Sport

Abbey’s off to the Paris Olympics

FROM THE Doncaster Athletics Track to the Stade De France, Warrandyte’s Abbey Caldwell gets her chance to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games.
The 22-year-old had her ticket to the Paris Games confirmed in April as part of the first intake of athletes for Australia’s track and field team, locked in for the 800 metres scheduled to commence on August 3.
A silver medal at the 2024 Australian Athletics Championships put the final flourish on her selection in a steady rise for Abbey, one of the country’s premier middle-distance athletes.
The Warrandyte local now has a deserved opportunity to make her dash at glory in the pinnacle of her sport, but she told the Diary that it might take some time for it all to sink in.

“I feel like it hasn’t properly sunk in yet.
Certainly, finding out the news was a euphoric feeling.
There was a lot of emotion in that, and I couldn’t stop the happy tears.
That feeling alone was exciting, but then it was like, that’s in August, so I had to switch the mindset.
I’m hoping that when I get into the athletes village and experience being in that environment, it will sink in, but at the end of the day, we’re going over to compete and be at our best.
It’s still a very long road of training and life beforehand, but it’s nice to have an exciting future goal and not necessarily chasing anything or waiting to qualify.
I’m just enjoying the ride at the moment, knowing there’s an exciting time ahead.”

At just 22, the star’s running exploits already stack up as one of the most impressive in the travelling Aussies’ squad.
A famous bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the 1500m lives fresh in the mind, but since then, Abbey has continued to elevate herself.
A World Athletics Cross Country Championships mixed relay bronze in early 2023 added to her medal collection, and since then, it’s been a procession of smashed PBs.
As holder of Australia’s second-fastest women’s 800m time (1:58.48), Abbey comes into the Games ready and raring to make an impact, and she’s drawing on her experiences on the big stage when setting her sights on her Olympic goals.
But it’s a goal in two as she explains that walking away with nothing left in the tank would be reward enough.

“I think ultimately the goal is to go in and make the final,” she said.
“It’s very much easier said than done because there are three rounds of running before the final.
“It’s a long road, but I think setting that goal came off last year at the World Championships, missing out on the final in the 800m by .02 seconds.
“I think that’s made me want to make it there.
“But if I can walk away from the Olympics and say that I put it all on the track on the day, I enjoyed the experience, then I know I’ll be happy.”

Abbey departs for Europe shortly to kickstart her road to the Games, with several races and a six-week training block taking prime focus for the newly minted Olympic Australian.

“I’ll get over there and do three or four races across a few different cities.
“We have a training camp in Saint Moritz,” she said.
“That will all take about six weeks, and before we know it, we’ll be heading into the staging camp, which will be in Montpellier.”

A well-known face around the area, Abbey’s athletics journey began 17 years ago at Doncaster Little Athletics Club, marking the beginning of a steady progression through the ranks.

“I was pretty much just like any other kid being thrown into sport.
“I dabbled in basketball, tennis, Auskick.
“I ended up at Doncaster Athletics Track on a Saturday morning and really enjoyed it.
“My brothers were both around there.
“I think the Little Aths environment was really healthy, and I was fortunate to have a good age group, which made it enjoyable.”

Abbey added the social side of the athletics made a big difference.

“The social component was nice and kept me in sport, and as we progressed through the age groups, it just gradually progressed from starting at Little Aths to participating in school Aths.
“Then it was a state team, and then I made my first international junior team in Year 11, and I thought, this is going somewhere.
“Ever since then, it’s just progressed.”

But as she has stated, it takes a village to support developing athletes, and she points to her family and coach as key influences on her journey.

“I’ve been pretty fortunate; I’ve been with my coach for 10 years now,” she said.
“It’s quite rare in athletics to have that lasting connection with your coach, especially from a young age.
“I wouldn’t be here without the support of Mum, Dad, my brothers.
“They say it takes a village, and it does.
“There are so many people along the way, and having that support is phenomenal.”

Her hometown will also be behind her when the Games are officially unveiled, with the Opening Ceremony commencing on July 26.
The Olympic Games will take place in Paris from July 26 to August 11, and the Women’s 800 metre event is scheduled to take place on August 3 (heats), August 5 (semi-finals), and the final to take place on August 6. The Nine Network will provide coverage of events.
Go Abbey!

Photos: CASEY SIMS, ATHLETICS AUSTRALIA

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Netball for all at Warrandyte Netball Club

EVERYONE knows that kids’ sport is not just about the kids.
It is the families who get them to and from training, rain, hail, or shine, and who buy uniforms and other equipment.
In recent years, Warrandyte Netball Club (WNC) has strived to create a bigger, better, and more inclusive family experience with events beyond the court, including a few mother/carer–daughter games.
The number of ladies saying they “wouldn’t mind” getting their Netball back on increased to the point that WNC felt it was time to answer the call.
Last year, WNC added a ladies’ team that plays in the Manningham Netball Tuesday Night Open social competition, the current Autumn seasons run right through until June.
The club also has a Mature team which plays on Saturday afternoon.
As well as being a great way to dust off the cobwebs when it comes to being back on the courts (this old Netballer hadn’t played for eight long years), it is a great way to catch up with existing friends and to connect with new ones.
Team members range from 18 to 40+, and there are plenty of laughs and camaraderie each week — whether it has been weeks, months, years, or decades since you were last on the court.
WNC welcomes all skill and fitness levels, so if you are looking for a new sporting outlet on a Tuesday night or Saturday afternoon, why not try netball?
WNC is open to supporting additional social teams and players.
registrar@warrandytenetball.org for more details.

Community fun (run)

THE WEATHER gods were looking favourably at Warrandyte for the 13th running of the town’s annual fun run, for the weather was — dare I say — perfect.
The format of the event has been pretty stable for the last four years. The predictable course and distance options — ranging from 2.2 kilometres to 21km — are proving attractive to runners both local and from further afield.
While lapped courses are not always popular, the course at Run Warrandyte, with its meandering climb up Everard Drive, which has a great river aspect, to the scenic single trail in the Pound Reserve, makes the idea of “just one more lap” that little bit easier.
With a 7:30am start, it’s all over in time for elevenses or even an early lunch at one of the many cafés in Warrandyte.
But regardless of whether you are a daily jogger, an avid road or trail runner, or if Run Warrandyte is part of your New Year’s resolution to be more active, the feeling that cuts through it all is the sense of community.
Before the first runners were even on the course, the event village was buzzing, with stands by the major sponsors, food vendors, and activities for kids, plus just friends and runners seeking each other out and having a catch-up before the runs got underway, with representation from nearby running clubs such as the Diamond Creek Runners (DCR), and Westerfoldians, and Warrandyte’s very own Warrandyte River Runners.
Even post-run, many stuck around the event village to bask in the glorious warmth of the mid-morning sun, get a massage from PhysioLife, buy new running gear from The Running Company Lilydale, or partake of some fantastic coffee and snacks thanks to Scrumdiddely café.
This event is nothing without the volunteers who were — as always — cheerful and encouraging, with a special shout out to the Warrandyte Netball Club for the imaginative signs which distracted, entertained, and possibly tormented (I’m talking about “It’s just a hill get over it”) runners on course this year.
The result is anticipation for 2025, when the Warrandyte will once again embrace the running community to share just one more lap of the West End and the Pound while raising funds for our local sporting group.
If you ran in this year’s event and want to know your official time, visit www.runwarrandyte.com.

