Monthly Archives: January 2019

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Merewether cyclist Sally McKenna sets a new world record and claims five gold medals at Chinan Masters Track Championships in Melbourne

Hunter Valley Masters cyclist Sally McKenna returned from then Masters Track Championships in Melbourne on Sunday as a new world record holder and with five gold medals.

GOLD: Sally McKenna on the podium at the n Masters Track Championships in Melbourne, where she won two gold medals and set a new world women’s masters five flying 200m record. Picture: Cycling NSW.

The 54-year-old from Merewether said she entered “everything” at the event in her 50-54 age category and claimed a silver and a bronzemedalto go with the golds.

Her ridesin the sprint and 500m time trialraces was where she excelled, setting a world record in qualifying for the sprint and claiming a national record in the time trial.

The world record was set during solo qualifying for the sprint race, which is later contested between two riders over750m in a series of heats and rounds before the medal-claiming races.

In qualification, riders have to set a 200m five flying time and Ms McKenna did so in just 12.07 seconds, taking 0.2off the former record.

“I couldn’t believe when I looked at the timing clock that I’d ridden so fast,” Ms McKenna said.

“Although 0.2 doesn’t sound very much, it’s actually two bike lengths of improvement. The time I did was averaging 60kph for 200m, so it was going pretty quick. I was very excited, it might last for quite a long time.”

WINNER: Ms McKenna in at Newcastle Velodrome in 2016 after her world title win. Picture: Marina Neil.

Ms McKenna also took outthewomen’s 120 plus team pursuit along with fellow Hunter Valley Masters Cycling Club ridersAnna Whitten andSherrie-Ann Prossalentisalso.

Trained by renowned cyclingcoach Glenn Lewis, Ms McKennais the current world sprintchampion in her 50-54 age category afterwinning at the World Masters Track Cycling Championships in Manchester in 2016 and Los Angeles in 2017.

She splits her riding between Newcastle andSydney, butwill now take a four-week restbefore commencing training again ahead of the world championships in the USA in October.


Newcastle’s flying doctor:How Sally McKenna conquered the cycling world in two years

Greene thrilled with six-year GWS AFL deal

GWS has agreed to a lucrative six-year contract extension for AFL forward Toby GreeneEager to avoid a repeat of the circus surrounding teammate Josh Kelly last year, Toby Greene jumped at the chance to sign the longest deal ever offered to a Greater Western Sydney AFL player.

The foundation Giant agreed to a six-year contraction extension on Tuesday, understood to be worth up to $1 million per season.

Greene, a best and fairest winner and All n in 2016, joins fellow young stars Jeremy Cameron, Jon Patton, Stephen Coniglio and Kelly, who decided in the past couple of years to stick with the AFL’s newest club.

Kelly was strongly linked to a massive nine-year offer from North Melbourne for much of 2017 before eventually inking a two-season extension with GWS in September.

“When I got approached about a longer-term deal I was very open to it and extremely excited to sign,” Greene said.

“It saves a lot of lying to the media I guess.

“I saw what happened with Josh Kelly last year, he copped it and I wasn’t interested in that.”

The hugely-talented forward has booted 123 goals in 117 games in an at-times chequered career with GWS.

In 2014, he was banned for five matches and fined a total of $7500 for his role in a pub brawl, although he avoided a criminal conviction.

Greene also served two suspensions imposed by the match review panel last year and narrowly avoided a third when his stray boot to the face of Western Bulldogs opponent Luke Dahlhaus only attracted a fine for misconduct.

“The Giants have shown massive faith in me throughout my career and given me a few chances and obviously I’m more than happy to repay the favour,” Greene said on Tuesday.

“We’ve come a long way, we’ve got to two (preliminary finals) in a row.

“But we’re not happy there, we want to go further and this gives me a big opportunity to do that.”

Greene confirmed that he had completely recovered from a broken foot and would play in Friday night’s final pre-season encounter against Sydney.

“I’m really looking forward to that,” he said.

“It’s been a pretty frustrating last couple of months but in the last month I’ve been able to get a bit of continuity.”

GWS list manager Jason McCartney was thrilled to have locked Greene into the long-term deal.

“As we all know, Toby is an outstanding player and it’s fantastic that he’s committed to the club for another six seasons,” he said.

“We all see what Toby produces on field but it’s his impact around the club that makes him one of a kind.

“He’s the heart and soul of our footy club.”

Eating, weight and body image disorders are affecting 1 in 4 adolescents in the Hunter, new study shows

MORE than a quarter of Hunter adolescentsbelieve they have a “current and significantproblem” with their body image, world-first research shows.

