The Cootamundra Sports Foundation (CSF) hosted their 2021 Sports Awards at the Cootamundra Rugby Clubhouse last Thursday evening. Special guests included Mayor Charlie Sheahan, Councillor Logan Collins, Steven Twyford and Michael Simons from the ARTC (Major Sponsors of the Foundation), Scott Meale from the South West Slopes Credit Union (Associate Sponsor).

CSF President Christine Leahy welcomed guests and presentations were made to individuals, teams and administrators for their achievements and work in a difficult COVID-19 affected 2021.

The Rugby Club provided a BBQ meal and drinks afterwards for guests to cap off a successful awards evening. A small amount of drizzling rain welcomed players and spectators to both Les Boyd Oval and Clarke Oval on Saturday afternoon as the first round of the George Tooke Shield and the Canberra Times third division men’s AFL competitions were held.

Both the Bulldogs and Blues recorded wins in their first outings of the season, which is always a positive way for teams to start the competition, especially playing at home. The Cootamundra Strikers begin their Pascoe Cup season against Hanwood at Griffith on Sunday and the Tricolours begin their defence of their Oilsplus South West Rugby premiership after Easter.

All four senior codes of football will be hoping for a COVID-19 free season after last year’s abrupt end to all competition play. The Cootamundra Swimming Pool hosted a “Girls making Waves” program run by Water Polo NSW at the pool complex last Saturday.

12 youngsters enjoyed a variety of activities and learnt the basic skills of this very demanding sport.

A big thrill for the girls was meeting Australian Water Polo Olympic bronze medallist Bec Rippon who conducted the sessions at the program and spoke of her career and the thrill of representing Australia at an Olympic Games.

It is pleasing to see this type of program being offered to young people in rural areas of NSW, opening up further opportunities for girls (and boys) to be involved in a sport that they normally would not consider.

Cootamundra’s sporting history:April 1962: In tennis, Peter Asimus won the Cootamundra District Tennis Association A-grade championship by beating Alan Crowe 6-3, 6-1 in the final. Terry Rumble, who won the junior tennis title (defeating Gordon Willis 6-0, 6-1), combined with Asimus in the doubles final and defeated Max Willis and Roy Coggan 6-2, 6-8, 6-4 in a classic encounter.

April 1972: Star Cootamundra Rugby League Club winger Chris Roberts has been selected in the Riverina Rugby League team to play Western Division at Griffith in the first round of the NSW Country Rugby League Championships.

April 1982/83: Cootamundra District Cricket Association awards were presented with Barry Cant (Frank Smith Award and bowling average), Gerard Hines (Jasper Hall award and batting average), Greg Bennett (batting aggregate), Paul Ward (bowling aggregate) and Scott Moran (Eddie & Jan Collingridge award for best player in the Sparre Cup).

April 1992: Frank Smith was made a Life Member of the Cootamundra District Cricket Association after years of work for the sport. This was an extremely popular decision by the current committee and reflected Smith’s contribution to the game in the town and district.

April 2002: The David Eurell trained pacer Lola Lea won the feature race, the South West Fuel Cootamundra Cup, at the Cootamundra Harness Racing Club’s main meeting of the year at the Showground Paceway. In front of a large crowd, Lola Lea, driven by leading Riverina reinsman Bill Trembath, broke the track record in an impressive performance, defeating Whatanut and Sunofagun over the tough 2530metre distance in dominant fashion.