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Ward congratulates Kiama Netball Association
Ward congratulates Kiama Netball Association

16 July 2024, 1:09 AM

On Monday July 15, Kiama MP Gareth Ward met with players, coaches and other members of the Kiama Netball Association (KNA) to congratulate them on their success at the State Championships.Meeting at the Kiama Netball Courts, Ward spoke with players and coaching staff from the U13’s, who were winners at this year's state championships, and the U12’s, who were runners up, praising Kiama’s sporting ability.The U13 winners with Gareth Ward“Kiama is a little town but we continue to punch well above our weight and I'm so proud, and the community is so proud, of what the team has achieved. It's a huge success to be recognised for your accomplishments and your skill at this level,” says Ward.Both teams believe it was the close-knit culture and their team spirit which got them through the gruelling 19 game weekend and was the secret to their success.“We were all in a hotel with each other so there was lots of time where we could have fun games and bond with each other. We had breakfast and dinner every morning and night together and got a big bus in from Kiama together,” says Manager of the U12’s team Anne Marie Esler.U12 runners up with Gareth Ward“We just had a lot of bonding, so the team spirit between each other meant across the court each girl stood by each other, they did their role and knew their role, it's like nearly a year's preparation and it all pulled off,” says Coach of the U13’s team Dave Whitchurch.Ward says that he finds so much joy in days like these where he gets to go and congratulate, in person, the people of this community who are doing so well.“I love saying well done to people who have represented our community well and we as a community can be proud of each and every one of the members of this team,” says Ward.“And I also want to commend, not just the coaches but also the parents who have supported them through this journey.”While he was at the Kiama Netball Courts on Monday, Ward also addressed concerns that the club had about the quality of their facilities.“Having good facilities locally is really important and I know that we need to look at an upgrade of the netball courts here and I’ve been talking to the club about that today and I look forward to supporting them in seeking funds to do that so that we can continue to see a new generation of netballers come along, succeed and continue to blast away the competition into the future,” says Ward.The Bugle wants to congratulate all players, coaching staff and members of the KNA as well as the parents who made it all happen.

Jamberoo Player To Become First Woman to play 200 games for Group 7
Jamberoo Player To Become First Woman to play 200 games for Group 7

13 July 2024, 2:05 AM

Alicia Dooley will make history on July 13 when she runs out for the 200th time in the Group 7 Competition. Dooley will not only be the first woman to do this in Group 7 history, but she has also done it at the same club and will therefore also be the first woman to play 200 games for the Jamberoo Superoos. “I didn’t think it would be me, there’s been a lot of players that have probably played just as long, or started before I did, but it just feels pretty good to be able to do it for one club. I think it's a big thing because in Group 7 people move around a lot. So, it's a pretty unreal feeling, but it's good at the same time,” says Dooley. Alicia Doolan winning the 2016 premiership. Credit - Gameface PhotographyShe began her career playing League Tag in 2013 when there was only one competition and since then women’s involvement in rugby league has only grown with there now being two competitions, a tackle competition and now a junior competition. “It's really good for the game and it’s great for women to be able to get out and feel included in something that used to be a very male dominated sport,” says Dooley. Dooley has won the Group 7 premiership four times in her 11 year career and counts the first one in 2015 and the most recent one in 2023 as the most special. But she says winning is only a small part of why she keeps coming back year after year. “I’ve made a lot of friendships within sport that you don’t make anywhere … You have that undying connection with different people from different places and different walks of life. In our club alone we have a lot of people from out west, so our connections span far and wide. And that's what you always come back to: the friendships you make and the social side,” says Dooley. Dooley’s Jamberoo Superoos captain coach Aimee Barnard has played alongside Alicia for many years and would describe her as the perfect team and club member.  “Alicia possesses all the positive traits that make her such an integral part of the team. She is passionate, supportive, competitive, dedicated, levelheaded with a team first mentality,” says Barnard. Member of the Jamberoo club, David Hall, echoes this sentiment about Alicia and says its people like her that make him proud to be a part of the club. “It's just a really good little club and its people like Alicia who just make it really special. She’s loved in the club and who knows how many she’ll play until she retires,” says Hall. On July 13 Doolan will make history playing against the Kiama Knights at Kevin Walsh Oval and she is adamant that her 200th won't be her last. “I probably just want to continue to play until I can’t anymore and maybe one day bring my kids to the club and get them to play too,” says Doolan. The Bugle congratulates her and wishes her all the best with her future.  