Photos: SANDI MILLER

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Smashing cricket, all for a great cause

THE PINK STUMPS recently came out at Warrandyte Oval for a doubleheader of Women’s cricket.
First up, Wonga Park played St Andrews, which saw Wonga Park victorious thanks to some excellent bowling from Alisha Champion and excellent batting from opener Sherice Oliver, who led Wonga Park’s charge to surpass St Andrews after only 15 of their 20 overs.
Warrandyte then gave Ainslie Park/Croydon Ranges a lesson in big-hitting, needing only to call on four of their batting order.
The opening pair of team captain Yasemin Ziada, and Andrea Cummings, racked up a century between them before Andrea was taken out for 47, and Yasmin was compulsorily retired at 50.
This paved the way for young superstar Violet Muleta to rack up 37 off just 23 balls.
After taking the crease in the final over, Rachel Watts managed to face two balls and finish with a 1* against her name.
Warrandyte’s bowlers came out strong, with Paige Claringbold serving their opener with a golden duck.
Two catches from the captain and one from Violet Muleta sealed the visitors’ fate, as they fell short of the 156 they required at the 20-over mark.
Warrandyte Captain Yasmin Ziada told the Diary the team has now had five wins and a tie for the season.

“Everyone in the comp we’ve beaten, so with four more matches to play, we have a chance for the finals.”

After beginning as a Social Sixes fitness program, attended mainly by mums of the junior boys teams, Warrandyte’s women’s team has made incredible progress, with many of the original participants still playing.

“This is our second season in a real competition.
“We’re in D grade, which is probably well suited for us because we’re trying to make it a pathway for the younger girls.
“They come up, and they love the fielding, they come out and do some extra bowling and batting because they are mis-graded a little, and getting beaten a bit in the juniors.
“So, they come here and have some personal successes, so it’s really, really good.
“We have also seen improvements in the people that never played cricket before; they come along each week and continually improve.
“So that’s the joy to me as the captain, to see everyone improving.”

With all matches in D grade being held at Warrandyte Oval on Sunday, the club turned it into the Women’s Round and made it a Pink Stumps fundraiser. Katie Taubert, who organises Pink Stumps events for Warrandyte Cricket Club, said not only did the other teams embrace the theme and dress in pink — with only a week’s notice, but St Andrews Cricket Club donated $370 to Warrandyte’s fundraising efforts for the McGrath Foundation.

“An incredible amount of money from their ‘sorry jar’ — when they make a mistake and say ‘sorry’, they have to put money in the jar because they’re all new and learning.”

Warrandyte also raised several hundred dollars with a sausage sizzle and craft stall at the match.
They will be holding a Pink Stumps morning tea at the end of February, which has already sold out.
If you have missed out on tickets and still want to support the McGrath Foundation, you can find “Pink Stumps Warrandyte Cricket Club” on Facebook or donate directly to the McGrath Foundation.
Last year, the Warrandyte Cricket Club donated $27,000 to the McGrath Foundation.
Already this year, they have raised $15,000 and are hoping to beat last year’s target.
But Katie said it is not just about fundraising; awareness is a big part of what they do, walking around town in their hot-pink outfits to make people smile and think.

“You will often find us down by the river — we’re always yelling out — ‘check your boobies’, ‘check your prostate’, and ‘get yourself down to breast screen’.
“It just makes people look at each other as they walk past, and you can see them thinking, ‘Yes, it’s been a while; maybe I should’.
“We had Pinking Up Warrandyte last October, and that was huge, and we are looking forward to doing that again this year.”

Warm up for Run Warrandyte

CALLING ALL runners, walkers, weekend warriors, and those that like to come along for the egg and bacon rolls.
Registration for Run Warrandyte is officially open. All your favourite events will return on Sunday, March 3, 2024.
From the kids’ gallop to the five-kilometre crowd favourite and our calf burning 21km, we’ve got an event for every age and fitness level.
Run Warrandyte 2023 (RW23) saw our biggest turnout yet, with nearly 800 runners registering.
And wow — we also saw some blistering times. Steven Dineen beat the course record with a 1:16:11 in the 21km.
Personally, I don’t think he tried hard enough.
Just kidding.
We are absolutely thrilled with the growth of the event and the calibre of runners the event is attracting.
We have certainly become a must on the running calendar. Plus, what’s not to love about the event?
Run Warrandyte takes you through the beautiful, bushy State Park and along the Yarra River.
It’s challenging, with many hills, but the road home is completely downhill.
When we asked participants what they loved the most about the event, the people lining the streets cheering them on every step of the way was the cherry on top.
We are also pretty pumped that Run Warrandyte has raised over $132,480 for our local sporting clubs over the past 12 years.
We are often asked about where the profits from Run Warrandyte go. As most of you know, we split the profits between our four local sporting clubs, the Warrandyte Netball Club, Warrandyte Cricket Club, Warrandyte Football Club and Warrandyte Junior Football Club.
This year, we asked the clubs to share how they spent their donation.
We’ll discuss more about this in the near future, but from training tops with better sun protection for our future netball stars, specialised coaching for the women and girls’ cricket teams, and funding for programs, equipment and leadership development, the profits shared from Run Warrandyte have been well spent.
When you’re tackling the hills of West End and The Pound on March 3, remember that it’s because of you we can help increase the opportunities and access for people to participate in community sports.
So, everyone’s a winner.
We can’t run this event without the amazing sponsorship of community businesses and the brilliant donations we receive every year, so again, we sincerely thank you for your support.
We are thrilled to announce that our Naming Sponsor, the Community Bank Warrandyte, has made Run Warrandyte possible again for the 13th consecutive year.
Please get behind the Warrandyte Community Bank, which returns 80 per cent of its profits to the community.
We would like to thank our 2023 sponsors and hope that they will partner with us again this year for RW24: The Grand Hotel, Quinton’s IGA, Australia Online, Charlie Bins, Goldfields Family Medical Centre, Physiolife Johnstone & Reimer, Just Water, and Kwill Constructions.
Thanks to all the fantastic 2023 prize sponsors, the runner’s village, the runner’s bag, and everyone else who makes Run Warrandyte absolutely fantastic. Wellness by PP, BCreative, the Running Company Lilydale, Hopetoun Natural Therapies, Vanilla Orchid, Jellis Craig, Cygnet, Alpine Timing, Muscle Magic, Chief Nutrition, Sassafras Sweet Co, Scrumdiddely Cakes and Café, Primary Focus, R4U Coaching, Boost Health, Calla Collective, the Movement Joint, and Photobomb Productions.
We are always on the lookout for sponsorship.
RW has fantastic exposure and reach both on social media and on the day.
We will be reaching out for interest as the year progresses, so keep an eye on our socials if you want your business involved in RW24.
You can also contact us directly at sponsorship@runwarrandyte.com.
If you haven’t had a chance to Run Warrandyte or want a little taster, check out our promo video by Photobomb Productions on our website.
Make sure you follow us on Facebook @RunWarrandyte and Instagram @runwarrandyte, and sign up for newsletters via our webpage at www.runwarrandyte.com.
Let’s crack the 800 and make RW24 our biggest and best yet. We can’t wait to share the day with you again.

