Introducing Central Western Daily’s newest sports journalist | Central Western Daily

sport, local-sport,

After starting on Monday, this column has presented an opportunity to introduce myself as the new sports journalist for the Central Western Daily. Writing about myself is uncomfortable but I’ll give it a crack. Like many sports enthusiasts, I wanted to represent my country as soon as a Damien Martyn inspired Kookaburra Diablo cricket bat was in my hands. Unfortunately, the realization that opportunity wasn’t going to come to fruition came at a young age and it was decided that sports journalism would be a great alternative. Now, two years into my career, I’ve landed a job at the Central Western Daily after two terrific years at the Macleay Argus in Kempsey. A return to Orange is a homecoming of sorts after being welcomed into the world at the now demolished Orange Base Hospital in 1997. After two years in the Central Tablelands, a move to Coonamble followed before landing at Dubbo in 2004. A sporting career with Rugby Cricket Club then started along with a football stint with RSL Jaguars before the cross-code switch was made to Dubbo Demons AFL Club. In senior Aussie rules, many floggings came at the hands of the Orange Tigers during the club’s 2013-15 reign of the Central West AFL competition. Various sporting club involvements have followed since with Mitchell Rugby Club at Charles Sturt University Bathurst, Bathurst City Redbacks Cricket Club, Kempsey Cannonballs Rugby Union Club and Rovers Cricket Club where former Orange City Cricket Club captain Craig Rogan now ply his trade. Unfortunately, the 2021/22 season ended prematurely in December thanks to an Achilles injury. If only Kempsey had the same rehabilitation resources afforded to Kevin Durant. The latter two clubs came after starting at Kempsey’s Macleay Argus in April 2020. Perfect timing – right in the middle of a pandemic. The winter season saw almost all sports canceled with its absence leaving a gaping hole throughout the Macleay Valley and no doubt all New South Wales communities – proving its importance to many in society. The cheers of a crowd, the sound of high speed body to body contact, the swish of a net or a referee’s whistle hadn’t been seen or sighted. The pandemic robbed us of many sporting sights and sounds, along with the general sense of anticipation one feels arriving at their local sports ground. For some that experience might involve a quick wave to the volunteer manning the gate for entry fees, a sprint to the dressing room because your alarm didn’t go off, or a quick rush back home because you left your socks on the line. Plenty of players had been without their match day routines, whether it be a meat pie with your choice of sauce from the club canteen, a warm-up lap to get the blood flowing, or a yell to the only person in the club who knows how to apply strapping tape and a year’s supply of Dencorub on niggling injuries. The whiff of sizzling sauces, steaks and onions on the barbeque has been missing as well, with the club legend turning the food over. Players have also been without the adrenaline rush that comes from the final five minutes of a closely fought contest, the sensation of a game-winning try or goal and the thrill of running out to battle with team-mates by your side. The crowds hadn’t been able to cheer on a family member, get out of their seats as a winger screams down the sideline, or simply request that an official ‘get em’ onside ‘. Referees were also without their weekend or weekday fix, giving their time to the community, keeping themselves active or simply staying involved in a sport they love. Macleay Valley Indoor and Development Center owner and director, Shannon-lee Mckiernan, perfectly described that absence in 2020. “The biggest loss we’ve had is that connection with the community, because you don’t open an indoor center for financial gain, you make friends and a lifestyle (with people), “she explained. But it’s well and truly back now and I’m excited to report on the vast sports and clubs throughout Orange and surrounding towns. If you have a story please get in contact via lachlan.harper@austcommunitymedia.com.au Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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