Meander Valley Gazette

Your Independent Community Newspaper


Roos victory

SportJoanne EisemannComment


CONGRATUATIONS TO the Deloraine Kangaroos under 14’s football team who took out the  Division 2 premiership for 2018.
Coached by Harry Bloomfield, the team played the East Coast Giants in a nail biting finish, just 7 points up with one minute to go. The final score was 43 - 56.
Local businesses showed their support by flying the teams colours of blue and white in shop  windows, and in sculptures and trees all along the main street.
Deloraine High School showed support by holding a fundraiser for Beyond Blue, a charity for which Deloraine Footy Club is keenly involved.

Spartans hard to beat

SportJoanne EisemannComment

AUGUST 2018 | David Claridge

THE SOUTHERN Raiders U16 Spartans are the tip of the spear in NTJSA Div 2 league this year, with many strong performances leaving them clear on top of the ladder with eight wins and one draw in late July.

A founding club of the NTJSA back in 1986, the Southern Raiders have continued to field teams and be competitive.

Club President, Allister Cutler, shared how proud he is that the club is all-inclusive and has a strong mix of boys and girls amongst its 11 teams.

“There have been some kids playing with illnesses that can only come on for five minutes before needing to stop,” he said.

“We try and encourage all girl’s teams, there is currently one in the junior team in the competition, we’ve had a senior’s team in previous years.

“The club is currently working on helping its players beyond junior soccer through a pathway program.

“One of the main things we have on the go is trying to work through a process whereby once kids get to the age of 16 they can’t play junior soccer anymore. So the kids that want to go on and play more senior soccer can have a pathway to Launceston City,” said Mr Cutler.

Currently with around 130 kids spanning over 11 teams, the club is hoping to continue building from its junior ranks.

“We are one of the smaller clubs. We’re working hard on keeping our numbers to stay relevant. Big clubs are getting bigger and smaller clubs can slowly disappear,” he said.

Photo | Mike Moores

Brendan cracks 100

SportJoanne EisemannComment

JULY 2018 | David Claridge

THE MEANDER Valley Suns ran out onto the field in May after an inspiring win the week before to turn their season around. This game though, against the East Coast Swans, would be the biggest in the club’s seven-year history as their first player to reach 100 games was among them.

For Brendan Jones, the team banded together and came out with their second win for the season, Brendan’s milestone game is something he will always remember.

“I had a lot of mixed feelings going into it. I was a little bit nervous for the first time in a long time, but there was a lot of excitement” he said.

“We went in as the underdogs and to come away with the win was great.”

Brendan has been with the Suns since its formation in 2012.

“There has been a lot of great times and not-so-great times around a lot of changes,” he said.

“The club is like my second family and I have made lifelong friends there.

“It’s a good time for the club with three wins on the trot. I don’t think we have done that since 2012” said Brendan. Suns Coach David Manktelow praised Brendan for his achievement as their first 100 gamer.

“Brendan has been a stalwart for the club. He has always been a team orientated player, putting them first. He always tries to improve himself as a footballer and give his best, reaching 100 games is a great achievement for him.”

Photograph |  Mike Moores

Easy, beautiful bike rides

SportJoanne EisemannComment

July 2018

BICYCLE NETWORK Tasmania has released a new tool to help both visitors and locals to find safe and easy places to ride in Tasmania.

The Ambassador Routes in the RideWithGPS website are designed to create self-guided tours to some of the best bits of Tassie.

You can enjoy beautiful Tasmania just as if you are riding with a savvy local who knows the best shortcuts and the quietest streets.

The routes are all designed to be easy for people of a wide range of riding ability.

So far, three Meander Valley routes are included:

  • Deloraine gourmet ride under Western Tiers, 33km; quiet roads taking in Mole Creek, Three Willows winery and 40 Degrees South;

  • Deloraine to Westbury under Western Tiers, 35km; quiet country roads including historic buildings, farmland and the John Temple Gallery;

  • Westbury Bracknell country, 45km; taking in rural roads and village of Bracknell.

Chips were flying

SportJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018

THE CHIPS were flying as Deloraine local Daniel Gurr competed and was crowned winner of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS ® Rookie World Championship in Marseilles, France in front of thousands of fans from around the world.

