NEWCASTLE netball will revive their rivalry with New Zealand’s Mount Albert Grammar School, while Lakeside will make their debut at the International Youth Sports Challenge in Singapore this week.
Hunter teams have competed at every edition of the Singapore Sports School tournament, which began in 2008 but was not held last year due to renovations at the host’s venue.
Newcastle’s under-15 representative side were silver medallists in 2011 but missed the 2012 edition when now-Lakeside coach Desley Cowen took a team of Newcastle and Maitland players to a first title for an Australian team at the tournament.
Newcastle lost the final by a goal to MAGs in 2011 and team manager Helen Wilson said the current team were keen to continue the association’s proud record at the competition.
Wilson said Newcastle had figured in medal matches at each appearance and were third in 2010.
Lakeside and Newcastle will start their campaigns on Sunday in the nine-team competition also taking in sides from the host school, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Newcastle team is Cassidy Flemming, Celeste Alley, Danielle Taylor, Hannah Stephenson, Siane Fonua, Grace Harvey, Angel Barber, Angela Williams and Abbie Gray.
■ Eighteen athletes across four sports will represent Team Newcastle at the International Children’s Games in Lake Macquarie from December 6-11.
The group, aged 12 to 15, will compete against athletes from 30 countries at the first International Children’s Games to be held in the southern hemisphere.
In athletics, javelin specialist Sabrina Kliousis and multiple national shot put champion Stephanie Scigala will combine with Zax DeVenny and Jonti Lanz.
Liam Masters, Peter Staikos and Ethan Swanson will compete in BMX, while Anastasia Bachas, Gabrielle Deacon, Tomika Fuller, Annabelle Hewitt, Lucy Jenkins, Molly Jordan, Paige Kingston-Hogg and Samantha Lazarovski are soccer representatives.
In swimming Adelaide Markey, Emily Richardson and Hannah Richardson will contest multiple events.
■ Bar Beach Skateboarding Club’s Jedd McKenzie led the way for the locals when they hosted a successful contest against Bondi Skate Club on Saturday.
McKenzie was second to Gold Coast-based Australian junior champion Keegan Palmer in the under 18s and also won the highest air award. Bondi’s Noah Fuzi was third and also claimed the best trick award.
Palmer, who is only 10, made it a double with victory in the open division in front of Bondi’s Ben Key and George Richards from Bar Beach.
In the under 12s, Dylan Donnini (Bondi) finished ahead of Bar Beach pair Bryce McKean and Rome Collyer.
Poppy Olsen (Bondi) won the girls ahead of clubmate Sari Simpson and Bar Beach’s Jade Perry.
The interclub competition doubled as a fund-raiser for Jye Parker, who lost an arm in a work accident last month at Bar Beach Bowling Club. About $2000 was raised.
■ St Francis Xavier’s College Hamilton will open the Australian Schools Basketball Championships against defending champions Lake Ginninderra in Canberra on Sunday.
After two years at Knox and Kilsyth in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs, the national titles will be held in Canberra for the next two years at Tuggeranong, Belconnen and the Australian Institute of Sport.
Three other Hunter schools – Hunter Sports High, Macquarie College and Avondale – will compete in the invitational divisions.
Led by NSW and Australian junior Myles Cherry and fellow Newcastle Hunters representative Dhiu Noi, SFX qualified for the championship division by finishing second behind Sydney Boys High School at the NSW qualifying tournament in September.
Cherry chose to represent SFX instead of touring California with an Australian schools team.
He and Noi will be expected to shoulder much of the load in the absence of Noi’s younger brother Kouat, a starting forward for the Australian team that finished second at the under-17 world championships in August.
Kouat is in the USA continuing his education with Florida-based Montverde Academy, the two-time defending national high school champions led by former Hunters junior Ben Simmons.
SFX coach Rohan Stevenson said: “The loss of Kouat is huge but that’s life and that’s basketball.”