helped clinch the U/19 Girls MR Shield.
The pair posted an impressive final score of 18.25 to finish 2.5 points ahead of Queensland’s Siena Catholic College and Margaret River High School.
The game of croquet is very much back in vogue in Queenscliff, with the town’s century old croquet club now boasting more than 50 members and still on the look out for more.
A determined effort to introduce newcomers, through come and try days, coaching and improved visibility, has swelled numbers to their strongest in recent years.
And a new partnership between Croquet Victoria and the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), which re-affirms the health benefits of the sport, is set to grow participation even further.
“This is a group of local Queenscliff croquet Club players who exemplify the benefits of regular exercise and activity, fellowship and fresh air,” said club secretary Denise Spark.
“Many of the members are over 90 years of age and are formidable opponents.”
“Croquet is played all year round on a social basis as well as competitive, and is stimulating both physically and mentally,” Mrs Spark said.
Encouraging members to wear their red shirts when they take to the courts, on the prominent King and Hesse Street intersection, has been credited with helping to lift the club’s profile, as has its regular come and try days.
“Members participate in a region-wide pennant competition or play socially, and new members are always welcome,” said Mrs Spark.
The APA recently released two videos – one for participants and one for health professionals – highlighting the croquet’s benefits, particularly for the elderly, because of range of gentle physical movement involved.
They’ve only just started their second season, but Seb Monahan, Charlie Saunders and twin brothers Mathew and Luke Lawrence are already mixing it with some of the Geelong region’s best lawn bowlers.
The 16 years olds are all representing Queenscliff in the division one competition, jumping up from division five last year.
Having played cricket throughout their junior sporting years, all four boys last season decided they wanted to try something a little different.
“There’s a bit of family history here and I was keen to change it up and find new that I'd enjoy doing and a couple of cousins and my mate followed along,” said Seb.
“I love it, I can’t see myself changing to another sport anytime soon.”
“It’s kind of a surprise to be in Division 1, but we all improved a lot quicker than we thought we would,” Seb added.
The four are among a growing number of young people taking up lawn bowls, once regarded a sport for retirees.
“We love playing with the older team members, they’re a lot of fun and they all get around us and encourage us,” Seb said.
NETBALL - Queenscliff junior netballers have dominated at the BFNL Best and Fairest vote count, with players featuring among the awards in almost every grade.
Kaitlin Gladman, Amelia Bakker and Eden Henderson-Craig all walked away from the August 27 event with winner's trophies in U/19, U/17 and U/13 grades.
For Gladman it was a case of three straight wins, having also won best player in the past two seasons. She polled 34 votes - nine clear of her nearest rival.
Bakker narrowly missed taking out back-to-back wins in the U/15 Division 1 count, finishing in second place, but clinched the U/17 division 2 award, just ahead of team mate Grace Butler.
Henderson-Craig won the U/13 division 1 count with 31 votes - six clear of her nearest rival.
Another six girls finished in the top 10 of their divisions.
The Queenscliff Netball Club also won the Team of the Year in the BFNL's Spirit of Sport award.
The Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club’s youngest ever president hopes his appointment encourages other young people in the community to step up to positions of responsibility.
Twenty-four year old Charlie Pitney was elected to the position at last month’s Annual General Meeting, replacing Mathew Ponsford, who stood down after four years in the role.
Mr Pitney takes over at what he describes as an “exciting” time, with work set to start as early as this month on a new $ 5 million clubhouse.
“I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a very last minute and somewhat reluctant decision knowing the massive amount of work involved with being president of such a large volunteer organisation,” he said. “Having said that though, I have come to realise what an exciting time it is to be involved and that I will learn so much in this position.
“I am really excited about what lies ahead for the next couple of seasons. A number of older members have commented that it is exciting to have a number of young people taking the reins as we move ahead to our new clubhouse project as we are building the new clubhouse for the young members so us young members should have a say in the final product.
Pitney’s 16 year involvement with the club includes stints as club and vice club captain. More recently he chaired a group reviewing the club’s constitution. He also boasts a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Law.
That combination of youth and experience he hopes will help ensure a strong future.
In particular Mr Pitney says he is keen to lift community engagement, bolster membership and participation, develop new community outreach programs and raise the club’s profile through events, conference and training and development programs.