The best rookie athletes in the sport performed against the clock in four exciting rounds: Stocksaw, Underhand Chop, Single Buck and Standing Block Chop.

Competing against favourites Chas Haas (USA) and Thomas Henderson (Canada), a thrilling final heat saw Daniel trailing Italy’s Michael Del Pin by 3 points.

Smashing his personal best in the Underhand Chop to take maximum points, Daniel achieved a combined time of 1:00:20 seconds - a total of 23 points. Del Pin fell 0.30 seconds short , making Daniel the first Australian to win the coveted title!

Daniel, a second generation woodchopper, was thrilled: “I’m stoked, an Australian has never won the Rookie title before … I’m honoured to have represented my country and … I’m so glad all the hard work paid off in the end.”

The Suns bounce back

SportJoanne EisemannComment

JUNE 2018 | David Claridge

A PAINFUL loss to Old Launcestonians was the last straw for the Meander Valley Suns in what has been a winless season.

Their hard work paid off a week later with a win against Uni Mowbray, the Suns kicked 15.16.106 to Uni Mowbray’s 3.11.29.

The team has done it tough, not being able to field their best team all year and starting off the season against the stronger teams meant that they had to try some new game plans to try and adapt.

Suns Coach, David Manktelow, is hopeful they can continue to turn their season around in the games to come.

“The start of the season was always going to be tough for us, playing against five of the top six sides from last year,” he said.

“On paper, the results are very tough for us, but in every game we were there with them until about half time and then the good sides were able to get away from us.

“Things are looking positive, we just need to focus on when to be offensive and when to switch to defensive.

At the time of writing the Suns were heading into a milestone game, with their first player to reach 100 games to run out and play against the East Coast Swans.

“Brendan Jones has been a stalwart of the club, the best thing about him is that he always puts the team first” said David Manktelow.

Photo | Mike Moores

Deloraine netball celebrates

SportJoanne EisemannComment

June 2018 | Sharon Webb

AROUND 150 Deloraine netballers are thrilled that by this time next year they will have two new netball courts.

The outdoor courts will be located at the Deloraine Community Complex and will be the first dedicated netball courts in the town.

Meander Valley Council has allocated $510,000 in its capital works budget for 2018-2019 and will manage the project.

Council manager Martin Gill said council has preliminary designs; the project will go to tender in the next few months and the courts will be constructed between December 2018 and March 2019.

Deloraine Devils netball team has also fund-raised and attracted grants for the courts from: Community Infrastructure Fund, $55,000; Tas Community Fund, $44,000; Bendigo Bank grant , $30,000; Liberal Party election commitment, $100,000.

President of the Deloraine Devils and the Meander Netball Association, Taneil Bloomfield, said for the 12 years netball had been played in Deloraine, teams had shared the indoor basketball courts at the complex.

“The lines on the courts are the wrong size and we struggle to get on-court time when we need it because of the demand on them,” she said.

“It’s been a long process to raise funds for new courts – we’ve held morning teas, catered for community groups and held raffles and the usual chocolate fundraisers.

“Fortunately we’ve had some wonderful, dedicated families working on it.”

Ms Bloomfield said that two new courts would enable girls from six years old up to women to play netball, including net-set-go in spring for girls aged 6-10.

Club outgrows Westbury facilities

SportJoanne EisemannComment

MAY 2018 | Steven French

THE MEANDER Valley Suns Netball Club has gone from strength to strength since its formation only three years ago. The clubs code of behaviour (Above the Line) underpins everything that they do and has resulted in more players wanting to join their ranks. The club prides itself on being a family friendly organisation with an active social scene.

In 2016, their first year in the Northern Tasmania Netball Association (NTNA), the club’s then two teams both took out their respective premierships.

The club now has four teams entered in the NTNA. Last year, two of their teams once again played off in the finals.

Although the club is Meander Valley based they have, unfortunately, had to move most of their training to outside of the municipality.

With 46 registered members, the club has outgrown the Westbury Sports Centre where they had trained until this year. The Centre only has one court and the club is adamant that all players train at the same time and place to enhance solidarity and goodwill.

The degree of friendship that has evolved is something that they are most proud of. The club is firm in its belief that community and team spirit is just as important as success on the court.

