By Ron Lane
It was in October of last year that the Noosa Pickleball Club hosted its first Noosa Doubles Pickleball Classic. According to a Noosa executive, “The enrolment for this year was four times as many as last year.” Founded January 27 2020, the club now has 133 members playing in the Noosa area: all indications are, that this tournament will become an annual event.
This years’ Classic which was played on Saturday, was hosted at the Noosa Leisure Centre, by the Noosa Pickle Ball club, and 126 players, with skill levels from Australian Champions to rookies, with just a few months experience were registered. The enrolment figures for this tournament, shows that the sport, of which someone once said was, ‘’The newest game throughout the world (but one) you never ever heard of ” is indeed, in our community, consolidated, and going very strong.
With players travelling from Hervey Bay, Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coast areas, (and others from Melbourne rejected because of Covid) plus a very busy competition calendar, the sport is definitely in a healthy situation. Also, it is now estimated, that there are 40 venues throughout Queensland where the sport is being played.
Once looked upon as a game only for the older group, it was good to see players from the much younger age groups on the court. It was stated by a very happy official that “a youth of 9 years has, (for the first time ever)along with his mother, been entered for the tournament.” It is a known fact, for a new sport to survive, a busy competition program is essential. This is exactly what is now available for the months ahead: health regulations permitting. June 19-20, Brisbane River Classic, September 21, Brisbane Doubles Championships, October 1-4, Australian Championships and November 6/7/8 Pan Pacific Masters, Currumbin, Gold Coast.
For club President Woody Dass it was indeed a very successful tournament. “I was extremely pleased with the efficient way in which the tournament was run. I would like to thank all who worked and I am happy to say, that all our visitors with pleased with the outcome. However, the most pleasing aspect was the high standard of play: it may have been the highest of any town in the country. Some of the matches were really something.”
Winners of the major events were as follows. Mixed Open (Advanced)- Sarah Burr and Martin Clark: Mixed 50 (Advanced) -Vicki Crawford and Randal Hunt: Mixed 50 (Intermediate) -Carolyn Bates and Peter Deacon: Mixed Under 50 (Intermediate), Robin Hungerford and Ryan Gunthorpe: Women’s (Advanced), Glenice Ault and Debbi Rossi: Women’s (Intermediate) Ev Allan and Gail Aiken: Men’s (Advanced) Brendan Lee and Taylor Smith: Men’s( Intermediate) Peter Eustace and Rohan Carroll.
“Congratulations to the winners and well done to all who attended. Also, a very big thanks to the many Noosa businesses who provided prizes for the raffle.” For those of you who are interested to learn Pickleball,(and don’t get the idea that it is just for the oldies) go along to the Noosa Leisure Centre, Thursdays 6-8pm, or Sunday Mornings: check the Noosa Leisure Centre website for times.
For the Ray White Noosa Dolphins Rugby Union Club, last weekend was an away game which saw all four teams travel to Caloundra. For Noosa, they came home having won three out of their four matches. Good solid Rugby saw the Dolphins come out the victors in the Colts, Women’s and Reserve Grades. However, for the big one, the A Grade, it was not Noosa’s day and on the final whistle the score stood at 27-17 for Caloundra.
Noosa got away to a good start when, following a good line-out driving maul, in the first five minutes, Jock Hanson barged over for a try. However, Caloundra fought back and at half time the score stood at 17-17.After the break Caloundra took the lead with a converted try which saw them at 24-17. This was followed by a penalty to Caloundra, which saw them grab a 27-17 lead. Despite Noosa pushing hard to get back into the contest, their ill-discipline at the ruck and breakdown left them unable to make up the difference: the final score saw them still on 10 points down.
Despite this being Noosa’s first loss in this seasons’ competition, the coach Matt Buckland had encouraging words for his team in the post- match briefing. He emphasised the fact that he was really happy with the teams’ commitment and drive: happy with their defence and stated that they just needed to finish off on some of their attacking moves. Next week will see the Dolphins at home to Caboolture, so this will be a good opportunity for the local supporters to get behind their teams. We can rest assured, that our local lads will be going out strong to make emends for the Caloundra result.
And still it goes on. The dedicated coaches and athletes of our community, they never seem to stop. Last Friday evening in Brisbane, the Owner and Head Coach, of the Impact(Amateur) Boxing Academy, Mark Evans, was re-elected unopposed as President of Boxing Queensland for yet another two- year term. This will be his third term in office.
With the Academy now training in its ultra- modern gymnasium, situated in Taylor Court Cooroy,( now under the banner of the Impact Boxing and Fitness Centre) membership increase has been massive. Despite this, and again serving as Queensland President, he still however, continues his volunteer work in various schools: teaching the youth the basics of boxing and fitness. This program, which is held in the highest regard, has now been running for several years. We wish this coach and his team all the very best.
For head coach of Noosa Little Athletics Mick Hooper, things are looking good. “At present in Queensland, all indications are that our annual major event, the Noosa Gift, which we hold in November, will go ahead. Now despite the winter months being our off season, a group of twenty of our top athletes are turning up for a few training sessions. This is a good sign for next season as we find that when this occurs, the group will quickly increase when the new season commences. Also, during the winter months, school squads are usually still training.”
With the Noosa Gift now being well established, once the date is publicly announced, entries come from not only all over Queensland, but also over the border. With the event still six months away, it is hoped that border restrictions will no longer present a problem.