Warrandyte Business Directory: back in red and white

PRESIDENT of Warrandyte Cricket Club, Luke Warren said the Club was thrilled to announce the relaunch of the traditional-style Warrandyte Business Directory.
“The iconic Business Directory is a beloved resource for residents and a fantastic advertising platform for our local businesses.
“Due to overwhelming popular demand, we are bringing back the hard copy cardboard style Directory, which is set to make a triumphant return early in 2024.”
He said the Warrandyte Cricket Club played an integral role in our community; promoting sportsmanship and camaraderie among our residents.
“By choosing to be a part of the Business Directory, you not only promote your business, but also contribute to the community and growing the Warrandyte Cricket Club.”
A listing in the 2024 Warrandyte Business Directory is just $150 and the club is taking bookings from local businesses until December 1, 2023.
For any inquiries or assistance with your listing, please contact Katie Taubert at 0421 313 237.
Don’t miss this opportunity to promote your business in our community and simultaneously support the Warrandyte Cricket Club.
The Directory is delivered to Warrandyte homes, making it an invaluable resource for local residents, and your business can be at the forefront of their minds.

Park Orchards BMX host State Series round

ROUND 6 of the AusCycling HutSix 2023 Victorian State Series came to Stintons Reserve on August 27, giving the Park Orchards Panthers a chance to host 430 riders from all over the state and show off the recently refreshed facilities.
Thanks to Community Bank Warrandyte and Manningham Council’s support, riders could use the new start hill gate and shelter.
The new facilities were enjoyed by the visiting Mayor Deirdre Diamante and Councillor Carli Lange. Panthers President Terri McKinnon said it was wonderful to have riders from across the state enjoying the new facilities.

“The Club is completely run by volunteers, which includes all the track maintenance and grounds work being completed by the members themselves.
“For us to be able to host an event that draws Australian world riders to the track is a testament to their hard work,” she said.

Manningham Mayor Deirdre Diamante, Club President Terri McKinnon, and Yarra Ward Councillor Carli Lange

The Park Orchards Panthers saw 20 of its 50 competing club riders finish on the podium at the end of the day.
World elite riders Bodi Turner (Maroondah Eastfield BMX) finished 1st in the Men’s Superclass, beating his previous track record to finish in 30.343 seconds, followed by Wade Turner (Maroondah Eastfield BMX) in 2nd, and Josh Jolly (Ballarat Sebastopol BMX) in 3rd.
In the Women’s Superclass, Bella May (Frankston BMX) took home 1st and the women’s track record of 33.875 seconds, Mia Webster (Park Orchards BMX) 2nd, and Jaclyn Wilson (Bendigo BMX) in 3rd.

Photos: TAKE IKE

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Abbey in top form ahead of World Championships

LOCAL GIRL Abbey Caldwell has been in good form recently, racing in the Diamond League competition in Europe.
On July 16, Abbey ran in the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial 800m event in Silesia, Poland, where she finished 5th and ran a Personal Best (PB) time of 1:58.48 — which was not only an Olympic qualifying time but the second fastest Australian female time.
Five days later, Abbey raced in the Herculis Women’s Mile in Monaco, running 4:20.51 and achieving another PB and an Olympic qualifier.
This mile race was also significant because the female world record was run by Kenyan Faith Kipyegon, the third world record she set this year.
Running with some of the world’s best, this is the second race in 2023 in which Abbey has been in the same race as Faith.
The other was in Florence in early June in the 1500m.
In early August, Abbey ran the 1000m at the CITIUS Meeting in Bern, Switzerland. Finishing 1st, Abbey has smashed the 1000m Australian record, running a 2:34.63, making her the fastest Australian woman ever over 1,000 metres.
Abbey’s teammate Linden Hall finished second with a time of 2:35.12. Linden was the previous record holder for the 1000m race, having set the record at Box Hill in 2021, running a 2:35.90.
Coach Gavin Burren was pleased with Abbey’s performances and exposure to world-class races with the world’s best athletes.
Her continual improvement and regular dropping of PBs has been exciting to watch, especially in the lead-up to the World Athletics Championships later this month and the 2024 Paris Olympics.
In the lead-up to the Worlds, Abbey has based herself in Leuven in Belgium and, importantly, now has close family support from older brother Alex, currently residing in London.
Australian female middle-distance running has never been stronger or more exciting, with both Jessica Hull and Linden Hall having outstanding form in Europe and setting Australian records.
The girls continue to push each other, have a genuine competitive friendship, and enjoy each other’s achievements.
The 19th edition of the World Athletics Championships will be in Budapest, Hungary, at the National Athletics Centre. Excitingly, it has been announced that Abbey has made the team and will be running in 800m and 1500m later this month.
Abbey is also now a Puma-sponsored athlete, which has helped somewhat with the enormous cost of training and competing in Europe.
Like many, Abbey began her running journey in grassroots athletics.
For any queries on joining East Doncaster Little Athletics, contact Lisa Williams on 0408 140 461, and for the older athletes, Doncaster Athletics Club president Nathan Down by email on: president@doncasterac.org.au.

Premiership win for WNC Kangaroos

IN A THRILLING finish to the season, the Warrandyte Netball Club (WNC) U13 Kangaroos came back from a five-goal deficit in the final quarter to win the Section 1 Grand Final by just two points.
Saturday, June 17, was Grand Final Day for the Manningham Netball Autumn competition and the culmination of 11 regular season rounds (12 rounds for the U9s and U11s who do not play finals) and two rounds of finals.
Although WNC had six teams compete in the semi-finals two weeks earlier, only the Kangaroos made it to the Grand Final.
The WNC U13 Wallabies, U15 Emus and Lyrebirds, Open A/B Kestrels and Open C Eagles had all played well during the season to reach the finals but lost to stronger teams in their semis.
Club glory rested with the Kangaroos, up against top-of-the-ladder Eltham Panthers Stars.
The Stars were undefeated in the regular season, with the Kangaroos’ only three losses being against the Stars.
At three-quarter time, the Kangaroos were trailing by three goals.
Kangaroos’ coach Amy Graham had spent the season building her team’s belief in themselves and their teammates, knowing this was just as important as developing their fitness and technical skills.
The Kangaroos had had a far-from-ideal lead-up to the final, with one of their key players suffering a season-ending knee injury during a mothers-and-daughters social game a few weeks earlier.
They had also had a disrupted final week, having to move their training session to Andersons Creek Primary School due to the media presence at Warrandyte Reserve.
It was now-or-never in the final quarter, and after such a disruptive run-up to the final, it would have been easy, and perhaps expected, for the team to drop their heads and console themselves with second place and another loss to a team that had already beaten them three times during the regular season.
Instead, the Kangaroos dug deep, held their nerve, and shot seven consecutive goals in eight minutes to emerge victorious with a final score of 17–15.
Congratulations to the Kangaroos for their stunning win, and commiserations to the Stars, whose disappointment mirrored the Kangaroos’ excitement.
The two teams had a great rivalry during the Autumn season, which will no doubt be continued during the Spring season.
Thank you to all the volunteers who help run the club, from the coaches, team managers, committee members, and everyone who helps at our functions and social events.
Thank you also to Warrandyte Community Bank for supporting our club and “Project Reconnect”, which has helped our community of players and families reconnect and return to the club after several years of COVID-related disruption.
Although our team numbers are still down from pre-COVID, they are up from a year ago, and we have two new Open teams starting next season, with one playing in the social competition on Tuesday evenings and the other playing in the regular competition on Saturday afternoons.
To the WNC community — we hope you enjoyed the season break and we look forward to seeing you at training.