You can follow the netball club via their Facebook site at

Photo | Steven French

Champs from cellar dwellers

SportJoanne EisemannComment

May 2018 | Sharon Webb

A DELORAINE Bowls Club team had a stunning State Championship win last month, rising from being at the bottom of the ladder at Christmas.

Rita Eastley, a member of the all-Mole Creek/Deloraine division two Thursday Pennant team, said her team won the northern premiership over Westbury then went on to play the winners of the NW and southern premierships.

“After Christmas, we rearranged the team and that seems to have made the difference,” she said.

“This is the first State title for Deloraine Bowls Club since 1994.

The club has had a successful few months on the green this year.

Not only did two Thursday Pennant teams reach the northern finals but, of five divisions playing pennant, three teams made the top four.

The Saturday division four team finished on top of the ladder and will be promoted to division three next season; unfortunately, they were eliminated in the semi-finals.

Mrs Eastley said her team was elated by its State win and celebrated with a few drinks at the club.

Darren’s deadly knife strike

SportJoanne EisemannComment

APRIL 2018

WESTBURY RECENTLY hosted a grading day for Shim Jang Taekwondo for the Westbury, Deloraine and Sheffield class members.

Students were graded to their next belt level by Examiner Master Greg Dovey who travelled from NSW.

Shim Jang is becoming increasingly popular. Parents being able to train alongside their kids is an incentive for families to join and develop the skills of self-defence, self-confidence, perseverance, focus, discipline and respect.

Tasmanian Shim Jang State Director, Master Darren Hyland, has witnessed explosive growth in the number of families and students practicing the Art over the past 7 years, with ever expanding classes stretching along Tasmania’s coast from Smithton to Westbury.

Master Darren along with his wife Tammy, an Instructor and 2nd Dan Black belt herself, and 2 children, one a Yudanja Black Belt and the other a Junior Black Belt, have made the Martial Art a real family affair.

Tammy and Master Darren Instruct classes at Sheffield, Deloraine and Westbury and invite anyone to come along to a class and give Shim Jang a go.

Visit the website to find a class near you:

Photo | Mike Moores

$3.3 million to spend - have your say

SportJoanne EisemannComment

April 2018 | Sharon Webb

MEANDER VALLEY Council will help community groups to give feedback on a feasibility report on proposed changes to Deloraine’s recreation facilities.

The formal consultation period will be extended so that many schools and small sport and recreation community groups using the current facilities can give their views on the new ideas.

In addition, community groups who have not already responded to the changes can opt to meet council officers who will explain the report and help them to complete feedback forms.

Cllr Deb White said e’ffective consultation meant not only sending a reminder to community groups about the consultation but helping them to workshop and understand the report so they could make their comments.

Cllr Rodney Synfield said: “At the end of the day this is a $3.3m spend and we need good conversations about it with the community.

Cllr White also proposed a public meeting at the Deloraine Community Complex at a time and date allowing a great number of community members to be present so as to present the report and receive feedback.

Of three options presented by the feasibility study, the working group’s preference is to consolidate sporting, recreation and community facilities at the Deloraine Community Complex site, with the purchase of the adjoining private land and upgrading of the Deloraine Primary School sports ground.

Major factors in the favoured option include: a new AFL oval, renovation of the Deloraine Community Complex building, a community park, little athletics facilities, two outdoor netball courts, an outdoor basketball court, a shareduse trail network connecting the wider community and schools to the site, and upgrade of the Deloraine Primary School oval to a shared multi-use sportsground.

Cllr Bob Richardson was the only councillor to vote against more thorough community consultation on the proposal.

He said the project would confine council spending on sports, recreational and cultural groups to Deloraine for 10 years and that people in Prospect, Blackstone, Hadspen, Bracknell, Carrick and Westbury should be asked whether they want it.

Baton bearer

Sport, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | David Claridge

IT IS a memorable thing to be a part of history. For Golden Valley’s Hollie Bennett she has followed in the footsteps of thousands of others, many of them famous.

The 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay recently came to Launceston. 11 year old Hollie, the only member of the relay from Meander Valley, was honoured to be part of the experience.

Hollie’s mother, Cristy Hall, was thrilled that not only was Hollie involved but she was the first runner in the Launceston part of the relay.

“She started from East Launceston Primary School, she got presented with the baton and all the kids made a guard of honour and high fived her on the way out as she made her way down Abbott Street,” she said.