Early results from a longitudinal study into the prevalence of eating, weight and body imagedisorders in have identifiedthe“drive for muscularity” isbecoming increasinglyproblematicfor young men,with a higher-than-expectedprevalence of steroid usein boys aged 12-to-19.

Close to 5000 students from Newcastle and the Hunterhave participated in the EveryBODY study, which found“fitsperation” posts onsocial mediawere playinga role in shaping student’s perceptions of body image, and binge-eating and over-eating disorders werebecoming morecommon.

Related: Changing the shape of body image But with more thanone-in-four adolescents havingbody image problems, and one-in-fourchildren aged two-to-17 overweight or obese in ,there has never been a bigger gap between theirpracticallyimpossible ideals and their reality, lead researcher Deborah Mitchison, of Macquarie University, said.

Body of work: Dr Deborah Mitchison, from the Centre for Emotional Health in the department of psychology at Macquarie University, lead the study.

“What I find most fascinating is looking at the difference between obesity, which we know is rising in kids, and these ideals –this drive for muscularity in boys, and thisdrive for thinness,but with a toned body, in females,” Dr Mitchisonsaid.

“At the moment there is a lot of guesswork with body image programs, and they have not been overly successful.If we have evidence that specific risk factors, like certainbehaviouron social media, or being bullied,canlead to eating disorders, it should help us reduce the likelihood of kids developing these issues.”

Of the 13 schools participatingin thethree-year EveryBODY study,12 are fromthe Hunter Region.

The first of three annual surveys wasconducted in 2017, which found26 per cent of students believed they had a problem with body image, and that bothboys and girls shared these concerns.

“Research and the media, and cliniciansand health professionals, have all contributed to this stereotype that eating disorders and body image are the domain of young girls,” Dr Mitchisonsaid.

Related: Kids as young as six with eating disorders “Boys have really been neglected. But is it clear that the boys are suffering too. Their ideals are different to what girls aspire to be –for them it is more about attaining a reallymuscular body.

“But the fact it’s not seen as a problem by society so much, means that it can even be encouraged.”

Dr Mitchisonsaid when boys went to the gym, talked about “bulking” and “shredding” and engaged in extreme dietary behaviours, it was either encouraged by the people around them –because it seemed healthy, or it was just ignored and not identified for what it was –in some cases, a severe body image problem.

“That is when it is interfering with academic or social functioning, or they are getting really distressed when they get injured and they can’t go to the gym,” she said.

“A lot of guys out there with muscularity body imageproblems see themselves as being scrawnier and thinner than they really are. Almost like a reverse anorexia.”

More than half of students said they had experienceda body image problem in their lifetime, but less than five per cent had received help for it.

Related: More services needed to help people with eating disorders “We know through the Mission youth reports that body image is always one of the top three concerns of adolescents,” Dr Mitchisonsaid. “But for one-in-fourto think they personally have a problem with it is really quite shocking.”

Dr Mitchison, working within Macquarie University’sCentre for Emotional Health, said the study made it clear there were still problems with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, but binge-eating disorders and bulimia nervosa appeared to be becoming more common.

“What we’re finding is there is this kind of nexus between eating, body image and obesity, and it is definitely affecting our kids,” she said. “The ideals are getting more extreme for both girls and for boys.Boys want to be muscular, with 0 per cent of fat.Girls also want to be 0 per cent fat, but with a toned body.

“When I was a teenager, the ideal was just to be thin. Now it’s about having that muscular tone. So we are looking at this drive for leanness, and you can see it playing out on social media a lot, with“fitsperation” on Instagram and Facebook.

“They are promoting this unrealistic body type, which can leadto a lot of body image problems and eating disorder behaviours.”

Penny Curran-Peters, deputy principal at Hunter Valley Grammar, said the detailed feedback the school received from the first surveywould help them plan for the future emotional and psychological needs of their students.

She was not surprised that one-in-four students struggled with body image.

“I think that is lived out in the daily work of most schools,” she said. “We recently held a screening of the movie Embrace, but we wanted to balance that out with something for the young men too, because they are experiencing very similar thoughts and ideas. But thatis much harder to find.”

Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues can call the Butterfly Foundation’s helpline on 1800 33 4673, or forurgent help,Lifeline 13 11 14.

Dr Mitchisonsaid given 80-to-90 per cent of students used and posted images to social media regularly, any interventionprobably needed to lean towards improving their “literacy” in understanding how photos are edited, and how the subjectsposeat the mostflattering angles, as lookscould be deceiving.

“It will be more abouteducating kids about the kinds of images they are seeing, and getting them to understand that those images are not necessarily reflecting reality, as well as tryingto stop them comparing themselves toother images all the time.”