Bridging nations: Danielle Heinecke's path from Kiama to High Commissioner
Bridging nations: Danielle Heinecke's path from Kiama to High Commissioner

12 July 2024, 12:00 AM

Former Kiama High School student Danielle Heinecke, has recently taken up residence at the High Commissioner’s residence in Kuala Lumpur, marking a significant milestone in her illustrious career. As a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Heinecke was most recently the First Assistant Secretary of the Pacific Melanesia Division and now serves as the High Commissioner to Malaysia.Danielle Heinecke's academic credentials are as impressive as her career trajectory. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Australian National University, and a Master of Economics from the University of New England. With these qualifications, Heinecke entered the Australian diplomatic corps and has since served in various roles in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. She is proficient in Tetum and Tok Pisin, languages spoken in these regions.Australia and Malaysia enjoy robust economic ties. In 2022, Malaysia was Australia’s second-largest trading partner in ASEAN and the second-largest source of foreign investment from the region. The two countries are also close defence and security partners, collaborating under the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Malaysia–Australia Joint Defence Program.In her role as High Commissioner, Ms. Heinecke oversees 46 departments, including Agriculture, Financial, Tourism, and Intelligence. Her extensive experience and leadership skills make her a pivotal figure in maintaining and enhancing the Australia-Malaysia relationship.On a recent overseas trip with his partner, Councillor Matt Brown took the opportunity to visit his old friend and former schoolmate Danielle Heinecke in Kuala Lumpur. During his visit, he reminisced about their shared history, including memories of Danielle’s mother, Ros Thomas, who was his science teacher at Kiama High School. Brown maintains regular contact with the Heinecke family, noting that Danielle’s father continues to work in Kiama.Danielle Heinecke’s journey from a local high school student to a significant diplomatic role exemplifies the far-reaching impact of dedication and education. Her story serves as an inspiration to many, illustrating how local roots can lead to global influence.

Successful State Champs for Kiama Netball
Successful State Champs for Kiama Netball

11 July 2024, 12:13 AM

On the weekend of 5-8 July, the Kiama Netball Association (KNA) competed at the HART Junior State Titles, with both teams performing really well.The U13’s team won the title while the U12’s team came close and were the runners-up.The U12 Runners-Up“It’s been a little while since we’ve had that success, particularly with more than one team. Usually we might get one team out of the five or six that we send away, so to get the two of them being so successful is a pretty big thing for us,” says a thrilled KNA president Michelle Gregory.Gregory attributes the success to the hard work put in by the players and the team spirit within the group.“I think they've trained really hard, even with all the rain and everything that we’ve had, they kept training through it all. The coaches have worked hard on creating a really nice team spirit across the two different teams so that helped when games were close or tough. I think the girls really rallied around each other and helped get themselves over the line,” she says.The U13’s team were completely undefeated over the three days, even though they had a brief hiccup just before the weekend.“They had a last-minute change due to illness, and we had to withdraw a player on the Monday before they left and add in a training partner,” Gregory says.She explains that the whole weekend was successful, not only the results but also the relationships and the memories that the players made.“They were in the tents together the whole time, and on the court at the same time, so they did spend an awful lot of time together hearing from each other about how the games were going. I think there will be lots of netball memories for them.” The girls wore Destination Kiama caps, which they wrote messages on and gave to other teams.Councillor Matt Brown says that the success of the teams and this tradition of sharing caps is a great way for people to learn about the great place, which is Kiama.“I’m really pleased that our netball team are not only promoting their sport and their prowess, but they’re supporting visitors coming to Kiama. These girls are sharing their Kiama caps with girls from right around the state, and I think that is a wonderful thing that our sport is doing to promote Kiama as a destination.” 

Ode to a fallen horse
Ode to a fallen horse

06 July 2024, 10:00 PM

By Jenifer SymesThe Shoalhaven Dressage Club is deeply saddened by the passing of CP Dresden, a much loved and celebrated horse in Grand Prix dressage.Under the ownership and guidance of Life Members Jane and Maurice Bruce, CP Dresden - affectionately known as ‘Desi’ - was a champion.Initially trained and competed by Jane Bruce, Desi's career blossomed under her watchful eye. His exceptional talent provided two young riders from the Shoalhaven region, Alycia Targa and later Charlotte Phillips, with unprecedented opportunities.Alycia Targa's partnership with Desi spanned eight years, marked by numerous triumphant Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle performances, which earned them legendary status in Australian equestrian circles.Charlotte Phillips continued Desi's legacy, forging a graceful partnership that culminated in a memorable qualification for the 2023 World Cup in Omaha, USA.Their final performance together at the 2024 Sydney CDI, showcased their prowess in the Grand Prix Freestyle, and consolidated Desi's enduring legacy on the sport.Reflecting on Desi's profound influence, Alycia Targa expressed heartfelt gratitude for their journey together. She said Desi was a steadfast companion and a source of inspiration.Charlotte Phillips recalled how Desi's exceptional abilities and Jane Bruce's guidance turned a distant dream into a reality, describing their partnership as a life-changing experience akin to ‘flying’.Tragically, Desi's life was cut short at the age of 16 due to complications from colic. The Shoalhaven Dressage Club extends its deepest condolences to everyone touched by Desi's remarkable spirit.Jenifer Symes, Media Liaison for the Shoalhaven Dressage Club, said Desi was a once-in-a-lifetime horse.

