From a starring role in the Matildas’ success to woodchopping and snowboarding, sports stars from around the region proved they were among the best in 2023. Take a look at our top 16 sporting stories and relive some of the glory.
Gundagai’s Monique Luff ran onto Anzac Park on 13 August to take part in her 150th league tag game for her beloved Gundagai Tigers.
A 2009 founding member of the Gundagai league tag side, Luff was an integral part of the 2015 premiership team. It was a memorable day that also saw the Group 9 club win grand finals in first and reserve grade.
Three Thredbo ambassadors took home medals for Australia recently at the FIS World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia. Tess Coady, Josie Baff and Valentino Guseli brought their best to the Australian team which had its most successful Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championship ever.
For some people, growing old is not an option they are too willing to embrace, preferring to remain as active as possible for as long as possible.
Sadly for some folk, having to give up their favourite activities becomes a reality too soon, but that’s not the case for a group of diehard basketballers who refuse to leave the court.
Every Thursday night, the Cooma Basketball Stadium resounds to the laughter and encouragement of some mature women engaged in the local walking basketball competition.
We sit down for a chat with one of the legends of rugby league, Ray Warren, about what he loves most about his hometown.
Warren is known as the “Voice of Rugby League”, and called 99 State of Origin games as well as 45 NRL grand finals. Warren also used to call Australian swimming team events and the FINA World Championships until Nine lost the rights to these events in 2008, and in 2012 he participated in Nine’s coverage of the London Olympics.
It’s just not cricket. The plight of Australia’s talented yet underappreciated women’s cricketers is the focus of FAIRBREAK, a new book by Moruya Heads resident Karen Motyka and Narooma’s Shaun Martyn.
Jarrod Croker will retire as a Raiders legend. But if he had his way, he would be leaving the game in the same fashion he entered first grade in 2009.
Croker’s first grade debut had little fanfare and that’s how he wanted it. His approach to any form of fanfare would be considered by most to be low-key. His approach is based on a ‘team first’ philosophy.
Majors Creek woodchopper Curtis Bennett is proudly following in the footsteps of his world champion grandfather Len Bennett.
Bennett, 23, headed to the Australian Woodchopping and Sawing Championships in Brisbane in August aiming for a world title like his grandfather before him.
South Coast Special Olympics Club chair Kathy Godwin says she doesn’t have the words to describe the “magic that happens” when 200 people with an intellectual disability “compete for sheep stations” at a state level.
Twelve members of the club returned from the NSW Tenpin Bowling Championships with an astonishing eight medals between them: three gold, one silver and four bronze.
For five decades, battles were waged, wagers won and lost, rabbit-infested ploughed paddock pitches perpetually invaded, yet song, poetry and prose were stirred over a trophy known as “the old tin pot”, which forged a culture in the South West Slopes and Northern Riverina.
And now that trophy has inspired an important historical record that documents the matches, stories, legends and lore that were the Maher Cup in a book, the first authored by Neil Pollock.
Thirteen years ago, Mel Van Antwerpen made the decision to turn her life around and found the “love of her life”.
A pack-a-day smoker, the single mother of two realised her health “was not the best” and her search for a fun, inclusive sport eventually led her to CrossFit.
History has come full circle for the Goulburn Dirty Reds, a club that traces its origins back to 1872. Restarting after two world wars, it has built its own home grounds and clubhouse and once again is hosting representative games.
Tony Wood has marked 40 years as Raiders’ mascot Victor the Viking. He looks back on the role that’s brought smiles to the faces of thousands of fans.
Named for the famed explorer, the 2023 George Bass Surf Marathon finished in the similarly ”boisterous” southerly swells that George Bass himself described as he journeyed down the coast from Port Jackson to Tasmania in 1797.
That the race finished at all was an achievement. Race director Andrew Holt says this year, the organisers were determined to complete all seven legs and make it to Eden simply for the future of the event.
“With three missed starts due to bushfire and COVID-19, it’s been five years since we managed to complete a Bass,” he says.
The fastest-growing sport in the US has landed in the Eurobodalla – and anyone can play.
Pickleball is best described as a cross between tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s played on a badminton-sized court with paddles, and the softball-sized ball has holes, making it bounce a little more slowly than a tennis ball.
After captaining her school to a Riverina rugby union championship, playing as the only girl in a boys team and winning selection to an ACT Brumbies feeder squad, Murrumbidgee Regional High School’s Reese Vidler has now been accepted into Erindale College’s talented sports program in Canberra.
The Tuggeranong-based school is known for producing a number of Wallaby internationals and NRL stars, such as Canberra Raiders winger Michael Asomua, also from Griffith.
You must forgive the residents of Cowra and Grenfell for being glued to their televisions at night as their hometown girls Ellie Carpenter and Clare Hunt kicked their way to success with the Matildas.