Footy finals time

THE mudlarks came for the fore last Sunday when the Shoalhaven Junior Australian Football teams contested their semi-finals.
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Sudden death football was played at the Vincentia Sporting Complex, while down in Ulladulla three preliminary finals were played.

A place in the grand final was the price for the winners down in Ulladulla.

In the under 12s final at Vincentia the Bomaderry Tigers defeated the Bay and Basin Bombers 7-8-50 to 4-7-31, Mogo Magic defeated the Bombers 6-8-44 to 0-5-5 in the under 14s, while in the under 16s Batemans Bay Seahawks defeated the Nowra Blues.

Down in Ulladulla the home side beat the Seahawks 6-6-42 to 3-4-22 in the under 12s, the Seahawks had a narrow 3-10-28 to 3-2-20 win over Bomaderry in the under 14s, while Ulladulla progressed straight into the grand final with a comfortable win over the Bombers in the under 16s.

The junior Australian Football spotlight now turns to Batemans Bay on Sunday.

In the under 12s the Seahawks take on the always dangerous Tiger cubs in what is sure to be an entertaining contest.

Bomaderry is also represented in the under 14s match but this time takes on the Mogo Magic.

The Magic, being a free flowing team, would be hoping for a dry field so they can use the ball.

The Bombers, in the under 16s, faces a tough test against the home side.

The Seahawks, in round one, convincing beat the Bombers and they would be out to record a similar result come Sunday.

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Windsor’s very own starlet

Miss Teen Australia entrant, Sophia Houston. Picture: Carla Costa
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At just14, Windsor’s very own starlet Sophia Houston has an air of sophistication, maturity and a strong desire to be a good role model for other girls — attributes you wouldn’t normally expect of someone so young.

After the Gazette spoke with her, it was obvious there’s success in store for the aspiring actress, singer and model.

A year 8 student at the McDonald College of Performing Arts, Sophia has been in the performing arts world since she was two, starting out in both dancing and acting at Vogue Dance Studio in Riverstone and Bligh Park Community Centre.

She’s now in the process of trying to make it through to the finals of the Miss Teen Australia competition, which she says would be a good way to set her up for the future.

‘‘This competition prepares you for the modelling world and looks amazing on your resume,’’ she said.

‘‘I would really like to be a leader and a role model. I want to show people you can still be a real person.’’

The quest is known as the biggest beauty pageant in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sophia is one of 50 in the junior category (13-15-years), vying for a place in the finals, in December on the Gold Coast.

Entrants are chosen through interviews with judges and personal presentations.

However, the Hawkesbury can vote for Sophia in the People’s Choice Award category, by texting TEEN 351 to 19901090. Voting closes on October 17.

The auburn-haired SRC representative named Nicole Kidman and Nelson Mandela as her own inspirations for the extensive portfolio she’s already built, including appearances on Home and Away, Carols in the Domain and in various TV ads.

‘‘I’m a really big fan of Nicole and I’m a bit obsessed with Nelson Mandela,’’ she said. ‘‘His story is just so amazing and intriguing.’’

In November, Sophia is also set to appear as an actress and singer in the lead role of Clarisse in the production of The Servant of Two Masters at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

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Explore variety of options at expo

THE annual Post School Options Expofor young people with a disability andtheir families is an excellent opportunityto explore the many options and supportservices available to young people whenthey leave school.
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The expo is aimed at high schoolstudents with a disability in years nine to12 and their families or other interestedparties.

This event will be held on Tuesday August 26 from 5pm to 7pm at theWagga RSL Club in Dobbs Street.

A variety of agencies will be attendingthe expo, so visitors will have anopportunity to gain valuable informationin a number of areas such as post schoolsupport programs, financial support,respite, recreational activities, advocacy,employment, further education andtraining.

Linda, the carer of a young personwith a disability, has attended the expofor the past two years and can not speakhighly enough of the event.

“It was quite an eye-opener for us,”she said.