Warrandyte Netball Club supports breast cancer fundraiser

MANNINGHAM Netball courts in Templestowe turned pink to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).
On May 13, Warrandyte Netball Club (WNC) was excited to take part in the day organised by East Doncaster Netball Club, where players and spectators were encouraged to wear some pink and donate a gold coin to help support a worthy cause.
The highlight of the day was the mothers and daughter games, where girls ranging in age from seven to 17 teamed up with their mothers to play against teams from other clubs.
After halftime, the tables were turned and daughters from both teams combined to take on the mothers.
This led to far more competitive games, and although no-one was keeping score, the daughters made it very clear when they scored a goal against their mother.
Although it was Mother’s Day the next day, the daughters refused to show any mercy during the games and took full advantage of their own youthful enthusiasm and fitness.
WNC was proud to field four of the eight teams, showing great club spirit and commitment and having a lot of fun at the same time.
The club won the award for “Club with most participants” as well as some of the “Prettiest in pink”, “Most spectacular goal”, and “Best defender” awards that were given to players from each game.
The games re-awakened the competitive spirit in some mothers who are now looking to take up the sport once again and play either on a Tuesday evening or Saturday afternoon.
If you might be interested in joining a team, please email registrar@warrandytenetball.org to register your interest.
The day was a great fundraising success with over $3,000 being raised for BCNA.
Thank you to everyone who turned out to support the day, and we are looking forward to next year’s event.

Run Warrandyte: Running up that hill

RUNNERS from near and far gathered in Warrandyte, once again, in early March for the 2023 edition of Run Warrandyte.
With the course and distances now well and truly bedded down, more than 500 runners took to the now-familiar course taking in West End and The Pound across 2.2km, 5km, 10km, 15km and 21kms.
Women runners made up about a third of the field over the five distances and nearly half of the 21km runners.
In-general numbers were up from 2022, indicating that this running event is becoming increasingly popular.

Run Warrandyte is a five-ish kilometre loop, starting at the Warrandyte Reserve before climbing up Everard Drive for a scenic loop of The Pound before an even longer climb up to Third Street before descending back down to the Reserve via West End Road — simple, right?
For those running the 5km, it is one hot lap, and with the winning male running a 19:40 and the winning female running a 23:20, this slightly hilly, slightly traily course is pretty fast.
For those running longer distances, this means two, three or four laps.
The 2.2km run/walk event is an uphill slog for most, as participants bypass The Pound section.
This was the third running of this event with a 21km option (four laps), and, once again, this writer and runner could not resist the allure of the “furthest distance on offer”.

A runner’s journey

With the day predicted to be warm, the slightly chilly start at 7:30am was very pleasant.
Compared to the other distances on offer, the 15km and 21km events attract significantly fewer runners, so the combined distances on the starting line made the joint field feel slightly bigger.
Of note on the start line was Thomas Martin in the 15km distance, looking to defend (and subsequently smash) his previous record, completing the 15km course in 58:29 — nearly three minutes quicker than last year — while 2022’s defending Women’s 15km winner, Helen O’Hagen, stepped up to the 21km for 2023 and won with a time of 1:52:14.
Achilles Melbourne, a running club for vision-impaired runners, also returned to 3113 and had runners on course.
For myself, not looking to break any records and looking to take advantage of the generous course cut-off, I set the goal of completing in less than two and a half hours.
With the crowd and the cool, crisp morning air, the starting gun prompted a slightly more energetic start than I anticipated but quickly dissolved any doubts about four laps.
While the day warmed, the moderately wet weather over the last couple of years made for a pleasant jaunt through Warrandyte’s bush landscape, with much of the environment still green.
Kangaroos were also a feature of the course this year, with a couple of the mob keeping me on my toes — thus providing an ideal distraction — as I progressed along the tank track.
Kudos go out to the army of volunteers on the course, offering encouragement and direction where needed.
I extend a particular thank-you to the marshal at the intersection of Pound Road and Third Street for their choice of “tunes” my only request is more Kate Bush next year, and please stick around for the fourth and final lap.

These may be trails that many of us run and walk daily or weekly, but sharing the collective goodwill and spirit of runners, walkers, and marshals submerged in our picturesque landscape is a must-do on the Warrandyte list, and I encourage you all to come out for at least 5kms in 2024.

Results

Congratulations to all participants in Run Warrandyte 2023; below are the 1st–3rd in each event, in order of finishing.
21km Men Stephen Dinneen: 1:16:11, Stephen Barter: 1:20:50, Lee Martin: 1:27:36.
21km Women Helen O’hagan: 1:52:14, Colleen Isaacs: 1:53:44, Emma-Rose Maber: 1:54:00.
15km Men Thomas Martin: 58:29:00, David King: 1:02:45, Brad Bardon: 1:07:17.
15km Women Deb Yann: 1:16:27, Brooke Cooper: 1:18:08, Nerissa Stafford: 1:25:58.
10km Men Brendan Choo: 40:16:00, Tristan Marslen: 43:38:00, Shun Kan Fok: 44:46:00.
10km Women Vanessa Alford: 47:31:00, Emily Sharpe: 48:18:00, Ruby Tinker: 52:46:00.
5km Men Lachie Collins: 19:40, Henry Richards: 21:34, Hunter Hodgson: 21:48.
5km Women Juliette Haddow: 23:20, Ingrid Howlett: 24:07:00, Nicole Humphreys: 25:53:00.
2.2km Men Paul Donahoo: 9:33, Yestin Sanchez: 9:52, Liam Knight: 10:43.
2.2km Women Anna Firth: 10:11, Abbey Morgan: 10:13, Mieke Considine: 10:40.
U8 Boys Rafa Johnson: 0:54, Harry Malone: 1:01, Adhrith Paratal: 1:05.
U8 Girls Evie Beal: 1:11.

Gallery: SANDI MILLER

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Keeping family values at WCC is in the blood

AS ONE OF THE biggest clubs in the Ringwood District Cricket Association (RDCA), with nine senior teams, teams in juniors and veterans in just about every available age group, and over 300 members, you could feel lost and disconnected with so much happening.
At Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC), that could not be further from the truth.
This is a club that is as much a part of the community as each of its players.
Speaking to Club President Royce Jaksic about the family feel at the club and how Warrandyte are able to achieve it, Royce said the club was lucky we have a lot of dads who love their cricket.

“It’s rare to find a sport you can play with your sons.
“I have played one or two seasons with all three of my sons and won a few flags; they’ll be some of my best memories.”

Warrandyte is an amazing community, but it is less populous than many of the other areas around the RDCA; the fact that so many people want to be around the club is not by accident.
It is a place where you feel welcomed and accepted, regardless of age, even if you have never played cricket before.
Royce says that he wants Warrandyte to feel like a destination club and that as those coming through the ranks now “start to have kids, they think, I want my kids to be down here because it is a safe environment.”
That is not limited to just father and son either; with the women’s team in its second year, not only are there father and son combinations but now mother and daughter combinations.
Getting more girls and women into the sport is important, but it does not mean it is just the younger generations getting in on the act.
One of the families at Warrandyte, the Grocott family, has mother, father, and two sons, all playing for the Bloods.

“That family is just a salt of the earth family, Royce said.
“Di sits on the committee in the welfare space; we are blessed to have someone of her ilk if any players have mental health problems.
“It is the kind of thing you just can’t buy.”

