Search to send champions to the wall

ORGANISING the Tamworth Regional Council Hall of Fame and Wall Of Fame continues to bubble along with committeemen on the project identifying some “gems”.

Wally Franklin is the chairman of a group operating as the Committee for Honouring Tamworth Regional Australian Senior Sporting Representatives.

That committee is organising the inaugural Tamworth Regional Sporting Hall of Fame.

And that Hall of Fame is to take the shape of a Wall Of Fame in the Tamworth Sports Dome.

Wally has drafted in some of the city’s sporting stalwarts such as Ron Surtees, Mark Lowe, Terry Psarakis, Peter Annis-Brown, myself and with Kim Blanch as its secretary.

Tamworth Regional Council has provided an initial grant of $5000 to kick the project along while mayor Col Murray and councillor Tim Coates, who is also on the committee, have promised to find the extra $10,000 to complete the Wall Of Fame.

“Col and Tim have generously offered their time and support to raise the extra $10,000,” Franklin said.

“They are doing a great job for us.”

He said local firm, TW Signs, had also generously supplied their time and talent to design a “wallpaper” that will encompass the sporting theme and national colours.

“They have done a marvellous job for us,” Franklin said.

He said the committee was in the process of identifying and contacting Tamworth region sporting stars who meet the strict Australian representative guidelines.

“It’s been a thrill for me to uncover someone like Juanita Little,”  Franklin said.

“She’s originally from Nundle but went to Tamworth High and was the world aerobic champion for two years. She’s also in the Australian gymnastics Hall Of fame.

“But we only came across her thanks to Graham Diamond, who read about the Tamworth Hall Of Fame in The Leader.”

Retired school teacher, Ron Surtees, noted for his outstanding coaching of schoolboy water polo rugby league and hockey teams, has been working diligently identifying and contacting various national representatives.

He has a list of sporting stars that reads impressively.

Athletics: Mike and Nick Maroney. Basketball: Pat Hunt, Adrian King. Bobsleigh: Duncan Harvey. Cricket: John Gleeson, Helen Taylor, Erin Osborne, Josh Hazlewood, Leonie Coleman. Croquet: Damien Bidencope. Equestrian: Sam Campbell. Hockey: Michael York, Kim Small, Matthew Smith, Kate Jenner, Garry Jennison, Anne Stevenson, Des King, Jeremy Davy, Matt Willis, Holly Webster.

Rugby League: Cliff Pearce, Darcy Henry, Ross Warner, Jim Leis, Tom Learoyd Lahrs. Swimming: Nicole Davey. Softball: Stacey Porter. Shooting: George and Clive Barton. Rugby Union: Bill McKid, Tom Bowman, Paddy Ryan. Water Polo: Nathan Thomas, Craig Miller, Jason Hensy, Heath Behncke. Tennis: Chris Kachel. Polocrosse: Lesley Jeffriess.

n Ron Surtees is checking on the credentials of other sporting stars and welcomes anyone with any further information regarding national representatives to contact him, Wally Franklin or any of the committee.

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