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North West Sport

Standard Sport Stories for Tamworth and surrounding area.


Gunnedah swimmers Sam Schubert and Emma Donaldson have both swam personal best times at the State Swimming Championships today. Schubert shaved one second of his 200m backstroke heat to qualify for tonight’s final, while Donaldson took five seconds off her 200 metre breast stroke record. It’s the second of five swims at the meet for Donaldson, her success coming after years of training and sacrifice.

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The region’s swimmers have had mixed success in the pool on day one of the New South Wales Swimming Championships. Sam Schubert had top 20 finishes in both the 400 metre freestyle and 100 metre back stroke and has been drafted in the fastest heat for tonight’s 400 metre individual medley heats. Gunnedah swimmer Emma Donaldson and Tamworth’s Sid Turnham also competed today but failed to make the finals for their events.

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Tamworth’s $30-million AELEC Centre is quickly establishing itself as the nation’s premier Equine Showground. More than 30,000 people and 6,000 horses have visited the centre over the past three months, and that number is expected to double by the end of January. The centre will host several big events during Country Music Week, including the National camp draft and rodeo finals. The New South Wales Dressage Championships, Cutting Horse Futurity, Miniature Horse Titles and Paint Horse Championships will all call AELEC home in 2009. And, the action is set to continue in 2010 with four months already booked out. (*****)

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There’s a changing of the guard at the Inverell Saints. A new coach will lead the Aussie rules club in 2009 but says he won’t be making radical changes to the team’s successful style of play.

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Meanwhile, the North Tamworth Bears have secured the services of Josh Schmiedel for the 2009 season. The 2008 Group 4 Player of the Year parted ways with the Gunnedah Bulldogs several months ago, after board members reinstated Damien Connor as captain coach over Schmiedel and team mate Pete Wenner. The 21-year-old played his junior footy at North Tamworth and was a key player in the club’s 2007 grand final win. He says the opportunity to play with old friends was the deciding factor.

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