Son Patrick started playing at the club at 10 years old, has played in the Firsts and is the keeper for the Seconds.
His brother Jeremy has also started playing at the club, and his dad Steve started playing in the Over-40s and is the keeper for the 8th XI.
A family of keepers, Di is the keeper of the Women’s team and has been playing for both of the years the team has been around.
Steve Grocott told the Diary he knows: “one of the great things about WCC is how it brings families together, something this club is proud of.”

Warrandyte set for a ton of finals action

Heading into the New Year, a majority of the Warrandyte teams would have felt they were lower on the table than they would have liked.
Some close losses hurt and add a disjointed start to the season, the break was a chance to clear the mind and come back with a renewed sense of vigour.
Clubs look to their leaders for guidance and at times for that spark.
In the case of 1st XI captain Ben Taylor, it was less a spark and more a roaring blaze, as back-to-back hundreds — 123 not out and a 110 in an outright victory —  plus an 11-wicket match from Nuwan Liyanapathirana have set the Bloods up for another finals tilt.
Results from the opening rounds of 2023 are below.

MATCH REPORT:

Bloods sweat and tear through Wantirna South’s Webb

The forecast for 38 degrees forced the lower grades to be called off, but for four of Warrandyte’s teams, it meant game day was still very much on.
Losing the toss and being sent to bowl against Wantirna South, the 2nd XI would need to make sure they didn’t let the game get away from them early.
Bowling a wide-ish line to start, the Bloods picked up two wickets for just 14 runs which had the energy high.
But, C. Webb from Wantirna South looked to steer the game away from the home side, and at the drinks break it was 2/38.
The heat was rising and the pressure to find the breakthrough increased.
Unable to really get a partnership going with Webb, Wantirna South lost 2 wickets more before tea, but had added nearly 50 more runs, 4/86.
Crucially, only 36 overs had been bowled, and with the heat getting more oppressive, a strong partnership after the break could all but put Warrandyte out of the game.
And indeed that is what happened, as the two Wantirna south batsman made a great start, Webb hitting a four first ball after tea to bring up 50, and then the runs started flowing, boundaries and quick singles, the Bloods struggling to find an answer to this onslaught, within nine overs of the restart, Wantirna South had put on 50 runs for no wicket, and Webb was into the nineties.
Things looked dire for Warrandyte, before a fantastic catch from Brown had the young Bloods back with energy, Webb was still in on 92 but suddenly the game had a bit of intrigue.
Three maidens in a row and then another outstanding catch, this time from Warren.
Then another wicket, first ball, and suddenly Malluwawadu was on a hattrick.
This game was heating up, both literally and metaphorically.
Inches, mere inches, from a hattrick, Warrandyte controlled the end of the innings and rolled the visitors for 186, C. Webb making 123 not out.
With 19 overs to face in the first days play, Warrandyte came out and just went for it.
Brown made 50 inside the first seven overs, Malluwawadu following suit, hitting 50 off 46 balls.
Warrandyte nearly had 100 inside 14 overs and, had Brown not been caught and bowled, the game could have finished on day one.
As it was, Warrandyte was 1/114 at the close of play, and a game that looked like it was slipping away, was suddenly all but won.

The following week, Warrandyte knew that the game was there to be won early and a potential chance to hit the runs quickly and then try to bowl Wantirna South out again, but to the visitor’s credit the bowling was tight, and made the Bloods earn every run.
Slowly but steadily the target was chased down, at the score hit 150, 3 wickets down all the Bloods players in the stand were suddenly glued to their phones, and the MyCricket app, as news that first XI captain Ben Taylor was again in the 90s whipped around the ground.
After a few minutes of score tracking, and the news that it was back-to-back tons for Taylor, the gaze switched back to the middle, and the drinks break which saw the Bloods 3/158 off 39.
Chasing this kind of target, you lose wickets going for quick runs.
As the game plan was to try and be proactive, it was Lachlan Haberfield with a four to bring up the runs for victory, and then he hit two into the creek, bringing up 200.
50 in 55 balls and the lead passed 50 as 3pm rolled in.
At tea, the Bloods were 7/260, with 44 overs left in the day.
Some 4 overs later and some quick-hitting, Warrandyte had a lead of 107, and send Wantirna South back in.
Another 18 overs later with the score 0/18 and a rare Haberfield over, the players shook hands and walked off the ground.
Warrandyte with a win that now has them in a strong position to make the top four and gives them a shot at the double chance.

1st XI

Round 10
Warrandyte 6/235
def
Kilsyth 232

B. Taylor 123*
L. McAlary 52, N. Liyanapathirana 4/39, B. Matherson 3/45

Round 11
Mooroolbark 89 & 123
def by
Warrandyte 4/215 (dec)

B. Taylor 110, N. Liyanapathirana 4/33 & 7/34

2nd XI

Round 10
Kilsyth 5/165
def by
Warrandyte 4/167

A. White 2/32 & 54*, H. Brown 55

Round 11
Warrandyte 9/293
def
Wantirna South 186 & 0/18

Malluwawadu 64 & 3/61,
H. Brown 58, L. Haberfield 53
(Special mention to Wantirna South player C. Webb with 127* & 5/105)

3rd XI

Round 9
Hoddles Creek 2/155
def
Warrandyte 8/152

HM Hodgson 34

Round 10
Warrandyte 7/195
def
North Ringwood 8/193

B. Bowyer 49, JP Aitken 39 & 2/31, M. Whitbread 3/25

4th XI

Round 9
St Andrews 3/106
def
Warrandyte 105

N. Croft 32

Round 10
Warrandyte 124
def by
Yarra Glen 6/128

J. Weatherley 50

5th XI

Round 9
Warrandyte
def
Wantirna South
(forfeit)

Round 10
Montrose 6/248
def
Warrandyte 6/238

D. El Moussalli 66, S. Goddard 45

6th XI

Round 9
Warrandyte 6/205
def
Hoddles Creek 5/186

A. Barclay 49, D. El Moussalli 44, M. Butcher 43

Round 10
Chirnside Park 6/188
def
Warrandyte 8/165

G. Warren 4/39, M. Butcher 53

7th XI

Round 9
Lilydale 133
def by
Warrandyte 9/143

B. Stubbs 3/13, M. Tredrea 2/17 & 46

Round 10
Wonga Park 3/120
def
Warrandyte 117

C. Prior 2/10

8th XI

Round 9
Warrandyte 5/179
def
Chirnside Park 7/177

S. Grocott 53*

Round 10
South Croydon 5/135
def by
Warrandyte 6/152

R. Potter 3/19

Women’s 1st XI

Round 9
Warrandyte 3/153
def
Officer 67

V. Muleta 50* & 2/10, L. Trevena 30*, R. Watts 4/8

Round 10
Wandin 1/106
def
Warrandyte 7/96

Round 11
Warrandyte 2/99
def by
Yarra Junction 2/108

Y. Ziada 48*

Round 13
St Andrews 1/145
def
Warrandyte 5/143

V. Muleta 65

Round 14
BYE

 

Principal Coach retires

AFTER A TWO-YEAR hiatus due to COVID-19, Warrandyte Calisthenics College was able to perform its annual concert on Sunday, November 6, at the Karralyka Theatre in Ringwood East.
Calisthenics is an artistic sport unique to Australia.
Routines developed by an incredibly talented coaching team included controlled exercises, gymnastics, marching, singing, dancing and apparatus work.
All performances on stage from Sub Juniors through to Gold Masters had placed at a very successful competition season, with Sub Juniors and Intermediate teams winning their state titles competitions this year.
Tinies (aged 3–7 years) were an audience favourite at the concert, receiving some of the loudest cheers.
At the core of this success is Katrina Berryman, who has been the Principal Coach of Warrandyte Calisthenics for the last 22 years.
Sadly, Katrina has made the decision to retire from coaching and will leave the role of Principal Coach at Warrandyte Calisthenics College at the end of the year.

