WHAT A difference a day makes in politics.
One of the last official duties and public appearances by Richard Torbay was on Monday when he joined aspiring state political candidate Adam Marshall with some young athletes for a Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) partnership ceremony.
The function was the official signing of the partnership agreement between the University of New England and NIAS.
In its fourth year this relationship is growing in strength, with an average of five NIAS athletes going on to study at UNE each year.
The then UNE chancellor Richard Torbay told the audience the university had had a long and proud association with the academy and it was pleased to be extending this partnership of $13,000 in cash and kind for another 12 months.
Mr Torbay believes partnerships are the way forward as they allow both organisations to benefit.
“For our elite athletes to succeed regionally, on a state level, nationally and internationally, they need to have access to great facilities and UNE has state-of-the-art sporting and sports science facilities,” Mr Torbay said.
The chairman of NIAS, Adam Marshall, spoke of how sport and education were complementary to each other and NIAS believed in developing potential on and off the field and the partnership with UNE allowed them to do that.
It was one of the last documented public statements from either Mr Torbay or Mr Marshall, who yesterday was uncommonly unavailable for any comment and was notably absent on social media, although it is understood the former Gunnedah mayor and now Armidale university student is still interested in standing for pre-selection for Northern Tablelands.
A Nationals source yesterday confidently predicted Mr Marshall would win pre-selection and go on to win a by-election.