Tiny Victorian possum’s future still in limbo

It is the emblem of Victoria on the brink of extinction, and the fate of the leadbeater’s possum remains in limbo following a court decisionon Friday.

The Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum group took action against state-owned timber company, VicForests, in the Federal Court in its long-running bid to save the tiny furry critter.

The critically-endangered possum and the vulnerable greater glider live in the central highlands region where VicForests’ logging operations take place.

The court is considering the question of whether VicForests’ forestry operations have the benefit of an exemption under federal environment laws.

Environmentalists argue the exemption does not apply to VicForests because five- yearly reviews of the regional forest agreement between Victoria and the commonwealth have not been done in time.

But Justice Debra Mortimeron Fridaysaid VicForests is still exempt under federal environment laws, even though Victoria failed to do the reviews set out in the RFA.

But in what activists see as a glimmer of hope, the judge said that if VicForests failed to comply with other terms in the forest agreement – including species protection – that would remove the exemption.

Both sides have been invited to make further submissions to the court.

Friends of Leader’s Possum group president Steve Meacher said the lack of a firm decision was disappointing but it did offer some hope for the species’ protection.

“It’s far from over – there’s still more work to do if we’re going to see the state’s faunal emblem being taken away from literally the brink of extinction,” he said.

The leadbeater’s possum is only found in Victoria and was believed extinct until 1961 when it was rediscovered.

The Wilderness Society’s Amelia Young called for an end to RFA’s which have been a “disaster” for native wildlife and called for stronger federal environment laws.

“RFAs are a death warrant for animals like the leadbeater’s possum and the greater glider,” she said.

“These 20-year dodgy logging deals are expiring this year. They must not be renewed, they must not be extended and they must not be rolled over.

“No other industry has an exemption from the national environment law like the native forest logging industry.”

Logging has been suspended at 34 Victorian sites until the legal challenge is resolved.

VicForests chairman Michael Humphris hoped agreement could be reached between the parties without a long court battle.

Mr Humphris said flora and fauna protection was at the forefront of its planning.

“We can only do what we continue to do in terms of protection of species and our record on that is absolutely first class,” he said.

Leadbeater possum.

“We consider ourselves to be absolutely as much environmentalists as all the other green groups out there.”

Remi Kolawole speaks out against government and media frenzy surrounding Melbourne’s African gang problem

DROPPING BEATS: Melbourne hip-hop duo Remi are planning to release a new single next month in time for their headline show at Dashville’s Gum Ball festival.AS a proud Nigerian-n RemiKolawole has seethedwithanger over the summer atheadlines declaring Melbourne has an African gang crime problem.

Fuelled by media reports, many have accused both the Federal and Victorian Governments ofmagnifying the situation for political gain.

Kolawole, one half of hip-hop duo Remi with producer “Sensible J” Justin Smith,is one of those critics.

“It’s quite clearly a political campaign and it’s always unfortunate when politiciansmake it quite clear that they’re only here to represent a portion of the community by pitting different communities against each other in the hope itpays off in votes,” Kolawole said.

“It is sad and what is just as sad is when people believe it and let that fear play into their psyche and let the government win.”

The 26-year-old has always spoken openly about racism.

Last year he appeared on the TV program SBS Uncensored to share his personal experienceof racism growing up on the Mornington Peninsulaand he has also writtenabout the issueon his albums Raw x Infinity (2014) and Divas and Demons (2016).

Remi ft. Sampa The Great – For GoodKolawole has beenin the studio in recent months working on Remi’s third album. The first single is expected to be released next month before his headline performance at Dashville’sGum Ball music festival.

AfterDivas and Demons was dominated byKolawole’s battles with depression, the new batch of songs are carrying a more positive outlook.

“It’s quite varied,” hesaid.“When you write albums that are as personal as the last one, you look at it critically and move forward from there because that’s all you can do.”

Kolawole’s cutting lyrics andbraggadocios style,combined with Smith’ssmooth productionsecured the duo the triple j Unearthed Artist Of The Year in 2013, which was followed by the n Music Prize in 2014 forRaw x Infinity.

“It definitely helped more than itinhibited,” Kolawole said of the awards.“As far as pressure, the worst pressure comes from ourselves, trying to live up to the standards we hold to ourselves against the people that have come before us.”

The Gum Ball has previously been dominated by alternative rock, blues and folk artistsbut this year’s festival will feature Remi and fellow hip-hop posse Butterfingers as headliners.

“I’m always excited to playoutside of your allocated genre,” Kolawole said.

Catch Remi alongside Butterfingers, The Bamboos, The Aints, The Cribs, Rocket Science, Ben Salter, The Creepshowand many moreat The Gum Ball from April 27 to 29.