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  • Eyes set on state title

    A NEW-LOOK under-18 Hockey New England representative team will hit the turf for the first time tonight in their quest to steal this year’s state title.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The team was selected with plenty of players returning to the side including Brittany Parker, Claire Eichorn, Belinda Burton, and Alison McMillan.

    But there are a number of players taking to the field in the under-18s side for the first time including Brianna Sutton and Tahlia Rekunow who both play in younger grades.

    The side’s coach Paul Eichorn said although his side is young, they have what it takes to cause plenty of upsets at the state championships to be held in May.

    “There is a lot of experience in this year’s side and although they are young they have been around for a while,” he said.

    “But with the 14 players that have been selected I am confident we have what it takes to win.”

    Eichorn said he will look to some of the players with experience to lead the charge.

    “We have some new players but we also have a very high calibre among the side,” he said.

    “Brittany Parker was selected in the NSW squad and there are a number of girls who up there in elite levels.

    “There were a number of outstanding players who were not available to play but this year’s side is no way diminished.”

    The squad will train in addition to playing for their individual clubs in preparation for the state championships. The 2013 Hockey NSW championships will be held in Newcastle from May 17 – 20.

    The championships will see some of the best teams from around the state compete across a number of divisions.

    The New England side will contest the B division across the three-day competition.

    Hockey New England under-18 girls side:

    Belinda Burton (g oalkeeper), Emma Barwick, Alison McMillan, Emily Hart, Brittany Parker, Brook Monley, Brianna Sutton, Katrina Rekunow, Claire Eichorn, Natalie Waters, Teagan Cleanthous, Jess Burey, Tahlia Rekunow, Elise Matherson and Jacko Burton is a train-on.

    Brittany Parker.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Basketballextravaganza in Wagin 

    Raffle winner: Jen Day Community Development Foundation, Caroline Boyce, winner of the basketball signed by the Perth Wildcats, and Community Development Foundation founder, Barry Cable, at the presentations. In the air: Players wait for referee Reid Mullen to toss the ball.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Volunteers: Kyra Quinn, Sue Dowson and Brian Roderick serve up a great sausage sizzle at the basketball.

    IN a bid to get the Wagin Basketball Club back up and running, more than 60 people of all ages took part in a basketball extravaganza in Wagin on Tuesday, last week.

    The extravaganza started off with scratch matches followed by some hotly contested games refereed by Reid Mullen and Jodie Becker from Wagin District High School.

    There was lots of subbing of players to ensure everyone had an opportunity to play.

    On the second court, parents and older siblings were seen to be helping the younger children with their game skills and game play.

    Following on from the matches, a sausage sizzle drew the crowd for refreshments and presentations from the extravaganza supporters.

    Guest presenter and well-known football identity and founder of the Community Development Found ation, Barry Cable, addressed the gathering prior to the raffle draw.

    Mr Cable’s presentation was inspiring and discussed the benefits of becoming a volunteer including the support it provides children; the great feeling you get when you belong to a club; and also the health benefits you get by being active, not only physically, but also mentally, by getting out in the community and getting involved.

    Mr Cable specifically highlighted the importance of parents and carers becoming involved in their child’s sport and the benefit this has not only for themselves, but for their children and the wider community.

    In closing, he issued a plea to those at the meeting to step up and take on the running of the club for the benefits of all those concerned.

    Other presenters included the Club Passport Program, Kidsport and the Active After School Communities Program.

    Supporters of the extravaganza included the Community Development Foundation, YMCA, Department of Sport and Recreation, Attorney-General’s Department, 1ife, Rural Community Support Services, Keedac, the Shire of Wagin and the Australian Sports Commission.

    The raffle saw a basketball signed by Perth Wildcats won by local girl and basketball player Caroline Boyce.

    As a result of the extravaganza, several people volunteered to be part of the Wagin Basketball Club, from committee members to coaches to referees to canteen and uniform helpers.

