News Store
Important notice to all NewStore users. The NewsStore service is now free! Please click here for more information. Help

Newcastle Herald

Valley of good sports

Author: CHRIS WATSON
Date: 25/06/2009
Words: 1399
Source: NCH
          Publication: Newcastle Herald
Section: Supplement
Page: 24
On motorcycles, surfboards, football fields and water, the sportspeople of the

Hunter have carried all before them on their way to the top.

It could be argued that the present nursery

of motorcycle racing worldwide is the

Hunter  specifi cally, in this case, the

township of Kurri Kurri.

Both the 2007 MotoGP world champion

Casey Stoner and twice AMA Supercross

champion Chad Reed grew up in the town

between Cessnock and Maitland, and with just

four years age difference between them, they

and their families knew each other.

Stoner and Reed are just two of the most

recent examples of the remarkable sporting

heritage of the Hunter, which has been

turning out champions  indeed, world

champions  virtually since colonisation.

With the Hunters magnifi cent lakes,

waterways and beaches the regions ability to

turn out water-sport champions may not come

as a complete surprise, but the valleys ability

to produce the best across a wide range of

sports is truly remarkable.

This year the Hunter Region

Sporting Hall of Fame  for

which Reed and Stoner are

not even contenders yet

as they are still actively

racing  conducted its

18th annual induction

ceremony and now lists

266 champions from

the region, across 43

sports from badminton

to barefoot water skiing,

fencing to football and

snooker to surfi ng.

Among this years

inductees was

Andrew Johns, the

youngest and fi rst

two-time winner of

the Golden Boot award

for the worlds greatest rugby

league player and the halfback in the NRLs

team of the century, joining other league

greats in the hall of fame such as the immortal

Clive Churchill and more recent stars Paul

Harragon, Les Johns, John Sattler and Mark

Sargent.

While the region has produced champions

across virtually all sports, it is in water-based

competitions that it has really excelled.

There would probably not be a person in

the valley who does not know of wounded

seagull Mark Richards, the surfi ng legend

who won four world titles between 1979 and

1982. But there are others in the hall of fame

who have excelled on the aqua blue.

Grant Long became the first Australian

to win a world board sailing title when he

defeated 66 competitors from 20 different

countries in the 1980 world championships in

the Bahamas.

Garry Barton was an Australian and world

pioneer of bare-foot water skiing and from

1967 to 1972 he was recognised as number

one in the world, creating a list of world

fi rsts and setting records in all the sports

disciplines.

Lake Macquaries Peter Wellham was

another bare-foot skier who won the world

jump title in Canberra in 1984 and during the

1980s held four world records in tricks (two),

slalom and starts. He was rated in the top 10 in

the world from 1982 to 1994.

Charlestowns Bruce Cockburn won the

world water skiing trick championship in

1969, represented his country at six world

titles and held the overall Australia mens

title for eight successive years from 1969 to

1976.

In sailing, Doug Reid won the

world 16ft skiff title in 1971 to

go with numerous state and

national victories.

Ken Warby went for

power over sail, and in

1977 he became the fastest

man on water behind the

wheel of his jet-powered

hydroplane Spirit of

Australia, which set an

average speed of 464

km/h both ways over a

measured kilometre on Blowering

Dam, near Tumut. He returned to

the dam in 1978 and became the fi rst man to

ever average more than 500 km/h on water,

his offi cial world record set 511.11 km/h.

Off the water and into the sky, Rick Duncan

was yet another world champion, this time in

hang gliding where, in 1988, he was Newcastle

champion, NSW champion, Australian

champion and world champion.

Kevan Gosper was an outstanding track

athlete, a gold-medal winning Commonwealth

Games runner and an Olympian, but he

became even more widely known as one of

the worlds leading sports administrators

and the fi rst Australian appointed to the

executive board of the International Olympic

Committee.

Golfer Jack Newton won titles all around the

world, Kevin Bacon is recognised as one of the

greatest horsemen of his time, and there are

enough football players in the hall of fame to

fi ll at least three teams.