He also wants to expand the reach of the club’s Nippers program, by introducing more “off-peak” activities.
“I have three main passions that I hope to deliver through my presidency - firstly, keeping our beaches safe, secondly, helping young people to realise their potential and finally creating and fostering a strong sense of community around the club," he said.
In my term as Club Captain, I harnessed these passions and my energy to rejuvenating the life saving services team and I now hope that in my position as President I can deliver this to a wider range of our members. Outside of surf life saving.”
Queenscliff has a team to follow in the AFLW, with Carlton indicating it is prepared to forge long-term links with our town.
The team spent recently three days at a pre-season training camp, at YMCA Camp Wyuna, where players were put through their paces ahead of next month’s season opener.
General Manager Nicole Graves said it was their first-ever pre-season camp, and proved to be the perfect setting.
“We’ve had a bit of footy and a bit of rain and a bit of sun, we’ve had everything, which really suits because these girls play in summer and so the heat and the humidity has been really good for us,” Graves said.
“The team at YMCA has been brilliant, they’ve really looked after us.
“This camp is what we thought was required to keep the girls together and keep them connected as a team… It really sets up good relationships and makes them bond better.
“We have 11 new players coming in from the draft, a third of the team, so it’s really important that they get to know each other and it’s also good for new coach Daniel Harford to get to know them and see what they can do.
“We only have two weeks break for Christmas, we have a month of training then they start in the first week of February.”
Carlton is the latest in a growing list of elite sporting teams choosing Queenscliff for their pre-season training, because of the amenities on offer.
“It’s good for us because we can do the recovery in the beach, it’s still close enough to Melbourne and people have been fantastic around the town,” Graves said.
“We’re really lucky and there’s a lot of teams coming down here now. We’re already talking about next year.”
Camp Wyuna Manager Andrew Kidd said a growing number of clubs, both elite and community, were chosing Queenscliff for training camps.
"We have a perfect mix of parks, sporting facilities, running and walking paths and of course the beach to base a good mix of activities around."
Queenscliff cricketers have drawn the ledger in the second annual Couta Bowl 20-20 Clash, played on Saturday December 5.
Having been defeated by a team of local footballers in the first encounter, two seasons ago, the cricketers were determined to restore some pride.
Opposing captains Tom Kidd and Tom Caddy provided solid captains knocks in the high-scoring encounter.
Despite adopting "backyard rules" and fielding 14 players, the footballers still fell short by 30 runs - 234 to 230.
The cricketers also scored bragging rights in the curtain-raiser U/19 match.
Six teams are flying the finals flag for the Queenscliff Football-Netball Club, including our senior, including our senior footballers.
Despite losing last weekend's final home and away clash against Ocean Grove, the Coutas finished fifth on the league ladder and will meet Geelong Amateurs in an elimination final this Sunday August 19).
Had they managed a win, the Coutas could have secured second spot and a double chance.
Meanwhile, our U/15 (Division 2) and U17 (Division 3) teams have moved straight into the grand final, with wins in last weekend's first finals clashes. Both teams finished on top of the ladder.
The U/17's, coached by Luke Orvis, are looking for back-to-back premierships.
And three netball sides are also in the hunt for premiership glory - U/13 (Division 2), U/17 (Division 1) and B-Grade (seniors).
All teams will be in action at Leopold this weekend.
This weekend's games:
Saturday August 18
NETBALL - U/17 - Leopold 10am
NETBALL - B-Grade - 1pm
Sunday August 19
FOOTBALL - seniors - Leopold - 2.10pm
NETBALL - U/13 - Leopold - 9am
Construction of Queenscliff’s new netball facilities is back on track, with the State Government stepping in to help fund game day change rooms.
The additional $200,000 comes on top of the $3.15 million already pledged by the government for stage two of the recreation reserve redevelopment.
The Queenscliffe Council will contribute a further $400,000 towards the cost of the netball change rooms, which will also include a kitchenette and toilet.
The grant will come as welcome relief to the Council, which recently revealed costs for the redevelopment project had blown out by $650,000.
After several delays, work is progressing on the redevelopment, however the courts are now not expected to be finished before the end of the current season.
Initial funding for the redevelopment was announced in the lead up to the 2014 state election and netballers were originally promised the courts would be ready for this season.