    There are still a lot of opportunities to get involved, and the more help the better and so for more information about how you can help out or if you are interested in playing, contact the Shire of Wagin.

  • Motos rock Newborough track

    Silhoutte: Shaun Sandwith (Ballarat Rovers) and Ben Ramsden (Blue Rock) take off. photographs laura ferguson Eat my dust: Josh Weatherstone of Blue Rock leads the B grade pack around the bend.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Lift off: Blue Rock rider Jarrod Raper gets three feet of air in C grade.

    Tight battle: Peter Honebone and Ryan Keegan go toe to toe in C grade. photographs laura ferguson

    Motorsport

    VICTORIA’S motocross elite blazed the hillside trails at Newborough’s Blue Rock Motorcycle Club over the weekend in round one of the Victorian Senior Motocross Championships.

    More than 340 riders took on the technical course but it was Ballarat’s Joel Milesevic and AMA Supercross star Kade Mosig who stood tall when all the dust had settled.

    Pearcedale rider Mosig won the first pro lite race with a total time of 30.58.593 minutes, including the fastest lap of the day (01.58.942), just ahead of Milesevic and Jake Emanuelli.

    Race two came down to the wire with Milesevic’s time of 31.15.583 just edging out Mosig’s 31.16.272.

    Milesevic, who won the A Lites and under 19 class at last year’s titles, was thrilled to get his year off to a flying start.

    “The first race was a bit of a tough one, I didn’t get a great start. I took a while to get around a few riders. I was also a bit anxious and a bit aggressive,” he said.

    “In the second race I got a decent start… in the second lap Kade got stuck behind a few riders which gave me a bit of breathing space (and) towards the end I was trying to still be fast enough to beat him and did just enough.”

    Adam Monea took out the Pro Open class with a win and a second on Saturday over Blue Rock and defending 2012 Victorian A Grade Open champion Sam Martin, with Lewis Woods finishing in third.

    2012 Victorian women’s champion Kristy Gillespie is in the hunt for her record-breaking eighth state title and got her campaign off to a fantastic start by winning two out of her three motos on Saturday.

    Blue Rock club president Gavin Dunn said all the hard work that went into the course was worth it following an exceptional weekend of racing.

    “We couldn’t have asked for a better race meet,” he said.

    “There’s a real sense of pride for a club who gets to host a Victorian Championship (and) it’s satisfying for us to see riders enjoying themselves at the track.

    “The Pro Open and Pro Lites classes drew a lot of people to the fence; all in all it was a great weekend of racing.”

    Round two of the Victorian Motocross Championships will take place at Swan Hill on 15 and 16 June.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Jordyn Hare: Loved, recalled by many

    THE final post on Jordyn Hare’s Facebook page is a grim reminder of how random life can be.
    Nanjing Night Net

    “Kickin’ back in the cool spa with a cold one, listening to Pandora radio . . . don’t think this day could get much better.”

    Moments later he drowned after suffering an epileptic seizure.

    Had it been a 20-second seizure, the 18-year-old from Werribee would have realised he was drowning.

    But during Jordyn’s more serious seizures – categorised as ‘tonic-clonic seizures’ – he could black out for up to five minutes.

    His mother, Karin Wylie, says there was rarely any warning. Jordyn would freeze and turn stiff, as if someone had hit a pause button, then collapse.

    On February 7, alone in a spa, Jordyn slumped under the water and died.

    “He wasn’t aware of the seizures himself,” she says. “He might realise he’s bumped his head on the way down, but then he’d wake up and think he was fine. He wouldn’t tell anyone and sometimes we’d find out weeks later he had one.”

    An epileptic seizure occurs when large groups of neurons in the brain begin firing uncontrollably, disrupting the balance of electrical activity and can cause a loss of consciousness.

    Jordyn’s stepdad, Neil Playford, knows more than most how dangerous seizures can be. His daughter, 1, also died when her heart stopped during a episode.

    “Two people are now gone in my life due to it,” he says.