“The first year we attended it wasquite overwhelming, but it gave us thegeneral idea of what the options wereand what was on offer and we then hadthe full year to explore and discuss theseoptions.

“Attending the expo for the secondtime gives the young person moreconfidence in being able to make theirown decisions and choices, as well asmeet the new providers.

“It is also a huge benefit to be able tomeet and speak to the actual peoplerunning the programs.”

The organisers would encourage anyyoung people with additional supportneeds and their families who areconsidering options for the future toattend this evening to gain invaluablehelp in planning for the future.

For further information or to RSVPcontact Lisa Parnell on 0488 069 564 oremail lisa.parnell2Adet.nsw.edu.au.


* Over four million Australians have a disability. That’s one in five people.

* One in three people either has a disability or is likely to be close to someone who has a disability.

* 2.1 million Australians of working age (15 to 64) have disability.

* 3.4 million (15%) Australians have a physical disability.

* Around 668,100 Australians have intellectual and/or development disorders.

* Almost 90 percent of disabilities are not visible.

* One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss. Approximately 30,000 Deaf Auslan users with total hearing loss.

Source: Australian Network onDisability

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Brave acts recognised

Gilmore neighbours James Bodsworth and Colin O’Hare, formerly of Delegate, will be awarded bravery medals for intervening in a fight. (Photo courtesy ABC News)A FORMER long-term resident of Delegate is among three Canberra men to receive national recognition for courageousrescues of people in distress.
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Colin O’Hare – who now resides in the Canberra suburb of Gilmore – will receive an Australian Bravery Decoration.

Mr O’Harefirst lived at Corrawong and after being burnt out moved into Delegate with his wife and three daughters.

Mr O’Hare, together with his neighbour James Bodsworth, and Calwell resident Shane Allen, will be awarded bravery medals after intervening in dangerous circumstances last year.

Mr O’Hare and Mr Bodsworth teamed up to put a stop to a violent assault involving a knife.

Mr Allen pulled a 13-year-old boy out of fast-moving flood waters in a stormwater drain at Isabella Plains in Canberra’s south.

The three men are among 78 newly-announced recipients of Australian Bravery Decorations.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove has approved the awards.

“I offer my warmest congratulations and express my sincere admiration for your brave actions,” he said.

“You now join the company of men and women whose actions have enriched our community and whose values we hold dear.”

In March last year, Mr O’Hare and Mr Bodsworth heard a woman screaming for help and found two men fighting in front of a house.

One of the men had knocked the other one to the ground, kicked him and stabbed him with a pocket knife.

The pair disarmed and restrained the attacker until police arrived.

Mr O’Hare suffered a deep cut to his hand during the incident and needed hospital treatment.

He said he would do it all again if faced with similar circumstances.

“I think it’s just human instinct, just a thing you do,” he said.

Mr O’Hare said the bravery medal had come as a surprise.

“When we got the first letter to say we might be nominated I thought, ‘oh that won’t happen’,” he said.

Mr Bodsworth said he also did not expect to be recognised for his actions.

“To us it’s a lot of fuss and I think most reasonably minded people confronted with that situation would have actually done the same thing,” he said.

“We’re a little overwhelmed and a little embarrassed to be quite honest.”

In September last year, Mr Allen was cycling home after an early finish to a Year 12 class when he heard somethingunexpected.

“I noticed that someone was screaming for their life,” he said.

“I just saw them and I had to help.”

Mr Allen said it was a struggle to catch the teenager who was being swept away in the fast-moving water.

“At first I tried to grab him using my bag as a lifeline and then I had to run ahead of him,” he said.

Mr Allen stood waist-deep in the fast-flowing water before pulling the boy to safety, and waited with him until paramedics arrived.

He said the events of the day had stayed with him.

“You never sort of stop remembering it I guess,” he said.

“I would’ve done it regardless of whether it had been appreciated or not.

“At the time I didn’t think much at all. It was just action and focus.”