Katrina has been involved with the sport of calisthenics for 50 years, starting at the age of three at Croydon Uniting Calisthenics Club.
She began assisting with coaching at the age of 12 and was section coach for four sections by 17.
Having founded Warrandyte Calisthenics College 22 years ago, Katrina has coached every age group, covering all Divisions.
Katrina has held many positions within the Victorian Calisthenics Coaching Association, including that of President and has been passionate about coach education, sharing her knowledge through educational courses throughout Australia.
Katrina has received many awards in recognition of her commitment to the sport of calisthenics.
Some of these include Victorian Coach of the Year 2013, National Coach of the Year 2014, Service Award to Calisthenics Victoria 2021, and Calisthenics Victoria Life Membership 2022.
Katrina, along with the support of the Warrandyte Committee, has built a strong and successful club that upholds the values of community, inclusiveness, and fun.
She has been a mentor, administrator, coach, friend, and source of all calisthenic knowledge.
The club will miss Katrina but knows that what she has built will continue from strength to strength because of the foundations she has created.
Katrina leaves her role as principal coach with an overwhelming sense of respect, recognition, gratefulness, and best wishes as she moves on to new adventures and spends time with her incredibly supportive family and beautiful granddaughter, Daisy.

Warrandyte Calisthenics College trains at Andersons Creek Primary School and holds classes for all age groups.
Find out more at the Warrandyte Calisthenics College website, visit www.warrandytecalisthenics.com or contact Kathryn Payne
0408 123 756.

Grand Final finish for Reserves and Under 19s

Photo: TREWELLA SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY

A PERFECT lead into finals for all three Warrandyte teams, registering six wins from six.
Both Senior and Reserves teams getting the double chance, while the Under 19s finishing third and going straight into an elimination final. The Seniors missed out on playing the big match, but both Reserves and Under 19s got the nod.
There was some thrilling footy as the two Grand Finals were played out on September 3 with the Under 19s grabbing the flag, while the Reserves missed the glory by a single point.

Seniors

Seniors were unable to win through to the Grand Final, going down to Waverley Blues by 11, and then Donvale by 10, despite a huge comeback in the game against Donvale.

Round 17
Warrandyte 20.22-142
def
Fair Park 6.5-41

Goal Kickers: R. Phillips 8, M. Morris 2, T. Tout 2, Q. Clark 2, C. Tout, N. Brooking, M. Cullum, M. Buckley, T. Grimes, L. Shelton
Best Players: O. Hodgson, R. Phillips, L. Shelton, N. Brooking, J. Beasley, Q. Clark

Round 18
Glen Waverley 7.9-51
def by
Warrandyte 15.11-101
Goal Kickers: Q. Clark 6, J. Wilson 3, T. Tout, M. Morris, J. Kennedy, L. Saunders, M. Buckley, L. Guymer
Best Players: Q. Clark, N. Brooking, T. Versteegen, M. Wilson, J. Wilson, O. Hodgson

Semi Final @Jubilee Park
Waverley Blues 12.10-82
def
Warrandyte 11.7-73
Goal Kickers: Q. Clark 5, R. Phillips 2, L. Shelton 2, T. Tout, J. Moss
Best Players: M. Wilson, Q. Clark, O. Hodgson, L. Shelton, S. Jellie, T. Versteegen

Preliminary Final @Jubilee Park
Warrandyte 13.11-89
def by
Donvale 15.9-99
Goal Kickers: Q. Clark 4, R. Phillips 3, T. Grimes 2, C. Tout, J. Moss, N. Brooking, T. Tout
Best Players: T. Versteegen, T. Grimes, C. Tout, Q. Clark, T. Hayton, A. White

Reserves

The Reserves, who have set the standard all year, fell short of their best in the first final, but got the job done against Whitehorse Pioneers to book a thoroughly deserved spot in the Grand Final.
The big day sadly did not go their way, getting pipped in overtime.
Full report in October’s Diary

Round 17
Warrandyte 14.21-105
def
Fair Park 5.9-39
Goal Kickers: G. Hitchman 5, L. Dunn 3, J. Gebert 2, N. Prelorenzo 2, K. Appleby, L. Brewis
Best Players: J. Meyers, M. Skien, N. Prelorenzo, B. Munks, J. Cullen-Hall, R. Paterson

Round 18
Glen Waverley 5.1-31
def by
Warrandyte 14.16-100
Goal Kickers: J. Cox 5, K. Appleby 4, D. OÕToole, D. Corke, J. Moss, C. Padfield
Best Players: J. Cox, K. Appleby, B. Davies, N. Prelorenzo, T. Jaksic, J. Moss

Semi Final @Jubilee Park
Warrandyte 5.7-37
def by
Waverley Blues 7.7-49
Goal Kickers: G. Hitchman 4, L. Noonan
Best Players: B. Richardson, J. Cullen-Hall, G. Hitchman, N. Prelorenzo, J. Meyers, L. Saunders

Preliminary Final @Jubilee Park
Warrandyte 7.9-51
def
Whitehorse Pioneers 6.5-41
Goal Kickers: G. Hitchman 5, L. Dunn 2
Best Players: G. Hitchman, K. Appleby, J. Tetlow, L. Brewis, N. Prelorenzo, B. Munks

Grand Final @Jubilee Park
Warrandyte 10.6-66
def by
Waverley Blues 10.7-67
Goal Kickers: K. Appleby 2, T. Jaksic 2, G Hitchman 2, L.Dunn
Best Players: B. Munks, K. Appleby, J. Cullen-Hall, T.Jaksic, N. Prelorenzo, G. Hitchman

Under 19s

The Under 19s season just keeps on improving.
With a fantastic back half of the year the bloods booked a spot in an elimination final.
Often called the “hard way” the route to the Grand Final without that double chance means there is no room for errors.
A 61-point win in the elimination final, meant that the 19s faced the top of the table Donvale, who lost their first game in the semi-final, in the preliminary final.
Donvale had beaten Warrandyte in both regular seasons meeting, by 69 points in round 1 and 22 points in round 12.
This time, in a arm wrestle of a match, the Bloods got the job done, punishing a wasteful Donvale who kicked 5.11 to Warrandyte’s 8.4.
Grand Final day at Jubilee Park saw some class footy with the Bloods coming away with the flag.
Full match report in October’s Diary.