    “This is the part we need to bring awareness to – people who are suffering it don’t know that they could drive along, ride a horse or a bike or control machinery and accidentally kill someone or themselves.”

    Yesterday, his relatives wore purple ribbons to help publicise the 181,000 Australians with epilepsy.

    It’s one of the most common neurological disorders in the world, yet few people understand how to recognise someone having a seizure, according to Epilepsy Australia.

    Mr Playford says Jordyn (pictured) will be remembered as “one out of the box, that’s for sure”.

    “He was an adult trapped in a teenager’s body. Most 18-year-olds you can’t get out of bed and get to work, but this one, you couldn’t get him to bed.

    “Jordyn was starting his own audio-visual business and was heavily involved in the Weerama Festival, being one of the directors last year as a teenager.”

    A minute’s silence was held at Saturday’s Weerama Festival in memory of Jordyn.

    “He once said to me, ‘One day, Neil, I’m going to have thousands of people turn up to my festival’.

    “If he put his mind to something and said he was going to do it, he’d do it.

    “He would’ve been one of the greatest entertainment people in the industry in years to come.

    “He was just loved by so many people.”

    Jordyn Hare.

  • Williams Landing station: Buses join queues

    Williams Landing station on Monday.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Williams Landing station on Monday.

    CRITICS say five new bus routes into Williams Landing train station won’t ease Point Cook’s peak-hour traffic snarls unless arterial roads are duplicated.

    But after announcing that the $110 million station will open on April 28, the state government says the new plans pave the way to make it an efficient transport hub for Wyndham’s booming growth corridor.

    Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder on Monday announced bus links to the new station, including three routes through Point Cook, one from Hoppers Crossing via Wyndham Vale and Truganina and another from Hoppers Crossing via Point Cook.

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    The new routes will operate on a 22-minute timetable and replace the 413 and 416 Hoppers Crossing-Laverton buses, which run at 40-minute intervals.

    Mr Mulder said the new routes would increase the number of bus services from 697 to 2120 a week.

    “Many passengers along streets where two bus routes converge, or within walking distance of two routes, will benefit from an even more frequent bus service,” he said.

    But Point Cook Action Group president Nick Michaelides said while five new bus links “seems on the surface like a step forward,” four of the routes ran into the station via Point Cook and Palmers Roads – notorious bottlenecks that cause lengthy peak-hour delays for commuters trying to access the freeway.

    He said without roads being duplicated buses wouldn’t be able to get through traffic to the station.

    “I can’t see those buses running on time,” he said.

    “They’ll be stuck in the traffic like everybody else in Point Cook is in the morning.”

    Western Metropolitan Liberal MP Andrew Elsbury said duplications would not occur until after the Sneydes Road overpass was built. Construction of the $40 million interchange is expected to start this year.

    “We can’t go ripping up any concrete on Point Cook Road or Palmers Road without doing anything on the Sneydes Road overpass, otherwise you’ll create an even worse bottleneck than what is already there.”

    Mr Elsbury said the new bus routes would ease congestion in the short term.

    “You’ll be able to move 30 times the number of people that you would with cars, most of which only have a single occupant going into the city,” he said.

    “Buses will be able to move people across Point Cook and take them to the mass transit system that is our public transport network.”

    Western Metropolitan Greens MP Colleen Hartland said buses would get jammed in traffic. She feared the new station’s 500-space car park would fall short of demand for a 75,000-strong population spanning Point Cook, Williams Landing and Truganina.

    “Werribee is the most overcrowded train line on the network,” Ms Hartland said.

    “Williams Landing will squash an extra 1000 people onto this line [in the morning peak] each day, without extra trains to cater for them.”

  • New coach aims for the top

    UPPER Murray league club Corryong has signed Andrew Reid as playing coach.
    Nanjing Night Net

    He replaced favourite son Evan Nicholas who coached the Demons outright since 2009 and was co-coach with Justin McKenzie this season.