Local Sporting Clubs Get Behind ‘Shoosh for Kids’ Program
Local Sporting Clubs Get Behind ‘Shoosh for Kids’ Program

06 July 2024, 6:35 AM

Two of Kiama’s biggest junior sporting clubs have embraced the NSW Government’s ‘Shoosh for Kids’ program which urges spectators to remain positive whilst watching junior sport.Both the Kiama Knights Junior Rugby League Club (JRLC) and the Kiama Netball Association (KNA) are supporting the campaign, which ran for the June.President of the KNA, Michelle Gregory, says the program reminds people they’re watching junior sport, and that it’s more about creating a fun atmosphere than competition.“It's a good reminder to parents and spectators about what the essence of junior sport is, which is just for the kids to come along and get some exercise and make some friends and have some fun,” said Gregory.The program involves making announcements on game day, spreading awareness through social media and having signage at the sporting venues.“We just make some announcements on Saturdays to remind people that it's ‘Shoosh for Kids’ month. And we're provided with a lot of social media materials that we can put on Facebook,” said Gregory.Leticia Olivera, whose son plays for the junior Kiama Knights, said the campaign was a successful reminder for parents.“I think it’s a good program, it’s important to give these kids a fun atmosphere and to not put so much pressure on them. I don’t think it’s too big of a problem, but it’s a nice little reminder that we’re not watching the NRL here,” said Olivera.President of the Kiama Knights JRLC, Carl Middleton, is passionate about junior sport and he believes the campaign will help in making a child’s sporting career something to remember.“I want our club to be a memory for these kids when they grow up so that they can look back on their time playing junior sport and reflect when they're young adults and basically say to themselves ‘We had a really good time playing with that club,’” said Middleton.But Middleton and Gregory said the program was not about having complete silence at games, more that people should think before they speak.“It comes down to being respectful. A lot of people go to our games with the intention of just being there to support the kids, so we don't ask people to silence themselves because the majority of people are just there to support the kids and have fun,” said Middleton.The Kiama Knights JRLC and the KNA are two of the 250 sporting clubs and associations supporting the ‘Shoosh for Kids’ program.

NAIDOC round going ahead despite rain
NAIDOC round going ahead despite rain

05 July 2024, 9:18 AM

Group 7 Rugby League will be celebrating NAIDOC week this weekend, 6 and 7 July, with their annual NAIDOC round. Group 7 Operations Manager, and former NRL and Gerringong Lions player, Ashton Sims had to make some big decisions on Friday 5 July to ensure that, despite the rain, the weekend could go ahead.  “It would’ve been easy to just call all the games off but we had grounds available, we had green space there. A big thank you to both Shellharbour City Council and Shoalhaven City Council for allowing this weekend to go ahead. It’s a special weekend. It’s a weekend that means a lot to us and a lot of people all up and down the south coast in our region. Now we’re able to celebrate this momentous occasion and move forward,” said Sims. Senior Kiama Knights wearing the NAIDOC jersey. Source Kiama Knights Senior Football Club.First grade games will now be taking place at the Cec Glenholmes and Ron Costello Ovals and Sims is excited that Group 7 will still get the chance to celebrate NAIDOC week properly. “The Narellan Pools South Coast Group 7 Rugby League Competition is really proud to facilitate our NAIDOC round this weekend. To pay respect for our First Nations people all across the South Coast,” says Sims. “We gave all our clubs the opportunity to engage with local Indigenous artists and come up with a jersey that encapsulates their region, their mob, their area with traditional totems and symbols. And we’ve come out with some incredible jerseys by some incredible artists.” The Kiama Knights first grade team will be wearing a jersey designed by artists Jarrahna, Kaelen, Harper, Mila and Tyiara from the junior Kiama Knights. The Kiama Knights released the story of their jersey and outlined what each young artist added to it and why. “Jarrahna wanted to include how we play footy by the sea and wanted to incorporate the gathering place and coastline where we get to meet, gather and play. Kaelen drew a blue whale which is his family’s totem and filled it with symbols for family, friends, Mum and Dad. The whale’s mouth has wavy lines which depict a river where his Indigenous grandparent lives,” wrote the Kiama Knights Senior Rugby League Club. “Harper also drew a whale to represent her family from the Botany Bay area of the Dharawal (Tharawal) nation. Mila (a Wiradjuri girl) drew the boomerang because her family always comes back to each other. And she drew her totem of the goanna. Tyiara drew a blue whale and meeting place which were incorporated into the jersey design.” Kiama Knights captain Kieran Poole is thrilled that First Nations’ players will get to combine their culture with their passion. “For me NAIDOC round is an important chance for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to share their culture and stories and represent their people playing the game they love,” says Poole. “It will be really cool knowing we are wearing something designed by First Nations players from our junior Knights.” This year's theme “Keep The Fire Burning: Blak, Loud and Proud" encapsulates the unapologetic celebration of First Nations’ identity and invites all Australians to listen, learn, and engage in meaningful dialogue, fostering a society where the wisdom and contributions of First Nations peoples are fully valued and respected.    

