Sport

Local lad bags a world title

WARRANDYTE’S dual Olympian snowboarder Scotty James has finally cracked a world title at the tender age of 20 after winning the World Championship Snowboard Halfpipe at the FIS Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding championship in Austria.

“It was a pretty amazing experience to win,” Scotty told the Diary on Sunday. “It’s super, actually, obviously something I’ve wanted to do from a very young age. One of the really cool things about it is that snowboarding’s a very individual sport, so I’m obviously out there doing it for myself but when you’re out there for the world champs you’re also out there doing it for Australia as well. There really was a great camaraderie between us in the team all week and then just to win it made me feel very patriotic.”

Scotty is the second Aussie man to win the title in the half-pipe after nailing 91.50 points in his first run of the final. He says he was in tip-top shape going into the championships, despite being nervous.

ScottyJames1“It’s a rollercoaster of emotions you go through when you’re competing at that level, so you obviously think about what they’re going to do,” Scotty says.

“But at the end of the day I just had to worry about what I was doing. I’d talked to my coach and we talked about having the same game plan that I had for qualification. I was definitely nervous, and knowing I could potentially come away with the win meant you have to sort of calm yourself down because it can have an impact on you mentally.

“So it was a case of settling down and getting the job done, and hopefully be standing on top later and it all worked out for me fortunately. It clicked.”

With his loyal best front, Ghost the Husky, Scotty caught up with the Diary on the river behind the Warrandyte Bakery on Sunday, and the born and bred Warrandytian described the moment when he knew he’d bagged the title as a “crazy experience that was exhilarating”.

“To be honest, I didn’t really know what to do with myself,” he says, laughing.

“I’ve always dreamt of doing a victory lap and it happened at world champs. I was sitting at the top and said to my brother, ‘If I win before I’m on the podium can you tell me before I go?’ So I was sitting there and trying to block out all the noise and Tim came up to me and he did this thing (signaled No.1) to me.

“And I just jumped out of my seat and gave him a hug and I said to my coach, ‘I’ve always dreamt of doing a victory lap but I never thought it would actually happen’. He said, ‘Hey, do whatever you want!’ So I just did one air on the half-pipe and jumped out onto the deck and went down and gave everyone a big high five.

“I think it’s really cool when people come out and cheer us on, so for me to give the spectators a high five was easy.”

Scotty says although he’s based in Colorado and often travelling the globe, he says Warrandyte will always be home.

“What is there not to love about Warrandyte, I’ve lived here my whole life, so 20 years now,” Scotty told the Diary.

scotty James1“It’s an amazing little spot and every time I get a chance I tell people that . One thing I really love about it is that it has a very good family orientated feel about it – obviously I’ve lived here my whole life with my family – and being right here on the river it’s just an awesome spot.

“It’s so easy to wake up in the morning and whip down my street, go grab a great breakfast and enjoy the place, and I don’t plan on leaving any time soon, so you’ve got to deal with me a bit longer Warrandyte.”

Scotty is kicking back at home in Warrandyte this week before heading to Japan.

“I’ll head to Japan and get some snowboarding in, get some photos,” he says. “That really is a culture I want to check out. Then there’s the US Open coming up at the start of March. After that I’ll either come back here for F1 or stay over there and do this new event called Red Bull Double Pipe in Aspen.

“My calendar is all over the shop at the moment,” he says laughing.

Check out more at www.scottyjames.com.au

Basketball in full swing

WARRANDYTE Basketball has been busy with all competitions and levels of basketball in full swing as we move through another season and another year of rep ball.

The Redbacks have been hotly contesting matches every Saturday, while the Venom sides are participating in VJBL grading and some additional tournaments, the Sunday night comp is operating full tilt, Wednesday night Greyburn Cup competition is in the finals process, the Venom USA trip has departed, and all four Big V sides are in the middle of an intense pre-season.

A welcome addition has been the offering of skills sessions for Under 12 and 14 Venom players for a four-week period heading into the Christmas break.

These sessions run by director of coaching, Nicole Howard, have been well received and are facilitating young and aspiring Warrandyte basketball players in extending their knowledge and ability.

These four week block sessions will be again offered in the New Year and will include some Redbacks specific sessions.

SOUTHERN PENINSULA

The 28th Southern Peninsula Junior Basketball Tournament was held on the weekend of November 22 and 23 and Warrandyte was well represented.

Among the many teams competing were Warrandyte Venom’s newly formed 18.1 Girls. It was an extremely productive weekend under the guidance of coach David Blyth, according to club officials, with the girls finishing third in Division 1.

BIG V EXCITEMENT

Big V Season 2015 can’t come soon enough for the Venom young guns who have been selected to represent Warrandyte as members of the Youth League 1 Women (YL1W) and Youth League 2 Men (YL2M).

With head coach Beau Bentley at the helm for his second season with the Youth Men’s team, he and his newly appointed coaching staff of Phil Noone and Bill Nicolaidis have put together what they believe will be a squad that can push for a finals birth in 2015.

After a finals finish last season that left the YL1W just short of another shot at the title, Warrandyte Venom has farewelled 2014 coach Damian Clarke. Recently the club welcomed Angela Heigh to the position of head coach and she will be assisted by Kellie Taylor.

Angela, having coached VJBL sides for Warrandyte Venom over the past few years, is very aware of the talent of many of the Venom juniors. She is now witnessing first hand, through tryouts and training, that there is a lot to like about these young developing players.

Although the main goal at Youth League level is to develop our athletes in readiness to move to senior basketball, our coaches will place a big emphasis on developing fundamentals in doing the little things to enable them to adapt to higher levels for the future. These teams will also be hungry to win.

It is an exciting time for the club with so many talented junior players progressing through the ranks and this is backed up by the huge turnout at tryouts, which shows strength within the club and for those not selected this time we have no doubt we will see many faces back pushing for selection in the coming years.