“She is a real all-rounder. She has competed in athletics, cross country and swimming for her school in the Northern Midlands as well as being a competitive equestrian rider just to name a few things. I’m extremely proud of what she has achieved!”

“She really enjoyed the day. It was a surreal experience for her being with past Olympic champions and community members who generously give up lots of their time for others. They all took her under their wing for the day, which was lovely.”

The baton relay is a worldwide event where 3,800 baton bearers have been running over 388 days, the same baton will travel over 40,000 kilometres.

Photo | Mike Moores

Paddling for pleasure

SportJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | Cody Handley

A KAYAKING workshop was recently held on Huntsman Lake as part of Meander Valley Council’s school holiday program.

The session took place on 2nd February and ran for two and a half hours. There were 10 places available, catering to young people aged between 12 and 25 years.

The aim was to teach participants a number of skills such as water safety, handling a kayak, rowing techniques, stopping effectively, and turning at speed.

Good conditions on the day made for smooth paddling for those involved.

The session culminated in having participants utilise their newly learnt skills to play games such as water polo and tag in their kayaks.

Transport and all gear, including life jackets, were provided.

Photo | Mike Moores

Slam dunk for school

SportJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018 | Cody Handley

THE DELORAINE Amateurs Basketball Association (DABA) has donated two rings and backboards to Deloraine High School, which are now up and ready for the new school year.

The project has been 18 months in the making, from the time of donation to having the new basketball court ready for use.

Due to the height of the rings, it required an excavator balanced on the back of a truck to lift the rings into the ground!

The school’s Business Manager, Cynthia Pearce, said that Craig Cunningham of STURDYBILT Agencies had done a fantastic job of erecting the rings.

“Not having a gym was very restricting for the students. The new court will give a giant boost to school sport,” Ms Pearce said.

The court will also be open to students over weekends and during school holidays.

“Deloraine is a strong basketball community,” said Ms Pearce. “The new court will provide a place for not only students but the community to come and build their skills and socialise.”

The new school court could also benefit DABA, as more students becoming interested in basketball may hopefully translate into more players engaging with the extracurricular sporting scene.

DABA donated the rings to the school as a result of upgrading their own courts, but they still have two spare rings that they do not have any plans for as yet.

Photo | Mike Moores

Water wise

SportJoanne EisemannComment

FEBRUARY 2018 | Joanne Eisemann

IT’S COMMONPLACE to hear of deaths by drowning but a little more difficult to calculate the lives saved by programs such as Deloraine Rotary’s Learn to Swim program.

The program is offered free to participants and has been running for over 35 years. The $4,000 price tag is largely financed by Craft Fair takings.

Lois Catchlove, Chair of Rotary’s Youth Services Committee enjoys watching changes children make during the program. “At the end of that half an hour you could see that he had gained confidence and was less anxious,” he says commenting on one young boy she had been following the progress of.

Drowning remains one of the leading causes of preventable death in children, so water safety has always been a strong focus of the program.

Rotary’s information sheet says ‘It was established to teach children to swim in the hope that it would help reduce death by drowning.’

It’s not just for little kids either. This year, 85 children aged from 5 to 17 years attended from all over Meander Valley and even a few came from beyond.

Parents are obviously appreciative. a photo of the program posted on Meander Valley Gazette’s Facebook page drew amongst others, these comments;

“They do an amazing job. A couple of weeks ago my 7 year old got herself in trouble in a pool and almost drowned. Lucky I had eyes on her and got to her quickly. This week I watched her swim a lap across the deep end,” said Leanne Turner. Jade Hallam shared “I’m really thankful for this learn to swim course, my kids have loved every minute and are improving each day. Thanks Rotary.”

Enrolments for the next course will be taken in December. Look out for flyers and notifications in school newsletters.

Photo | Mike Moores

Ramping it up

SportJoanne EisemannComment

FEBRUARY 2018 | Cody Handley

A SCHOOL holiday program for a Mountain Bike Coaching Clinic was held at Hadspen on the 19th January.

The program was aimed at kids aged 12 years and under and took place at the Hadspen Recreation Park jump track located behind the Hadspen Cricket Club building. The program taught the fundamentals of mountain biking through fun games, races and challenges.