    Reid, 29, has coached Howlong reserves for two seasons.

    The Howlong junior led his home club to its first reserves flag this season with boom forward Darren Bradshaw booting nine goals in the decider — he was eligible to play after an injury-ravaged season.

    Reid has signed Spider teammates Aaron Barnes and brothers Adam and David Hansen to join him at the Demons.

    Barnes won back-to-back league goal-kicking titles in 2009-10. Hansen was an Azzi medallist in 2006.

    Reid said he had jumped at the chance of a senior coaching position after Nicholas stepped down, believing the club needed a new face and fresh ideas.

    “I have been at Howlong my whole career and I wanted to get away from coaching my mates in the reserves and get into a senior position,” Reid said.

    “Corryong has got a good young group and just needed some experienced players to help develop the list.

    “The club was looking for some older guys and a new voice after Evan had coached for four years.

    “Evan is the stand-out player in the league and won the league medal this season.

    “He can become an even better player without the burden of coaching.

    “Our aim is to finish top-two.

    “Bullioh has raised the standard of the league in the past four or five years and we have to aspire to that.

    “The league has been in the paper for all the wrong reasons but I think the standard has been rising and our quality recruits will only add to that.”

    Corryong snapped a 30-match losing streak this season when it broke through for a win against Border-Walwa in round five.

    The Demons went on to win four more matches and make finals for the first time since 2008. It lost the first semi- final to runner-up Cudgewa by 61 points.

    McKenzie is the only confirmed departure, with work commitments in Melbourne.

    The Demons recently held their annual meeting.

    David Colbert replaced Andrew Whitehead as president.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Brave Jace’s fight

    LITTLE Jace Knowles has a lot of people in his corner.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The mischievous three-year-old is the youngest child of Mick and Tara, and is their only son.

    Besides the pressures of having three older sisters, Jace also has an exceptionally rare degenerative medical condition.

    Mucopolysaccharidosis is a metabolic disorder caused by the absence or malfunctioning of lysosomal enzymes.

    These essential enzymes are used to break down glycosaminoglycans – which help to build bone, cartilage, tendons, corneas, skin and connective tissue.

    There are seven strains of the disorder, and Jace has MPS 2, known better as Hunter syndrome.

    It’s a condition that occurs in only one in 150,000 male children.

    “Basically his organs are shutting down,” Tara said.

    “He has an enlarged abdomen due to an over-sized liver and spleen.

    “His bones and joints are deteriorating, and there are thousands of holes all through his brain.”

    Jace was diagnosed with the condition on February 5 this year.

    It’s thought that he has had the condition since birth.

    His condition is further complicated because of the neurological aspect.

    “Enzyme replacement is normally offered for kids with Hunter,” Tara explained.

    “But, if it’s in the brain, the government won’t fund it.”

    In addition, he has difficulty with movement and has to be very careful due to the fragility of his joints.

    “He is still walking and talking at the moment, but that will become difficult over time,” Tara says.

    “Even know he is a little old man in a kid’s body.

    “He’s very irritable because of all the pain he’s in.”

    Jace has just started his third year at Columba Cottage Learning Centre.

    He attends three days a week, with Columba providing a scholarship for him to attend one of those days.

    The Cottage has been heavily involved with Jace and the Knowles family.

    Earlier this year, two staff members, Lucy Sales and Linda Will, volunteered their services to assist the family.

    They travelled earlier this month to the 13th National Mucopolysaccharidoses and Related Diseases Conference at Point Wolstoncroft .

    The two carers were able to provide assistance and supervision for Jace and his older sister Lacie, who is a quadriplegic, throughout the conference.

    At the time, Jace had just been diagnosed, so the opportunity for Tara to interact with specialists and the parents of other Hunter-afflicted children was essential.

    The Cottage has continued pushing to help Jace.

    Director Michelle O’Brien noted the involvement of multiple staff members in providing ongoing assistance.

    “We’ve got four different people on the staff who’ve formed a committee to determine the best way to raise funds and help Jace,” she said.