Round 17
Kilsyth 4.1-25
def by
Warrandyte 19.19-133
Goal Kickers: J. Dib 4, E. Miller 3, M. Morena 3, A. Rostron 2, A. Thompson 2, L. Haberfield, F. Swedosh, B. Poole, E. Phillips, S. Nitschinsk
Best Players: S. Van der ree, E. Miller, S. Nitschinsk, A. Rostron, M. Morena, B. Fittolani

Round 18
The Basin Green 7.4-46
def by
Warrandyte 13.14-92
Goal Kickers: J. Dib 5, B. Poole 3, S. Nitschinsk 2, L. Haberfield, E. Phillips, M. Morena
Best Players: M. Morena, J. Dib, S. Nitschinsk, N. Withoff, S. Van der ree, L. Haberfield

Elimination Final @ East Burwood Reserve
Warrandyte 12.6-8
def
Chirnside Park 2.5-17
Goal Kickers: E. Miller 3, P. Downie 3, B. Poole 2, M. Morena, A. Thompson, E. Phillips, J. Dib
Best Players: W. Hatfield, S. Van der ree, N. Sharpe, E. Miller, W. Podmore, B. Matheson

Preliminary Final @Jubilee Park
Donvale 5.11-41
def
Warrandyte 8.4-52
Goal Kickers: B. Poole 3, E. Phillips 3, P. Downie, S. Nitschinsk
Best Players: L. Haberfield, B. Matheson, W. Hatfield, N. Withoff, W. Podmore, B. Fittolani

Grand Final @Jubilee Park
Warrandyte 11.6-72
def
Blackburn Red 5.6-36
Goal Kickers: E. Phillips 3, P. Downie 3, J. Dib 2, M. Morena, S. Nitschinsk, B. Poole
Best Players: S. Nitschinsk, L. Guymer, M. Standfield, W. Hatfield, F. Swedosh, S. Van der ree

Podium Finish for Abbey

CONGRATULATIONS to Abbey Caldwell our new Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist.
In a rough and tumble race 21-year-old Warrandyte athlete Abbey Caldwell ran the race of her life to finish third behind Tokyo Olympic Silver medallist Laura Muir in the Final of the Women’s 1500m.
Coming into the final 100m after being blocked early and behind the pack with little room to move Abbey ran from four-wide down the outside to finish strongly with a time of 4:04.79 and win her first international medal.
In a post-race interview with Channel 7, Abbey gave praise to her coach Gavin Burren and Team Caldwell who were watching from the stands.
“My support team have been unbelievable – Team Caldwell have been so good to me – I am just so grateful to have those people in my corner, and all my friends and family back home”.

For any queries on joining East Doncaster Little Athletics please contact Lisa Williams on: 0408 140 461.

Warrandyte Netball club victorious in four-flag final

ON GRAND Final Day, I had the pleasure of watching four fantastic games, and as President, I couldn’t be prouder of the whole club today.
Thank you to the players, coaches, team managers, umpires, parents and the Doncaster and District Netball Association (DDNA).
After many interrupted seasons, altered calendars and modified finals, we welcomed some normality this season after what felt like forever.
In saying that, the battle against illness, injury and “close contacts” raged all season and everyone had to be resilient, flexible, and understanding.
A huge amount of work is done before the girls even attend their first training for the season.
After two years of unparalleled difficulties and a shortage of volunteers being felt across community sport as a whole, there are certainly days when this can be incredibly challenging.
However, today I got to watch all the hard work and emails, late nights and hard conversations, meetings, and organising pay off in the smiles of the Warrandyte players.
The players loving the game is the goal and the reward; I seriously urge anyone thinking about volunteering their time with the club to come and see what you can do to help.
Nothing beats the feeling of watching young kids achieve something they didn’t think they were capable of.
It really is something else.

The Grand Final quartet

Warrandyte’s four finalist teams arrived at the courts to battle it out in their respective Grand Finals, hoping to become Premiers… and what a battle it was.

Tadpoles

At 10am, the U13 Tadpoles took on the EDNC Supernovas.
After a successful, undefeated season despite being rocked by COVID-19 and injury, the almost full team took the court buzzing and ready to go.
The Tadpoles fought hard for the game against good opposition and found themselves down at threequarter time.
In the final quarter, the Tadpoles surged forward, working swiftly, scoring seven goals to the Supernovas’ one in the final term, sealing the win by three points.
Elaria was awarded MVP by the DDNA official watching on, and the entire team received their awards postgame with coach Renae.
It was a hard-fought win.
Final Score: 21 – 18.

Turtles

Also, at 10am on Court 3, the U13 Turtles stepped on court after some final messages from coach Sharon and lined up against their opponents, the Deep Creek Ambers.
The Turtles were relentless in their efforts, never allowing the Deep Creek team a moment to rest.
The energy was high, and it was close right up to the final siren where Warrandyte and Deep Creek found themselves even.
After a moment of heavy breathing, the teams calmed themselves, and the Turtles jumped back on court for a final 10 minutes to determine a winner.
The Turtles kept their composure despite the screaming crowd and rose to the occasion in the match’s final minutes.
The Turtles sealed their victory by a point, and the scenes were awesome to see!
Rosalie was awarded MVP for her efforts in the game.
Final Score: 18 – 17.

Magpies

It was now time for Warrandyte’s U17s to take the court.
The Magpies huddled around coach Lucy for some final pointers, and then on the court they went to face the Deep Creek Jets.
The Magpies didn’t have a clear idea of how this Deep Creek team played as of the two games they played in the home and away season, one was a washout, and the other the Magpies team was severely depleted.
It was close from the starting siren; the talk was loud, and the play was fast.
The Magpies worked swiftly together, and everyone brought their best.
In the final minutes, the two teams were goal for goal, and it became a race against the clock to be the team ahead at the final siren.
With only seconds left in the game, the scores were even, and the ball was shot only to skim the ring and be rebounded by Lilly, who found
the winning point as the final siren sounded.
The MVP went to Eliza for her awesome game.
Final Score: 18 – 17.

Kookaburras

With Warrandyte now three for three, the Kookaburras took to Court 8 against EDNC Eclipse.
The Kookaburras had been busy during the week organising their strategies and their look for the big game, red war paint and braids all
‘round!
The Kookaburras also train whenever they can, in their determination to improve, and their hard work paid off.
Their game was smooth, and their fantastic movement was constant.
Warrandyte’s communication paid off as they could talk and settle the game when they needed it and encourage their teammates as well.
Fired up by the crowd and coach Rachel whose hard work (Coaching not only the U17s but an U15s as well) and insight kept the girls composed and on track to win by the club’s biggest margin of the day!
Imogen was awarded the MVP medal for her great game.
Final Score: 38–15.

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Local author tackles racism in sport

SPORT IS OFTEN considered the great equaliser.
Nelson Mandela remarked that “sport has the power to change the world.
“It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.”
The End of the Game is by Warrandyte-based author Michael Fiddian and explores this notion through the eyes of Tom Wallace and a small fictional country town called Duneldin.
It is September 1992, the whole town is enveloped in footy fever when the under 18s win through to the Grand Final – a feat not seen for 22 years.
Tom had only moved to Duneldin from Melbourne at the start of the year, and while he missed his friends and life back in the big city, joining the football club certainly helped him make friends and find a place.
One of the players in particular, Albert Edwards, was quick to strike up a friendship with Tom.
So when Albert is racially abused by some of the local parents, Tom is stunned and feels uneasy and unsure as to what to do and how to react, and despite all the celebrations in the lead up to the Grand Final, Tom is sure Albert has payback planned but has no idea what.
What is powerful about this story is that some 30 years after it is set, in 2022 the kind of racism that Albert faced is still very prevalent.
Author Michael Fiddian set the book in September 1992, three months after the Mabo Decision because “that (time) was meant to be the cusp of change.”
Throughout the book, Tom struggles to truly believe and understand how easily this kind of thing happens, and as readers we are challenged with issues of race that we may not realise exist all around us.
Tom is meant to be a bystander with a conscience, and the whole week in the build up to the game, he has inner turmoil as to what he should do and say, and how can he fix this.
Yet this is not something he can just fix and in the end the realisation is that he does not have any idea what it is really like.
As Michael Fiddian explains: “Albert realised he might win a battle but he is not going to win the war.
“Writing this (story) is trying to help win that war.”
This is a must read – footy fan, or not – the issues tackled in the book are ones that are not confined to the white lines on a Saturday, nor do they just exist between the four quarters.
They exist after the end of the game.
After the end of each and every game.
The End of the Game is published by Fairplay publishing and available as both paperback and ebook from fairplaypublishing.com.au or at good bookshops.