Kiama defeats visiting Shamrocks
Kiama defeats visiting Shamrocks

03 July 2024, 12:33 AM

Kiama RUFC added two more wins to their season overall on Saturday, 28 June, when the club hosted the Woonona Shamrocks.This was the first home game in a while, and coach James Patrick said it was nice to be back at the Kiama Showground. “A little more fun for the boys. The last couple of weeks have been a bit muddy, rainy and windy. It’s horrible to come out and play those games.”The round-11 game had all the ingredients for a great afternoon of rugby: sunny skies, a good-looking ground and a vocal, happy crowd. And let’s not forget the canteen, serving up sausage rolls and pies.Visiting Shamrocks didn’t receive any free points from the first grade, which converted a solid defence and strong passing into a 52-12 win. The second grade took an early lead with Shamrocks coming back in the second half. But Kiama managed to hold on, winning 24-17.“It’s pleasing as a coach but we still got so much to work on,” said Patrick. “We’re sort of in a place where we’re still in a rebuilding stage. The guys go to get comfortable with how each other plays. But we’re getting there so it was not too bad.”“I’m happy with the way they played, certain parts of the field were really good. And it’s good to see the smiles on everybody’s faces.”Moving into the second half of the draw, Kiama RUFC’s next game is away against Campbelltown on Saturday, 6 July. In other news, Kiama rugby juniors Rico Ross and Callum Hodgson represented Kiama High School and NSW at the 50th annual Australian Schools Rugby Union (ASRU) Championship in Queensland, 1-5 July. Ross received the Best and Fairest award for the Firsts. He was also selected to the NSW Juniors team to compete at the Australian Championships in Queensland.  

Forty-four years, and still going strong
Forty-four years, and still going strong

28 June 2024, 10:00 PM

He’s a Kiama legend.Some of his early team mates players - now grown-up men in their forties - still call him “Mister.” But Michael Tierney, who’s been volunteering with the Kiama Knights Rugby League Football Club for the last 44 years, doesn’t make a fuss. “It’s not about me,” Tierney said. “It’s about the kids who want to play footy.”On most weekends, you’ll find him down at the Kiama Showground or the Chittick Oval, helping out.  This Saturday is no different. Around 10:30am, Tierney will take on the ground manager’s job.“That’s fine, I’ll do that for three or four games. And then, I’ll leave,” he chuckles. “You gotta have a break, sooner or later.” Kiama born and bred“I don’t do as much as now as I used to. But then again, I’m 74,” Tierney said.. Born at the hospital at the top end of town, and having spent most of his life here, Kiama is in his blood.Having volunteered for more than 40 years, he hopes to continue. Who would have thought when a mate of Tierney’s offered him the gig of a manager? “I said, yeah - I’ll do it but I had no idea what I was doing. But anyway, it just kept escalating from that,” he says.Tierney won’t forget the very first team that he managed.“The coach had the boys lined up. He introduced them, and I’m thinking, ‘How in Christ’s name am I going to remember all these kids’ names?” The boys in the Under 7s team were all blonde and about the same height.Eventually he knew every single name.Simple as that“They’re in their forties now, most of them still call me ‘Mister.’ I don’t need to be called that. But it’s, I suppose, a sign of respect,” Tierney reflects.“Doesn’t matter where you go, if you run into them, they’ll all stop and have a chat. If you’re at the club having a beer, they’ll stop and have a beer.”“People don’t realise the amount of friendships you make out of a club like this. I’ve made a lot of friends here in Kiama but I’ve also made friends managing the rep side, whether it be Bathurst or Singleton.Tierney has not only been involved with the Kiama junior league but also on the junior and senior rep side along with the Southern Division. The CRL (Country Rugby League) awarded him the Centenary medal in 2008, he was the finalist for CRL’s One Community Award in 2010 and Kiama Council awarded him the Australia Day Sports Award in 2011.But, Tierney says, “It’s not about the pats on the back that you get. It’s about seeing kids play the game that they want to play, and the future – it’s all in their hands. The rewards are what they put in.” The next generationThe only positions that he hasn’t held at the club are those of president and treasurer.“I just do it because I want to. I’ll admit, I’ve had several people in my life who have encouraged me to continue on with it. One of them was my grandmother when she was alive. She always said, ‘whatever you’re enjoying, just stick with it’,“ recalls Tierney.Nowadays, he enjoys seeing the new generation of volunteers coming through.“At the minute, we got some very good people involved with the club who go above and beyond. I take my hat off to them because not only are they involved with this club, they still work with the senior league. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to put out there for very little reward.“Without those people wanting to do it, the club wouldn’t exist.”Tierney will soon start his shift as a ground manager. Stepping outside, he points to the sky: “Look!” Across a charcoal-coloured sky, heavy with rain, spans the brightest of rainbows.It's another good day at the club.