Held in two sessions, each ran for three hours with morning tea included, consisting of fruit and savouries for the riders. The organisers, Shape and Ride, told the Gazette that there was a total of 30 kids in all, and who, by the end of the program were riding better and with a lot more confidence.

Shape and Ride are a group that seeks to promote and support mountain bike opportunities in Tasmania. The group are planning to expand in the near future and urge people to keep an eye on their facebook page for news and events. “This is just the beginning,” they said.

According to Shape and Ride the program has been very well received. “My son loved it, had heaps of fun, now I can’t get him o his bike!” said one parent. “The kids had a ball and are much more confident riding now. When is the next one!?” asked another.

While the program was predominantly about mountain biking, the kids were also allowed to bring along their BMX bikes.

Photo | Mike Moores

Doing the hard yards

SportJoanne EisemannComment


From smoke-belching old Fordson Majors to alky burning super modifieds, they were all there at the Deloraine Apex Tractor Pull. Competitors from NSW and Victoria as well as a strong local contingent vied for tractor glory on reputedly the best track in Australia.

A record crowd attended the first day of this annual, very popular show but heavy rain dampened enthusiasm for attending on day two.

Generous donations from interstate sponsors enabled some of Australia’s most exotic super modifieds to attend the Tractor Pull, which is gaining in popularity year by year. A spokesman for Deloraine Apex said bigger and better things are planned for next year. Pictured above is Tim Creswell testing out his Fordson Major on the first day of competition.

Photo | Mike Moores

A fresh serve in the tennis club kitchen

SportJoanne EisemannComment

JANUARY 2018 | Hayley Manning

DELORAINE’S TENNIS Club members have just completed an interior refurbishment of their club house.

According to coordinator, Debbie Kearns, it all started with a plan to replace the worn out kitchen floor and it progressed from there to a new kitchen, floor coverings and a neutral coat of paint on the walls.

The revamped, bright and airy club house was made possible through the generosity of local businesses, volunteers, and neighbouring council workers, who ‘chipped in’ by clearing shrubs and broken trees.

Debbie made the project a reality through her ešffective applications to: Meander Valley Council, National Court Rebate Scheme, Community Sport and Recreation Tasmania, and Bendigo Bank, for grants and rebate bids.

“Funding opportunities are available if you have a community project,” Debbie said.

Photo | Mike Moores

Favourable federal funding

SportJoanne EisemannComment

January 2018 | Author

TWO LOCAL sporting clubs have hit the jackpot in the form of a federal funding grant aimed at delivering social benefits to communities across Australia.

The Deloraine Kangaroos Football Club and the Deloraine Devils Netball Club have had their applications granted.

The Deloraine Kangaroos football club has a long history of playing great footy in Tasmania, but they’ve had a tough few years with floods damaging the club house.

Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

The federal member for Lyons, Brian Mitchell, has announced the success of their application for the Stronger Communities Grant, which will see the club receive $10,000 to fix and upgrade facilities.

Mr Mitchell said he was thrilled to make the announcement, when he caught up with club president Shaun Donohue and coach Brett Powe.

The Deloraine Devils also received $5,000 for the upgrade of uniforms and equipment after putting in what Mr. Mitchell describes as “a top quality application.”

The Stronger Communities Grant will be available again in 2018 for clubs and community groups seeking additional funding. If you know of such a group, contact your federal MP for more information.

A lifetime of golf

SportJoanne EisemannComment


AT THE 2017 AGM of the Deloraine Golf Club, one of the club’s longer serving members Don Tracey was awarded life membership.

Don was recognised as a valued club member, serving as President, Captain, Course Manager and committee member. Don has played pennant for over… 20 years and been a co-organiser for 30 years of Farmers’s Day, one of the clubs biggest annual events. President and Members congratulated Don on this wonderful achievement.

2017 was a challenging year for the club due to a virus in the greens, causing significant loss of revenue due to less player participation.

Restoring the greens required many volunteer hours and expense to put a recovery programme in place.

Grants from Mark Shelton MP and the Meander Valley Council have been appreciated, as the course is now looking spectacular and the greens are improving.

Members and visitors are invited to enjoy a game of golf. Green fees are $20.00 for all day golf.

New members are welcome. All enquiries to Secretary Beverley Jordan. Please phone 63 622 801.