– With Kathleen Dyett, ABC

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Raider visits Young

STARS: President Nick Hall, Wenona Longhurst, Raiders’ David Shillington, referee Sara Dawe and Marc Owen with future Cherrypickers – the Under 5 Wenona’s Warriors on Sunday. (DSC03120)Young’s junior rugby league players were treated to a full day of football on Sunday when they contested the town competition grand finals.
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But it wasn’t just any ordinary day for the locals, with Canberra Raiders captain David Shillington there on the sidelines at Keith Cullen Oval cheering on the budding league stars.

As the different age groups battled it out for the 2014 champions title, which was followed by Wenona’s Warriors (fives and under) debut in a demonstration game in front of the crowd.

According to Young Junior Rugby League Club president Nick Hall, the standout match of the day was between the Under 11 Knights and Roosters.

“The Knights/Roosters grand final was the game of the day and an exciting way to end the day,” Nick said.

“It was a close game, came right down to the last couple of minutes, and the Knights locked it up.”

But the highlight of the day for the players themselves was undoubtedly meeting Shillington who supplied the juniors with Raiders merchandise and autographs.

“They swamped him all day,” Hall laughed.

Although the town competition has wrapped up for another season, rep football will continue for all age groups this week on home turf against Wagga Brothers.

Sunday’s results:

Under 7s –

Panthers def Broncos in the grand final, and Sharks def the Eels in the consolation final.

Under 9s –

Rabbitohs def Manly in the grand final, and Storm def Warriors in the consolation final.

Under 11s –

Knights def Roosters in the grand final, and Tigers def Bulldogs in consolation final.

A full report and photos to appear in Friday’s edition of The Young Witness.

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Stephenson stars as Magpies win

The Hastings League side have had a few tough weeks of close encounters and defeats, and will be looking for a much-needed win this weekend.
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Zac McKiernan busts the Settlers Inn Hy-Tec Sharks defensive line on Saturday.

The Magpies are currently running sixth on the competition ladder and need victories in their final two matches of the regular season if they are to have a shot at the finals.

Long Flat currently stands in their way in the finals cut-off of fifth position, by just one point, so it could well come down to the wire.

The Magpies have home advantage for both their last final matches and hope this will help them in their finals quest.

It has been an up-and-down year for the Lower Macleay side, with injuries and other issues, but they are backing themselves for a finals berth.

Tomorrow will be an action-packed day of rugby league at the ground, with all of the Smithtown Juniors – from under-7s to -16s also playing at home.

The usual Magpies usual 2.30pm kick-off has been pushed back to 3pm, due to the packed junior teams schedule.

It will be the final week of regular competition for the juniors, with all teams keen to finish the year on a high – some are contenders to make the finals.

Smithtown Tigers will host the Group 2 Junior League grand finals this year, on Saturday, September 13.

The club is very excited at the opportunity and hopes some of the Tigers teams will be in action on the big day.

The canteen and barbecue will run all day tomorrow, with bar facilities opening after all the junior games have been completed.

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Birthday bash in Annangrove

The Australian Hotel and Brewery is having a birthday bash this Sunday, August 24 and you’re invited to join the celebration.
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The hotel’s car park will be transformed into a mini-carnival from 10am-2pm as part of their fourth birthday party.

There will be something for everyone, all for the cost of a gold coin donation which will go Variety, the children’s charity.

There will be a jumping castle, colouring-in competition, face painting and Hop the Kangaroo for the children as well as market stalls, live music and dance performances, beer tasting and GWS Giants giveaways.

There will also be a range of Variety Bash cars on display, as well as the Monster Mater Truck from the children’s movie Cars.

Marketing manager Kylie Murphy said birthdays were always a special occasion at the Brewery.

‘‘Bring the family out and help us celebrate,’’ she said.

The Australian Hotel and Brewery is at 350 Annangrove Road, Rouse Hill.

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Basketball clinic success

HAWKESBURY Basketball is hosting learn-to-play programs for five to 12-year-olds at its South Windsor indoor stadium on Saturday mornings from 9am to 10am.
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The Hawkesbury Hoopsters Learn To Play program is run by Ben Garland, who helped coach Hawkesbury Basketball’s Under 18 men’s team for the past two years.

