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Ruth Skrzypek, 23, balances on Otto, during a horse vaulting workshop
at the National Equestrian Centre, Stromlo.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Champion hosts workshops
The spectacular art of gymnastics on
horseback was the focus of training
workshops at the National Equestrian
Centre at Stromlo.
The workshops were coached by top
trainers and performers from Australia
and overseas, including male world
champion Jacques Ferrari, who
travelled from France for the five-day
Children as young as 11 were
learning the basics of vaulting,
climbing onto the back of a horse and
performing poses, all while the horse
jogs in a circle in the indoor arena.
The national vaulting workshop is
the only one of its kind in Australia.
National Equestrian Centre director
John Lowe said there was nothing like
it in the world.
He said although vaulting in
Australia was nowhere near as big as
the sport was in Europe, there were
plenty of participants who enjoy the
change of pace from traditional riding.
"We've got people here from
Western Australia, South Australia,
Victoria, NSW and Queensland," Mr
"We're developing very well here in
Australia for vaulting, and this
workshop has had a major role in
doing that because it brings people
together and it gives people the
opportunity to learn."
Mr Lowe said vaulting was a great
way for riders to improve their skills.
"It has a massive effect for the
ability of people to be comfortable and
relaxed around a horse," he said.
The national vaulting workshop,
which ran until Saturday, concluded
with a performance on Saturday night
where young vaulters were invited to
show off their new-found skills.
Vaulters performed an array of tricks
and poses to music wearing the
customary uniform of soft-soled shoes
and colourful unitards.
Canberra team celebrates sweet Sydney success
Rhys Stewart has been part of the
Canberra Big Issue football
community for four years.
Photo: Matt Bedford
Disadvantaged members of Canberra's
community became champions last
week after winning The Big Issue
Street Football Festival competition
The fifth annual event, held between
January 15-20, brought hundreds of
participants from all walks of life to
play soccer at First Fleet Park in
Ashley Paul Kelly has sold The Big
Issue magazine for eight years and
played in the organisation's Canberra
Community Street Soccer side
He said his commitment to the team
had got him through tough times and
he felt proud to bring home the trophy
after representing the territory.
"My week doesn't start on a
Monday, it really starts on a
Wednesday with training," Kelly said.
"Street soccer is really needed.
For a lot of us if we weren't able
to come here and get training it would
be really hard for us to connect within
the community and we might be
"I was living in the car for the last
six months but these boys give me a lot
The tournament was a jam-packed
day for the ACT team who travelled
together up to Sydney and played five
The team won four games and tied
in the last game against Parramatta.
Coaches Ronnie McLeod and Mark
Petricevic agreed Canberra played
great football in the final to overturn
Parramatta and lift the trophy.
McLeod said he had seen time and
time again how supporting people
through sport worked.
"The program encompasses anyone
with some sort of need, whether it's
homeless, unemployed, people with
mental illnesses or any sort of
disadvantage," he said.
"For a lot of our players it's the
highlight of their week. It's healthy, a
good social outlet, while they are
getting themselves together they get a
sense of routine from this."
Rivers and streams are lively
Trout streams sprung to life last week
as fly-casters took advantage of
healthy water levels and widespread
The Thredbo River, above the area
known as the Diggings, was the scene
of some tremendous dry fly action.
Anglers reported dozens of trout on
The fish were mostly small
rainbows, but there have also been
reports of browns nudging a kilogram.
There were quiet patches in between
the frenetic activity, so the key is
persist until the fish switch on.
With mild and wet conditions
continuing, the first-rate river and
stream fishing could last a while.
In Canberra, there have been
disturbing reports of illegal fishing
practices taking place in a number of
lakes. There have been numerous
cases where anglers have been spotted
fishing with too many rods, exceeding
bag limits and keeping undersized fish.
Illegal set lines and nets have also been
Anglers are reminded that
breaching the fishing rules can result
in heavy fines and the confiscation of
tackle and other equipment.
Rules, regulations and information
on recreational fishing in the ACT are
available through the act.gov.au
Coastal estuary fishing has been
tough at times thanks to turbid
conditions and plenty of fresh water.
The estuaries I commonly fish
around the Batemans Bay and Moruya
areas have been discoloured for weeks,
which means most of the action is
around the creek, river and
Bream and blackfish, which don't
mind a bit of colour in the water, have
been particularly active, with good
catches reported at Wallaga Lake,
Tuross and Moruya.
Offshore, the marlin bite has been
red-hot at times off Bermagui,
Narooma and Batemans Bay. Scores
of fish, mostly striped marlin, were
tagged and released in the recent
Tollgates Classic, held off Batemans
Joshua Badenoch caught this
1.6-metre jewfish on the Clyde
I've been chasing jewfish for
awhile so to say I was happy was
an understatement. I was stoked,''
Mr Badenoch said.
I've been catching a few but
this was my biggest.''
If you've taken a photo of a
whopping big fish you've just
caught send it to
Include your name, where you
caught the fish, its weight, size
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