    “We’re looking at whether he needs occupational therapy, or how the fundraising can be best spent in the future.”

    Oneof the fundraisers will be a trivia night and silent auction at The Westport Club on Saturday, May 25.

    Prizes and auction items include VIP passes to theme parks on the Gold Coast, jewellery and snowboard equipment.

    The Port Macquarie Roller Derby League is raising funds through an entirely different venture.

    Tomorrow night, the group will host a dinner, with the Knowles as special guests.

    They’ve been busy selling raffle tickets to raise funds.

    The league is only a year old, and is already heavily committed to serving the community.

    “We aim to do a charity event each time we have a round of recruitment,” the group’s secretary Jo ‘Psycho Bunnie’ Sampson, said.

    “When we heard about Jace we just knew we had to get involved.

    “This is actually our very first fundraiser and we’re going to try to make it a big event.

    “We’re all women and we’ve all got children, so we’re going to do whatever we can to help.”

    The lady at the centre of things is overwhelmed by the community’s show of support.

    “It’s been so wonderful the way people have got involved,” Tara said.

    The steadfast mother is unable to break her focus however, and is looking to the future.

    “At the moment we’re trying to get a bone marrow transplant for Jace,” she explained.

    “It involves chemotherapy and it’s potentially a huge step.

    “At the end of the day it’s worth a shot.

    “It’s all we can do.”

    Little Jace Knowles with his mother Tara.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Australian Zircon hosts Drung mine information sessions

    MINING company Australian Zircon will release some results of its environmental impact studies on Wednesdayfor its proposed mineral sands mine at Drung.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The mining company will host two information sessions on its plan to develop a 12,850-hectare deposit 20 kilometres south east of Horsham.

    Australian Zircon has proposed that the mine operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and recover ilmenite, zircon, monazite, rutile and leucoxene minerals .

    The mine would employ up to 250 staff while in operation.

    Project manager Andrew Reeves said the company had completed a range of studies on the proposed mine’s impact, including water, radiation, noise, air quality and rehabilitation effects.

    “The reason we have called the meeting is because we are getting towards the tail end of our environmental studies,” he said.

    “We have some of the results and we are looking at sharing the results and giving some feedback to our many stakeholders in the area.

    “Basically, from our perspective, we believe that there is really no impediment to the project proceeding but that is a decision that is made by the Planning Minister.”

    Horsham mayor David Grimble said the mine would be a positive project for the Wimmera.

    “When you have the potential to create up to 250 jobs and the flow-on economic benefit, it has enormous potential for the Wimmera,” he said.

    “It is north of the Grampians National Park, which is a major tourist area so some tourism operators are concerned about that.

    “But my understanding is that this will be a staged project so we are not going to see broad-scale open cut mining.”

    Mr Reeves said Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy had to approve the project before it could go ahead.

    The sessions are at Horsham RSL from 2pm to 4pm and at Taylors Lake Football Club from 6pm to 8pm.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Mid Gld falters at line

    Desperation: Mid Gippsland Green and Alberton battled it out for the Eastern Region title. photograph laura fergusonNetball
    Nanjing Night Net

    MID Gippsland Green went into Friday night’s Eastern Region Netball State League final as firm favourite following an undefeated season, but fell at the final hurdle against Alberton 48-33.

    All eyes were on the critical goal circle matchups, but both sides started nervously and consistently missed the hoop in the early stages.

    The first quarter had Alberton put up 23 shots for a 14 goal result compared to Mid Gippsland’s seven goals from 10 shots.

    Alberton took advantage of the lack of creativity Mid Gippsland was offering in its goal circle, reading the run of play with ease to thwart several attacking raids.

    A personnel change for Mid Gippsland on the attacking end breathed new life into Green’s shooting, and while they outscored Alberton for the first time in the match it was too little too late.

    The 17 and under Alberton side made it two from two on the night with a 52-32 win over Sale.