“The Hawkesbury Hoopsters program will teach basic skills, including dribbling, shooting, passing and the basic rules of being part of a team,’’ Garland told the Courier.

“I break the players up into age and skill groups depending on the size/number of participants.”

Aout 20 kids are signed-up to the program so far, Hawkesbury Basketball secretary Stacy O’Toole told the Courier. “We charge by term roughly about $50 per term, then there’s a $10 registration fee for insurance purposes for 12 months,” she said.

The centre is also currently taking registrations for Summer Competitions for both juniors and seniors, which start in Term 4. “Some of the kids will be ready for our Under 12 Summer Competition starting 11th October and some will return next term for more skills,” said O’Toole.

Details: Register on 02 4587 8105 or email [email protected]

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Mustangs show flair at Verge St

Willy Lockwood, Ant Cowan and Cecil Lardner ran rings around the Taree City Bulls on Sunday.THE Macleay Valley Mustangs may have been up against the bottom of the table Taree City Bulls at the weekend but there was a sense of occasion about Sunday’s match at Verge St Oval.
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Not only was there a special tribute to groundsman Herbie Brown before the match but Kempsey Shire Council’s Technical Services manager Trevor Dickson met with Group 3 officials to inspect the ovals suitability to host the 2014 grand final.

The home side showed they are still have a strong chance to make it to the big game, running out 56-10 winners against their Manning-based opponents.

It signalled a return to confidence for the side that was beaten by title rivals Wauchope in the previous round.

Coach Willy Lockwood said it was an encouraging performance from the side in the lead up to the finals.

“I thought we played a pretty complete match all around,” he said.

“The forwards all worked well together and our backline was fairly solid throughout. We kept it simple, which was an important part of our game plan.”

The Mustangs got off to a flying start in the match, scoring a series of first half tries to lead by more than 20 points at the break.

It was a similar story in the latter half of the match as the Bulls’ backs struggled to contain the Mustangs forward pack.

Nigel Hookey was instrumental for his side with two tries while Dennis Smith, Clint McMurray and Owen Blair also made contributions.

Lockwood said he expects the same group of players to step up in next week’s final in order to fill the void left by the injured Steven Walker.

“It is a big loss to not have Steve available,” he said.

“We are definitely going to have to be smart about the way we play and make sure to complete our sets. Owen Blair and Malcolm Webster both had good games for us so hopefully they can do the same this week in front of a big home crowd.”

The Mustangs will host Old Bar in the preliminary semi-final at Verge St Oval, on Sunday.

Port Sharks will host Wingham on Saturday in the sudden death semi.

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First round of NAPLAN results are in

This year’s National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) preliminary results have revealed about 90 per cent of South Australian students are achieving at or above the national standard in 19 out of 20 areas.This year’s National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) preliminary results have revealed about 90 per cent of South Australian students are achieving at or above the national standard in 19 out of 20 areas.
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South Australia’s preliminary results suggest year seven students have improved slightly in each of the five categories – reading, persuasive writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy – while year three, five and nine children have improved slightly in some areas and dropped in others.

Year three, five and nine students are below the national average in all areas, and year seven children are below in four out of five areas.

State Education and Child Development Minister Jennifer Rankine said more work needed to be done.

“In South Australia, there are many more small schools in rural and remote areas,” Ms Rankine said.

She said numeracy had been a focal point for schools and preschools this year.

“The State Government created numeracy websites that have been extremely popular with more than 180,000 visits from parents and teachers,” she said.

More than 92 per cent of more than 1.1 million student participants are sitting at or above the national minimum standards in nearly every area.

Individual results will be delivered to schools to send to parents from now until September 8, with the full NAPLAN national report to be released in December.

Individual school information will be available on the My School website in early 2015.

– Details: The national summary and information can be found at www.nap.edu.au. For individual school results and other information, visit www.myschool.edu.au.

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