Mildura Weekly : Friday August 15 Vol 8 No 41
24 SPORT MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, AUGUST 15, 2014 CLOSE to 50 teams and 700 soccer players will descend on Mildura this weekend for the South Australian Junior Soccer Association Country Championships, with the event ex- pected to produce a financial boost not just for the local sport, but for the wider community. Marking the first time since 2008 that the championships have been held in Mildura, the event will see the best young soccer players from Port Pirie, the Riverland, Ade- laide Hills, Whyalla and Broken Hill (to name just a few) take on Sunray- sia’s best, with play to get underway tomorrow morning. Sunraysia – who will be one of the favourites across a number of age divisions – will field seven teams in the tournament – Under 12 development, Under 12 boys, Under 12 girls, Under 13 mixed, Under 14’s, Under 15’s and Under 16’s. Football Federation Victoria Sunraysia Regional Administrator, Susan Watts, said close to 3000 people were expected to attend the championships, including a large contingent from outside the district. “With more than 50 teams en- tered – many from away – we’re expecting quite a large number of spectators, family members and support staff to be in attendance,” she said. “With close to 700 players ex- pected, we’re anticipating that any- where from 3000 to 4000 people will come, with the economic ben- efits to be around the $1million mark. “A number of our local soccer clubs will also be running food stalls across the weekend, which will give them a chance to raise some much needed funds. “It’s going to be a fantastic week- end – one that will have numerous benefits not just for the local soccer community, but the wider commu- nity.” Susan said that nine pitches would be in use at Soccer Park (Old Aero Ovals, Eleventh Street) throughout the duration of the tournament, with the size of the competition to see matches spill to the nearby baseball ovals. “Four pitches will be set up on the baseball oval opposite the Sun- raysia Hockey House to accommo- date the large influx of teams,” she said. “With hockey, baseball and the SAJSA Championships to be held on the same weekend, quite a number of people will be floating around the area, which will make for a busy weekend.” Susan said Sunraysia was going into the competition with high ex- pectations, especially in the Under 15 division. “Our Under 15’s took out the South Australian State Champion- ship earlier this year in Adelaide, and will be confident of repeating the dose against similar teams,” she said. “We will also be entering a girls team in the Under 12 division for the first time, and I’m sure they will be looking to do well on their home turf. “There is quite a bit of talent among our girls, and it’s exciting that they will have the chance to compete against the best juniors in South Australia.” Competition will get underway from 7.30am tomorrow, with the fi- nal game to start at 4.50pm, while Sunday’s competition will run from 7.30am to 2.45pm. Presentations will get under- way from 2.45pm on Sunday, with Susan saying the regular Football Federation Sunraysia season would enjoy a week off while the champi- onships were on. “Last Sunday (August 10) marked the end of our regular sea- son, with our three-week finals se- ries to get underway on August 24 following the SAJSA Champion- ships,” she said. FOOTNOTE: In other soccer news, Football Federation Sunraysia will host its senior presentation night on September 5 at the Irymple Bocce Club. All players and club officials are invited to attend, with more information available by contacting Susan on 0410 557 485. Sunraysia aims for SAJSA Country Title clean sweep • GIRLS ON THE ATTACK: Sunraysia soccer representatives Elizabeth Cufari, Novalli Hudson, Steffania D’Anna, Simone Palamara, Maria Vagelatos, Ella Baird and Elly Pantazopoulos get in some goal-kicking practice ahead of this weekend’s South Australian Junior Soccer Association Country Championships. Photo: PAUL MENSCH THE importance of living a healthy lifestyle was the message that Syd- ney Olympic taekwondo gold medallist Lauren Burns delivered to St Paul’s Primary School students last Friday. The 40-year-old was on hand to present the school with the title of ‘Health Promoting School’ from the Healthy Together Achievement Program. Running healthy initiatives including a walking and breakfast club, St Paul’s is the first local school to achieve recognition. “I’m here to celebrate St Paul’s and the great work they have been do- ing with the Healthy To- gether Program,” Lauren said. “They have been put- ting a real focus on a healthy lifestyle, nutri- tion and keeping active. “I want to reinforce the messages that have been instilled by the school, and share my Olympic experiences and stories.” Rising to fame as Australia’s first Olympic taekwondo champion, Lauren said she enjoys passing on her experi- ences to students. “One of my favourite messages is that natural talent isn’t the corner- stone of success,” she said. “Lots of people think they need to have a gift, or an incredible talent to be successful in their field. “There are a lot of attributes that are more powerful, like being de- termined and not being afraid to work through challenges, and make mistakes and learn from them.” Healthy Together Mildura Health Promo- tion officer Clare Coo- per said St Paul’s had demonstrated a strong commitment towards the health and wellbeing of their students, staff and broader community. “The achievement program supports ear- ly childhood educa- tion and care services, schools and workplaces to create healthy envi- ronments,” she said. “St Paul’s Primary School have really led the way locally by adopt- ing the program and striving to meet state- wide benchmarks for health.” Taekwondo golden girl pays St Paul’s a visit • OUR HERO: St Paul’s Primary School students Cade Murphy, 12, and Mercedes Heydrich, 11, with Olympic taekwondo gold medallist Lauren Burns. 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Friday August 22 Vol 8 No 42
Friday August 8 Vol 8 No 40