    Gippsland sister act Kylie and Stacey O’Brien featured in the awards for the open division; Stacey (Gippsland) was named most valuable player and Kylie (Churchill Indoor) earned the ‘hot shot’ award.

    The All Star teams for both divisions were announced and presented few surprises.

    Open All Stars Goalers: Jessica Hilliar (MG Green), Kylie O’Brien (CINA), Jarney Thomas (Alb) and Rachel Shaw (Gippsland). Mid Court: Stacey O’Brien (Gipp), Rachelle Chapman (MG Green), Danielle Ryan (EG) and Allison Tewierik (MG Green). Defenders: Ebony Best (Gipp), Kara Wogan-Browne (Alb), Catherine Bulmer (EG) and Christie Hillberg (Alb).

    17 and under All Stars Goalers: Hannah Flanders (Alb), Hannah Buys (Sale), Amy Houghton (MG) and Ashleigh Wyatt (Gipp). Mid Court: Montana Holmes (Sale), Piper Bennett- Swinley (MG), Shelby Wulffers (MG) and Elis Sim (MG). Defenders: Sarah Greenwood (MG), Kirsty Hodgson (NG), Karlee Dal Pra (NG and Bree Guttridge (Gipp).

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Gellibrand preselection: Safe seat sparks battle of the sexes

    NICOLA Roxon has thrown her support behind a former staffer, Katie Hall, to replace her in the federal seat of Gellibrand.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Eyes on Canberra: Katie Hall says she cares about the community, and wants to get involved and be heard. Picture: Darren Howe

    The move appears to put her at odds with Labor Senate leader Stephen Conroy, who is understood to be backing his former adviser Tim Watts.

    Ms Hall, who lives with her husband in West Footscray, is 30 — nearly the same age Ms Roxon was when elected.

    The former attorney-general, who is quitting politics to spend more time with her young daughter, said it was healthy for two influential Labor figures to be backing different candidates for preselection.

    “It won’t surprise anyone as a person who’s always encouraged women to run for office that I am supporting Katie Hall because she is a strong and capable woman. She’s a good campaigner and she’s local, and all of those things are very important for this region.

    “I think it’s important, where we have the opportunity, to select women, and in this instance where we have a woman with enormous potential, a lot of talent, and is local, that’s going to be a combination that is difficult to beat.

    “Of course, Stephen has influence within his community, as do I, and I think the fact that two senior Labor people can be backing different candidates is actually a healthy sign in the party that there are good choices to be made.”

    Ms Hall, who works in corporate affairs for the City of Melbourne, said Ms Roxon had been a great mentor.

    “I think, and I think a lot of people think, that it’s important that the next generation of female Labor activists step up and say, I care about my community, I’m committed to Labor values and I want to get involved and I want to be heard. When women in the Labor Party who I’ve always looked up to, like Nicola Roxon and Joan Kirner, are supporting you, that’s a really motivating thing.

    “I think we need fierce campaigners. We need people who are going to be willing to get out there and give it a red-hot go . . . we need to be reaching out to the community and telling our story and telling the people why Labor values are good values and why Labor members of parliament are good for the west.”

    Ms Hall’s stiffest challenge may prove to be a tight preselection battle, especially if Mr Conroy throws his support behind Mr Watts.

    The Telstra executive, 31, lives in Fitzroy but plans to move to Footscray with his family before the September 14 poll.

    Mr Watts moved to dispel concerns that he was not a local candidate and would be preselected only with the weight of Senator Conroy’s backing.

    “I’m proud to have worked with Stephen in the past; I think people will see I have a good track record,” he said. Acknowledging the anointed Gellibrand candidate would be replacing a high-profile female member in the nation’s second-safest seat, Mr Watts said it was important that the ALP elevate more women into Parliament but noted they were replacing men in other seats.

    He said the prospect of a Tony Abbott government was a threat to quality education, harmonious multiculturalism and job security in the western suburbs.

    “They are my three major priorities.”