All the thrills and spills

Mount Isa young gun BMX rider Bill Woodward rode in his friend’s memory as he won the national championship 11 year category in early May. Woodward, who has competed in BMX since he was three, rode in the bike number used by Tobi Parkes, 9, who died in a jet ski accident in November 2016.

A rejigged Buffs outfit showed they were a force to reckoned with as they opened the AFL season with 96-38 win over Rovers. In recent years they have struggled to fill teams but they look a class outfit for 2018.

Mount Isa’s 35 over hockey team, the Tatas enjoyed an outing to New Zealand for the 2017 World Masters over 35 hockey tournament. Though a social team the competitive spirit was high as they played seven games in nine days in Auckland.

The cycling racing season’s longer races kicked off with the Peter Berg Memorial Trophy from Cloncurry. The race was a 60km one-way format in memory of local cyclist and triathlete Peter Berg who was killed while training on the Cloncurry road eight years ago. It was a sprint finish with Leon Bennett taking line honours with .02 seconds to spare.

The clash of the Queensland Police team against a Northern Outback Rep team was one of the big highlights of the Arthur Beetson Shield at Cloncurry in May. The exhibition match finished 24-24 in a weekend of high quality junior footy action.

At a Mount Isa Athletics Club day in May 17-year-old Lachlan McCoy beat his own record to take out the U18 high jump record clearing 1.70m. The talented young athlete also has his eyes set on breaking the long jump record.

Fifty riders endured the gruelling 55km (or 20km) Fountain Springs MTB classic in May. Stack City MTB president Reece Cooper won in a time of 2hrs 45 mins.

Jockey Terrance Hill led Chestnut Road to victory in the Mount Isa Cup with the cup flown in by Lifeflight and owner Valda Crapp accepting a cheque for $15,880.

Local Tony Chong Jr took out the novice broncs at the Normanton Rodeo in June. In a re-ride he was the only one to break eight seconds to win the belt.

THE official opening for the Great Western Games was held at the Mount Isa Show. Ambassador for the games, former Olympic Gold medallist Jon Sieben launched the Games which includes 23 sports between Mount Isa and Charters Towers.

Dysart based bullrider Sonny Schafferius, 28, won the Professional Bull Riders event held at the Mount Isa Show in June. Schafferius won $4050 with a total 239 points accumulated through the PBR held Friday and Saturday nights at Buchanan Park. It had been a comeback for the PBR winner – who was ranked seventh at the end of the first night.