Port Macquarie is trying to claim our sportstars.
And this time we call on Greater Taree City Council to be pro active and place economic sanctions on our nearest northern neighbour. For this is simply not good enough.
This correspondent was busy at work last week, as usual, when we received a call from a journalist from a Hastings paper, believed to be the Port Macquarie News.
“Just found out that squash star Kasey Brown is from Port Macquarie,” he said.
“Do you have a contact number or e-mail?”
This correspondent’s blood boiled.
“Kasey Brown is a daughter of the Manning,” we fumed.
“Kasey, or Kase, as we like to call her, is even a former Manning River Times Sportstar of the Year.
“She attended Port Macquarie High School for a mere two years to be closer to her then coach, who lived up there somewhere. Read any of her biographies Kasey calls Taree home.
“End of story.”
However this body of evidence wasn’t good enough for our northern colleague.
“Well, we’re claiming her,” he laughed.
Claiming her indeed.
Now the regular reader of this garbage would know that we took Port Macquarie to task just over 12 months ago when they decided world boxing champion Arlene Blencowe was theirs. At the time Arlene was living in Taree but training in Port Macquarie, so that was good enough for them.
“Our world champion,” screamed the headline in a Port Macquarie-based newspaper, possibly the Port News after she won the title.
Port can possibly say Arlene belongs to them now because she moved to the Camden Haven area. At least she resides in the Hastings, a little closer to the sporting Mecca of Port Macquarie.
As we noted in this space in our rant last year, Port once decided someone born across the Tasman was a true blue Port Macquarie lad. New Zealander Jarrod McCraken spent one solitary year in Port playing rugby league. The following season after signing with Canterbury he starred for the Kiwis in a rare test win over Australia.
“Our Jarrod, test hero,” the front page of a Port Macquarie-based newspaper (possibly the Port News) announced.
As we said at the time they have form.
Now it’s bad enough that Port Macquarie gets federal government grants for just about everything. But with all those facilities they have up there you’d think they’d be able to produce their own home grown sporting star and not have to pinch one from us.
Now, we fully understand that Port Macquarie is just a bigger version of Harrington Waters, possibly minus the sand flies.
But we challenge them to provide a list of their legitimate sport champions.
And by legitimate we mean those born there and not who moved their in the winter of their life to retire, although we will concede those people make up the vast majority of Port’s population.
We bet there won’t be one who can match Johnny Martin, Troy Bayliss, the Towers twins, Danny Buderus, Johnny Fahey or Our Kase. We just bet.
They’ll be trying to claim the Martin Bridge next.
Actually, they can have that.
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