Ms Neville conceded they had been “very patient” and had been forced to put up with “shoddy conditions.“
“We’re close now… hopefully [this] means were all on track and it’s all going to be done by September and I will be here to open it and I appreciate your patience along the way,” she said.
“This is going to be a great facility, not just for you but also for the players coming through as well.
“I can’t wait to be back here and shooting some goals,” she said.
Mayor Susan Salter said she was grateful the money had been made available.
“This funding will enable us to gorge ahead together to highlight the importance of creating an environment that supports health, wellbeing, inclusion and participation in sport,” she said.
‘The community are very passionate about this project, it’s supportive of planned improvements and it’s fantastic to see their vision is coming to fruition.”
The tender for construction of the netball change rooms has been awarded to BDH Constructions.
Once completed, the redevelopment will also include four new cricket nets, a gymnasium and new car parking facilities.
Plans for the gym are currently being finalised. Council will complete that element of the project as an owner builder.
In 1978 netball dresses laced up at the front and were a little more "potato-sackish" than the current styles.
The pool of players from which Queenscliff could draw upon was a lot smaller than today’s talent offering and the likelihood of our small club winning an A-Grade premiership was, well, pretty slim.
Nevertheless, that’s just what happened and this month, past players, supporters and the wider community is invited to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the unlikely win.
The team, coached by Barb Moloney went in to the clash against Leopold as slight underdogs, but came away four goal winners. During the season the two sides met three times, for a draw and a win each.
“They had a huge number of players from Geelong comps that flooded into their club,” recalls Doreen Bramwell, the team’s centre player. “Many of them had played at a very elite level and we were just home-grown Coutas girls, with the exception of Coral Hammond who came to us from Geelong.
“Our coach was a calm and a clever influence on us all. Very fair but always expected the best from us all,” Doreen said.
It was the last time, and possibly the only time, the club tasted A-Grade glory, according to fellow team member Sue Orvis.
“I believe it’s the only one we’ve won, but I could be wrong. There might have been one before but I haven’t heard of one since,” she said.
While Sue doesn’t remember much about the game, she does remember the party at the Bowling Club afterwards.
The Saturday August 4 reunion will commence at 1pm and include a gathering at the netball courts to watch our current A-Graders in action and a President’s luncheon, followed by a celebration.
“I don’t want it to be just a ladies day or just for that group I’ve girls,” said Sue, who is also organising the event. “I want it to be for everyone, I want it to be netball through the ages and anyone else who wants to come. I want supporters, coaches, committee, I’m trying to get in touch with as many people as I can.
“I hope all the girls are coming, we’re working on it.”
Pictured from L to R: Leanne Baillieu (Neville), Coral Hammond, Doreen Bramwell, Sue Orvis (Briggs), Jenny Oakley (Shapter), Bev Young (Barrett), Gail Renzenbrink (Main), Robyn Birrell (Hewitt), Margaret Giddings (Sullivan) and Coach Barb Moloney.
Our municipality’s biggest sporting event celebrates its 30th birthday this month.
Upwards of 1500 swimmers are expected to line up for Rip View Swim Classic on Saturday December 30.
"It's great timing this year, just betwen Christmas and New Year when a lot of people are in town, so we're expecting good numbers," said Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club president Mathew Ponsford.
"I would expect the big guns to be in it again because they use it as a training swim before the Pier to Pub."
Commenced by social swimming group the Gruesome Groyne Gropers in 1989, the event – initially called the “Springs to Swings Classic” - is now one of the biggest open water swims in the state, boasting 1.4 and 3.8 kilometre courses. It is also the PLSLSC's biggest annual fundraiser.
Registrations are open for both swims
FOOTBALL - Queenscliff's senior footballers have sweated it out in 30-plus degree conditions, in early preparations for a fresh assault on next season's Bellarine Football League premiership.
With new coach Steve Clark at the helm, a squad of more than 40 were put through their paces in a series of gruelling time trials and skill drills on the first night of training last month.
The former Leopold premiership coach said the strong turnout was a sign of positive season ahead.
"The roll-up has been fantastic. There's 46 here tonight and there was a dozen apologies, so that's a great effort on the first night," Clark said.