Local athletes go for gold

Featured photo by LUKE HEMER / STAWELL GIFT

APRIL was a massive month for local athletics on the national stage.
Local athletes came first at the 2022 Chemist Warehouse Athletics Track and Field Championships in Sydney and the Powercor Stawell Gift.
ED MUNKS filed this report.

Abbey sets sights on Commonwealth Games

Abbey Caldwell ran a sensational race to win the Women’s 1500m Open Final in 4.10.75 at Sydney Olympic Park.
Abbey is now looking at racing overseas in her bid to make the Australian team for this year’s Commonwealth Games being held in Birmingham.
View Abbey’s race at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KsMKfvHLz0.
Nicole Reynolds also made the trip to Sydney and ran 6th place in her race of the 400m hurdles.
The Harding girls performed well at their first national titles; Jamison won the Under 14 Women’s Pole Vault, Jamison jumped 2.75m in very wet conditions and also finished 2nd in the Under 15 Pole Vault, jumping 2.80m — which was also an equal personal best (PB).
Shakira finished 2nd in the Under 16 90m hurdles, running a PB of 13.03 seconds.
She entered the final 200m hurdles after qualifying fastest in the heats.
Unfortunately, she hit the ninth hurdle quite hard and finished 4th.

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Harrison takes the sash at Stawell

Local sprinter Harrison Kerr took out the prestigious and lucrative 120m Gift final at the 140th running of the event.
Running 11.845 from a mark of 9.25m, Harry smashed the competition and the record with the fastest time recorded in 27 years.
Harrison’s heat and semi-final run ensured he was a warm favourite for the final.
Harrison remained focused and calm in the lead up to the final; he was fast out of the blocks and executed his race plan on the day, maintaining his form to take out the big race.
Harrison’s journey to the Gift has been a long time coming; he first started going to Stawell in his early teens to watch his brothers compete and then started competing as a 13-year-old.
In May 2021, Harrison underwent a shoulder reconstruction due to a football injury whilst playing for Old Aquinas; his arm was in a sling for three months, which meant that his only training was on a spin bike.
He then began an intense strength and conditioning programme to build his core strength.
The Victorian Athletics League (VAL) season then saw him win three races to get back into form.
In other results, South Warrandyte coach and athlete Todd Ireland finished 6th in his semi-final of the Henk Neil Masters 100m.
Other members of Team Ireland competing were 2021 men’s Gift finalist Jake Ireland 3rd in his Gift semi-final, Jake also came 3rd in the Arthur Postle 70m final, and a 2nd in the 200m semi-finals.
Cam Dunbar also ran a 5th in his Gift semi-final, 4th in the 70m semi and a 2nd in his heat of the 200m.
Darcy Ireland had a heat finish of 4th in the 200m along with a 5th in the heats of the 400m.
Ebony Ireland in the Bill Howard 100m was 6th in her heat and 4th in the semis of the U18 girls 100m.
Abbey Caldwell, fresh off her national open 1500m win, competed in a star studded field of Olympians and Open National titleholders in the AIA Vitality 1000m race, where she finished in 2nd place.
Having just completed the Australian Open National Championships, Nicole Reynolds made the final of the Sypac Lorraine Donnan Women’s Handicap 400m, where she finished 5th.
Nicole also placed 3rd in her heat of the Women’s 120m Gift.
Former Women’s Gift winner Olivia Ryan has now stepped up to the longer 400m distance and was 2nd in her heat along with Sophie Sykes (5th).
Olivia also ran 5th in her Gift heat and 5th in the Arthur Postle 70m.
Holly Hansen, running her first full season in the VAL, finished 5th in the Under 18 Girls final and came 3rd in her Women’s Gift heat.

Little Athletics update

In the Little Athletics Victorian races, Willow Glover ran a sensational 400m final to finish 2nd from a fast-finishing Chloe Baldock.
Chloe also placed 9th in the final of the 1600m and Willow a 12th in the 800m.
Macey Hansen was 8th in the 100m semi and 11th in the 400m heats.
Shakira Harding, who competed in the age group nationals, finished 2nd in her 400m heat.
Zoe Garden also finished 5th in her heat of the 100m.

Scotty wows them in Beijing

WARRANDYTE’S own snowboarding legend has been pipped at the post in his run for a Gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
He was a favourite for Gold after recently bringing home the goods from the X-Games in January.
James entered the final in second position and was hopeful of taking the top honour.
After a stumble on the first run put him in 10th position, a blistering second run, with a score of 92.5 gave him the lead going into the all- important final run.
“We are lost for words right now, but we knew that was going to be an improvement — forget the rest, we have the best with Scotty James,” the lead commentator said.
When he couldn’t best it in his final run, it was down to the final competitor, Japan’s Ayumu Hirano as the only one who could beat him for the prize.
Scotty still had gold in his sights, while spectators held their breath as the Japanese rider pulled out a spectacular performance and snatching the Gold with a 96.0.
James now adds an Olympic Silver medal to the Bronze he took home from Pyeong Chang in 2018 and says he has his sights set for Gold in Milan to complete the set.
He farewelled his long-time rival, Shaun White, for whom these games are his swansong.
In a post-event interview with Channel 7, James said: “I have had such a great time here in Beijing.
“This has been such a special Winter Games.
“This guy [White] is very, very special”.
He labelled White the Greatest of All Time.
“To Shaun, obviously huge respect to him — the guy is the GOAT… it’s been incredible to be here with you.
White then praised James’ silver- medal-winning run: “Crushed it! I was seeing the switch back doubles to the deck … I was like, come on!
“You are just crushing them effortlessly — to see you throwing down is just awesome.”
Then Warrandyte’s hero asked his rival for support in his campaign to compete in 2026, saying: “If you have the time, I have one more medal I need — if you want to help.”
White laughed as he replied: “I will back you!”
And rest assured, so will Warrandyte.

Students show their support for a local hero
By CLAIRE LAMBERT
WARRANDYTE PRIMARY School (WPS) sports teacher Sally Freemantle was thrilled when Channel 7 contacted her, asking students at WPS to be filmed showing their support of snowboarder Scotty James in the Winter Olympics.
Students were eager to get behind this and excitedly prepared banners and streamers to wave to remind Scotty that his hometown was behind him every step of the way to Olympic glory!
Photographs of the students made it to the official Australian Olympic Team Facebook Page and appeared on the Channel 7 coverage of the Winter
Olympics and Sunrise.
It was a fantastic experience that all students enjoyed being a part of and a great introduction for most of our students to the sport of Snowboarding.