Three hall of fame inductees are

representing two sports, Phil Hawthorne and

Patrick Walsh for rugby union and league, and

Singleton-born Muriel Picton for cricket and

hockey. Picton played seven test matches in

cricket between 1960 and 1969, captaining her

country four times, and represented Australia

in international hockey tournaments in

Holland in 1959 and Malaya in 1962.

WINNING IS OVERRATED. THE

ONLY TIME IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT

IS IN SURGERY AND WAR.

 Al McGuire

Hall of fame inductees

ATHLETES WITH A DISABILITY: Garry HOOPER

(wheelchair sports), Joseph WALKER (swimming and basketball)

ATHLETICS (TRACK AND FIELD): Mary BREEN, Linda

GARDEN, Kevan GOSPER, June HEATH, Dianne PEASE, David

POWER, Erica WILLIS

BADMINTON: June BEVAN, June CARTER, Jon CHIN

BAREFOOT WATER SKIING: Garry BARTON, Peter

WELLHAM

BASKETBALL: Terry CHARLTON, John GARDINER, Denis

KIBBLE

BOXING: Harry COLLINS, Les DARCY, Fred HENNEBERRY,

William JONES, Phil McELWAINE, William MORGAN, Neville

RINCHEVAL, Dave SANDS, Patrick SLAVIN, William SQUIRES,

Ken STAMFORD, Hector THOMPSON, Lyn TRUSCOTT, Robert

WHITELAW

BOARD SAILING: Grant LONG

CRICKET: Arthur CHIPPERFIELD, Belinda CLARK, Grahame

CORLING, Alan DAVIDSON, Jim De COURCY, Gary

GILMOUR, Sally GRIFFITHS, Robert HOLLAND, Charles

MACARTNEY, Rick McCOSKER, Johnny MARTIN, Arthur

MORRIS, Ray ROBINSON, Doug WALTERS, John WATKINS

CRICKET and HOCKEY: Muriel PICTON

CYCLING: Craig CHAPMAN, Ian CHAPMAN, Robert RYAN,

John TRESIDDER

EQUESTRIAN: Kevin BACON, John FAHEY, Bridget

MACINTYRE, John MACKAY Senior, John MACKAY Junior, Laurie

MORGAN

FENCING: Alwyn WARDLE

FOOTBALL: Cliff ARNOLD, George ARTHUR, Ray BAARTZ,

John BARR, Alex CAMERON, Norman CONQUEST, Bill

COOLAHAN, Frank COOLAHAN, Clarrie COUTTS, Colin

CURRAN, Reg DATE, Peter DOYLE, Jack EVANS, Alison

FORMAN, Jack GILMORE, Ron GILES, Arch HARRIS, Alex

HEANEY, Jack HUGHES, Ron HUGHES, Graham JENNINGS,

Allan JOHNS, E (Dick) KEMP, Jack LENNARD, Percy LENNARD,

Jim McNABB, Roy McNAUGHTON, Bill MAHONEY, William

MAUNDER, Billy MORGAN, Bruce MORROW, Jack OBRIEN,

Kevin ONEILL, Tom OLIVER, James OSBORNE, W (Ernie)

