Queensland’s goalball team has returned from the 37th Australian Goalball Championships in Melbourne with a swag of medals and awards.
For the first time in the competition history, Queensland won the Champion State Trophy, which is awarded based on final positions in each division.
The Queensland Men went through the entire tournament undefeated to claim the Gold medal in a hard-fought final over Western Australia 10-6, after falling behind 4-0 early in the match. Players Michael Sheppard and Jon Horsburgh were rewarded with selection in the All Star 6, whilst Jon was also voted the tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP).
The Queensland Women topped their table as well, dropping only one game on their way to the final. After a tense battle with long-time rivals NSW, in which the scores were tied at 1-1 for the majority of the match we eventually claimed the Gold with a 6-1 result. Nicole Esdaile, Meica Christensen and Alison Jones were selected in the All Star 6, with Meica claiming the Womens MVP.
Whilst Queensland was unable to field a Youth Team this year, local player Joe Hogg joined the South Australian team to also go through the tournament undefeated. With only three players (no substitutions) for the entire event, it was a mammoth effort, well deserving of the Gold medal. Joe was also selected in the All Star 6.
Queensland’s Juniors have come on in leaps and bounds over the past 12 months and, after being well out of contention the past 2 years, finished this year with the Silver medal. They impressed everyone all week with their determination, grit and total enjoyment. Sean Kendrick and Sidney Whipp were selected in the All Star 6 and Sidney was voted MVP. Sid’s acceptance speech was the highlight of the presentation dinner.
Coaches Greg Scott, Robyn Stephensen and Belinda West are immensely proud of all of our teams. “We have never won both the Mens and Womens divisions at the same championships before, so that is what we were really aiming for this year,” said Scott. “To achieve it is a great validation of the hard work everyone is putting in at training and the gym.”
We would also like to congratulate our Queensland based referees, Warrick Jackes, Darren Kendrick, Michelle Baird, Gale Hopper and John McCormick, on their successful week.
Finally a great thanks also to Team Manager, Trevor Harrison for all of his amazing work in ensuring things run smoothly during competition. And big shout out to our support crew at the nationals: Melissa, Scott and Charlie Fanshawe, Melissa Kendrick, Melinda Whipp, Isabella and Nadia Othman, Bridget Hogg; and all of the family and friends back home who provide so much support and help throughout the year.
Season 2017 has now concluded for Queensland Goalball, but we look forward to getting back on court in 2018.