"The competition for spots will no doubt drive the squad that little bit harder... with the numbers being around, the training steps up and the enjoyment steps up."
Among the new faces was new recruit Ben Carmichael. The classy midfielder followed Clark from the Lions.
Other recruits include Nick Aringo (Waubra), Mitch Butteriss (Leopold), Tim Connolly (Leopold), Nathan Monk (Lake Wendouree) and Brayden Warren (Ocean Grove).
"At this stage it looks like there could be nine new players," said Clark.
"All the boys that have come here now have played some pretty good senior footy and they should be capable of doing that this coming season.
"But the most improvement you always get from your list comes from within, so someone from within will be the biggest surprise packet, putting in a big pre-season or playing in a new position or whatever it will be.
'The flip side I hope none of these blokes get too comfortable because then they'll probably have a comfortable year," Clark said.
Having finished on top of the ladder at the end of the home and away season, Queenscliff's U/19 netballers - coached by Hannah Stephens and Luci Hedley - went into their September 16 grand final showdown with Anglesea as favourites and did not disappoint.
After trailing narrowly at the end of the first quarter, the Coutas put their foot down and ran away 19-point winners. Defender Felicity Rush was named player of the match.
FOOTBALL – One of Queenscliff's favourite sons is coming home. In a major pre-season coup, the Coutas have secured Steve "Otis" Clark as coach for the 2018 season.
And he says he can’t wait to get his teeth into the role.
A life member of the Club, Clark played junior football here before coaching the Coutas for seven years between 2000 and 2006.
“This has all happened a bit quick but it’s exciting to be back around the club and back around family, the father of three says.
Last year Clark coached GFL side Leopold to a drought-breaking premiership and this season coached his own sons, Billy and Jhye, to a Queenscliff U/16 premiership.
He takes over the reigns from Jonno Casey and Andrew Hodgson, who stood down after the Coutas narrowly missed the finals.
“There have obviously been reasons for that but the blokes that I’ve spoken to – Jonno, Hodgy and Tom [former captain coach Tom Limb] have been really positive about where the improvement can come from,” Clark says.“
“I haven’t seen much of them playing obviously in the last few years so I’m watching a bit of vision at the moment and talking to a few people.
"Looking as an outsider you raw with Newcomb, then you beat Torquay, so for whatever reasons there were inconsistencies but the difference between making the finals and not making the finals can be minute.
“I think it’s exciting that there’s improvement there straight away and you’ve just got to get your teeth into it. “
Clark’s arrival I likely to be a draw card for new players to the club, with players from Leopold and elsewhere indicating an interest in following him here. He’s also sounded a willingness to give young players a better go.
“You’ve definitely got to play the juniors at your club, there’s no doubt about that.
"Everywhere I’ve coached I’ve played kids, that’s something I have done. I’ll recruit, no doubt as we need to, at the same time you always have to get a balance of the youth that you’ve got coming through.”
FOOTBALL - The hunt is underway for a new senior coach, following the resignation of Jonno Casey and Andrew Hodgson.
The pair informed players last week they would be stepping down from the role at the end of this season.
Both will stay on as players.
“We’ve had a bit of a chat over the last month and reached the conclusion that it’s probably best for the club to move forward,” said Casey.
“It’s just a really good opportunity to get a new face in, but also to get a few more faces as well to keep building on the last couple of years,” he said.
The decision comes amid a disappointing season for the Coutas. Hampered by injuries for much of the year, they are set to finish outside of the finals.
Casey, 26 and Hodson 28, became the youngest coaches in the league when they were appointed in 2015.
The Coutas finished second on the ladder and reached the preliminary final in their first season, but Casey admits a lack of depth has challenged the side in recent weeks.
“We’ve had a number of injuries this year, which hasn’t helped either, but injuries happen and you’ve got to have depth to cover them when they occur.
“It’s been really good that we’ve been able to give some young guys a game, but they still need a fair bit of time to develop and we need to look at getting another couple of players, just to try to keep up with all of the other clubs that are recruiting really well,” Casey said.
Club officials have already started the process of finding a new coach.
“I’ve absolutely loved coaching the team and I’d be really keen to do some coaching again in the future. I think it’s been a great learning curve for us in terms of the management of 40 to 50 guys at training and relationships and obviously getting to know how the club really works.”
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