OWEN, Hedley PARKES, Jack (Jock) PARKES, Frank PARSONS,

John PETTIGREW, Alfred QUILL, William (Bill) RORKE, Doug

WENDT, James WILKINSON, Shelley YOUMAN

GOLF: Phillip BILLINGS, Billy DUNK, Gayle GANNON, Marea

HICKEY, Colin JOHNSTON, Jack NEWTON

HANG GLIDING: Rick DUNCAN, Kelvin SMITH

HOCKEY: Michelle ANDREWS, Debbie BECKETT, Ray

CLARKE, Olga CORRIGAN, Paul DEARING, Bev DYET, Barbara

FARRELL, Nancye FENNELL, Chris FERNANCE, Isobel HEATH,

Robyn LEGGATT, Lisa NAUGHTON, Collen QUINN, Julie

TOWERS, Kristen TOWERS, Joan WALKER, Ray WRIGHT

LAWN BOWLS: Fay CRAIG, Dave DOWNIE, Helen

EMBLETON, Terry McCABE, Charles McNEILL, Darby ROSS,

Barry SALTER, Eve WILCHER

MARTIAL ARTS: Greg CAIRNS, Ross MURPHIE

MOTOR RACING: Lloyd THORLEY

MOTORCYCLING: Keith DAVIS, Vic DUGGAN, Robert

JONES, Wilfred LAMONT, Chris WATSON, Todd WILTSHIRE

NETBALL: Alison BROADBENT, Lois GREEN, Nola GREEN

PROFESSIONAL RUNNING: Robert WATSON

RUGBY LEAGUE: Don ADAMS, Neville ANDREWS, Ron

BAILEY, Allan BUMAN, Brian CARLSON, Arthur COLLINSON,

John COOTES, Clive CHURCHILL, Les DAWSON, Keith

FROOME, Alf GIBBS, Jim GIBBS, Charlie GILL, Johnny

GRAVES, Paul HARRAGON, Andrew JOHNS, Les JOHNS,

Matthew JOHNS, Bobby LULHAM, Edmond LUMSDEN, Ken

MADDISON, Robert MARJORIBANKS, Col MAXWELL, Jim

MORGAN, Herb NARVO, Andy NORVAL, Bill OWEN, Terry

PANNOWITZ, Albert PAUL, Dave PARKINSON, Noel PIDDING,

Wally PRIGG, Ron ROBERTS, Mark SARGENT, John SATTLER,

Don SCHOFIELD, Frank STANMORE, Allan THOMPSON, Laurie

WARD

RUGBY UNION: Neil ADAMS, Cyril BURKE, Terry CASEY,

Terry CURLEY, Ben DARWIN, Ron HARVEY, John HIPWELL,

Sydney MALCOLM, Steven MERRICK, Herbert (Paddy) MORAN,

Richard TOOTH

RUGBY UNION and LEAGUE: Phillip HAWTHORNE,

Patrick WALSH

RIFLE SHOOTING: Donald BROOK

ROWING: Ben THOROUGHGOOD, George TOWNS,

Richard TRESIDDER

SAILING: Colin HUMPHREYS, Douglas REID

SNOOKER: Eddie CHARLTON

SOFTBALL: Linda WARD, Natalie WARD

SPEEDBOAT RACING: Ken WARBY

SQUASH: Owen PARMENTER

SURFING: Mark RICHARDS, Mark SAINSBURY

SURF LIFESAVING: Barry ARMS, Harry CLARK, Sean DAVIS,

Jeffrey DAWSON, Scott DERWIN, Doug ELLERCAMP, Peter

ELLERCAMP, Michael JONES, Leslie LAZURUS, Bill McINTOSH,

Cliff MARSH, Kenneth MURRAY, Bob NEWBIGGIN, Hec

SCOTT, Noel SMITH, Claude WARD

SWIMMING: Beverley BAINBRIDGE, Lynette BELL, Peter

COUGHLAN, Barbara EVANS, Sonya GRAY, Kevin HALLETT,

Harry HAY, John HAYRES, Gwen MILLARD, Justin NORRIS, Donna

PROCTOR, Peter REYNOLDS, Ken SEVER, Bob STADDON, Brian

WILKINSON

TABLE TENNIS: Gary HABERL

TENNIS: Peter DOOHAN, Rachel McQUILLAN

TEN PIN BOWLING: Barbara WARD

TOUCH: Gai TAYLOR

TRAMPOLINING: Brett AUSTINE

TURF: Ted BARTLE, Stanley DAVIDSON, Wayne HARRIS, Raee

JOHNSTONE, James PIKE, Arthur SHANAHAN

WATER SKIING: Bruce COCKBURN

WEIGHT LIFTING: Gerald HAY, Greg HAYMAN, Charles

HENDERSON, John POWELL, Arthur SHANNOS

YACHTING: Albert BURGIN, Ben LEXCEN

 
Back  Back to Search Results
 

Advertise with Us | Fairfax Digital Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Member Agreement
© 2014 Fairfax Digital Australia & New Zealand Ltd.