Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tidy Town Award Winner

Sophie at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle for the Awards.

The Shire of West Arthur is the proud winner of the Western Australian Tidy Town - Sustainable Communities Award. Tidy Towns - Sustainable Communties is an annual awards program that aims to encourage, motivate and celebrate the social, environmental and economic achievements of regional communities across Australia.
On November the 18th, I accompanied Sophie to Fremantle for the State awards ceremony. Sophie has just become a member of the local Tidy Towns committee, as a representative of the Youth Advisory Council.

Although West Arthur was nominated for five out of the six category awards, we didn't win any of them. So to be announced the overall State winner was a huge surprise and a great thrill. The award was presented by His Excellency Mr Malcolm McCusker AO CVO QC, Governor of Western Australia, to our Shire President  Ray Harrington. See a newspaper report HERE.

The announcement was very exciting.
The Governor with West Arthur representatives.
The acceptance speech.

The winners.

Now that West Arthur has been announced as the Western Australian winner of the Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities award, we go on to the National judging. The committee has to prepare a new submission with different guidelines, and the whole community will be working towards seeing if we can bring home the national award next year...

Narrogin Triathlon

Last Sunday the children competed in their first triathlon. Actually Sophie didn't enter because she couldn't organise a team - originally she thought she could have a team with Bonnie and her friend Amelia, but both Bonnie and Amelia decided to do individual events. Hugh and Odette also competed as individuals, doing all three legs of the triathlon.
The Narrogin Primary School P&C triathlon has special junior sections to encourage the participation of younger children, so Hugh and Odette in the 9 years and under event swam 50 metres, cycled 800 metres and ran 400 metres. Bonnie was in the 13 years and under section and had to swim 100 metres, cycle 1200 metres and run 800 metres.

Sophie offered high fives to Bonnie and her friend Amelia after their race.
Bonnie and Amelia at the finish line.

Bonnie coming in at the end of her race, followed closely by Amelia.

Bonnie at the end of her cycling leg.

Odette showing her race number drawn on her arm. They also wore electronic ankle bands for the timing.

Odette after she recovered from her race.

Bonnie completing her swimming leg.

Odette in lane 5 waiting for her race to start.
All of the children performed very well. We had been doing a small amount of training, and had done a couple of trial races in Darkan beforehand. We had mainly concentrated on the swimming because that is our kids' weakest area. We are lucky to have a community-managed swimming pool in Darkan that we can use at nearly any time. Odette chose to swim backstroke, which is her strongest stroke, and Bonnie swam one lap of breaststroke to break up her freestyle so she didn't get too puffed out. Hugh only had his first swim in the deep end of the pool the week before the real event! He has only passed stage one, which is the introductory level at swimming lessons, and he hasn't learnt proper swimming, but he has taught himself pretty well to do freestyle. Of course he can't do the breathing so he was holding on to the edge of the pool to take a breath.

Hugh wouldn't let go of the side of the pool!

I walked alongside Hugh and encouraged him during his swim (actually I encouraged him to let go of the edge of the pool, but he didn't listen!)
But in the Narrogin pool there is a low "waveless" edge on the pool, so he grabbed onto that and didn't let go for fifty metres! Needless to say his swimming leg was pretty slow - it took him over seven minutes. But he made up for that in the cycle leg. I knew he rode quite fast, because he almost kept up with the older kids during our practices, but I was astounded when I saw the results and he was the fastest of all competitors in the nine-years and under category. He isn't six yet, so by the time he is nine he should be really really fast!!

Odette finished fourth in the girls 9yrs and under category, and she performed well in each of her three sections. Next year she will have to go up to the next category as she is already nine. Bonnie came third in the girls 13yrs and under category. Running is her strongest section, but she did well in cycling too. If she trains a bit more and perfects her swimming she should be a real star by the time she is thirteen!

It was such a great event that I am now looking for more triathlons to take the kids to. And who knows, one day I might be able to swim, cycle and run that far too!!