Kiama Triathlon Club supports visually impaired athlete at World Championships
Kiama Triathlon Club supports visually impaired athlete at World Championships

28 June 2024, 4:33 AM

John Domandl, a 64-year-old visually impaired athlete, will represent Australia by competing in the Multisport World Championship in Townsville this August.Domandl is a member of the Kiama Triathlon Club, despite living in Newcastle, and he praises the Kiama club's support and other visually impaired athletes.“There’s several people in the Kiama club who have supported me and volunteered themselves to help, whereas at other clubs I’ve struggled,” says Domandl.“And I don’t blame them because I think triathlons are a very selfish sport and a lot of people who do this sport want to be individuals and not team players. But I’ve just found that to be different at Kiama.”John suffers from a condition called Retinitis pigmentosa (RM) which is a rare eye disease that affects the retina and slowly causes the eyesight to decline. He is now down to five per cent vision and needs a guide with him when racing.At the Townsville race he will be guided by Dan Merange, a fellow member of the Kiama Triathlon Club. The event will be a 3km swim, 120 km bike ride and a 30 km run.This is the longest race that Merange has done as a guide, and he outlined how he will steer John through the course.“In the swim we wear a tether with a 900mm bungee cord. Guiding him around the course is quite challenging in the swim as there’s no way to communicate. On the bike we ride tandem which is a lot of fun … John’s on the back but sometimes I forget he’s on the back,” says Merange.“There’s so much trust that you put into your guide, he has to be on the top of his game 110% of the time because he’s not looking after one person, he’s looking after two people. So, he has to do that, and do the event too, and if he doesn’t it could be catastrophic,” says Domandl.John has been participating in the sport since 1986, starting his career as a ‘sighted’ competitor, and believes he is now faster than he was when he started because of guides such as Dan.“I'm actually faster now than I was 30 years ago. 30 years ago I was scared to go fast, but now, when someone ‘is my eyes’, I can push myself and I don’t have to worry,” says Domandl.“As soon as I put him on the tandem I thought, this guy is loving it, and I just said to Dan ‘If you give me one season, we’ll have a good time’ and he said ‘Right, I’ll give you a season,’ and that’s gone from a season to another season to a worlds championships and now he’s also going to pilot and help run with me at Ultraman in 2025,” says Domandl.Domandl hopes that in the future there will be more clubs like Kiama, who will support visually impaired athletes, as there are many more out there who want to get involved.The Townsville Multisport World Championships take place between 15 and 25 of August, and John and Dan will be hoping to beat out the other visually impaired team.“We’ve got this deep seated rivalry for each other. Like State of Origin. He’s from Queensland, mate versus mate and state versus state. He is ten years younger than me, so on paper he should beat me. But I’m confident because I’ve got Dan, and Dan is one of the best guides going around. And he doesn’t know about that, so he’s my little secret,” says Domandl.Overall, 11 members of the Kiama Triathlon Club will be participating in Townsville: Amelia Alexander, Caroyln Dews, Mary Street, Peter Pike, Tanya Montomery, Cherly Freeman, Tanya Sampson, David Lawrence, Steve Byrne as well as John and Dan.

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