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Sports answer Bankstown call

Wednesday, 28th December, 2011

VICTORY: Dexter Reardon in action for the Broken Hill Year 7 team in its match against Bankstown. BH regained the Geoff Goulding Memorial Shield in the four-day cricket carnival in September. VICTORY: Dexter Reardon in action for the Broken Hill Year 7 team in its match against Bankstown. BH regained the Geoff Goulding Memorial Shield in the four-day cricket carnival in September.

More sports have come on board for Broken Hill’s Sister City trip to Bankstown next year.

The exchange has been running for 25 years and although the event last September in Broken Hill attracted fewer sports, organisers are working to make the next one better.

Broken Hill and Bankstown take it in turns to host the visitors in their homes and the exchange includes cultural events and visits from the respective council’s delegates.

But historically, the main activity is the Sister City Sporting Exchange which fosters friendship and understanding between young people and their families from vastly different geographical and cultural backgrounds.

Sister City Chairman, Councillor Ray Steer, said the relationship in the exchange between city and country since 1986 had involved great experiences and “lasting friendships”, especially amongst the young. 

“Although sport is important, it is simply a means to a greater end; getting to know other communities,” Clr Steer said.

The number of participants has diminished over the past few years and the BH Sister City Committee tried to increase participation this year.

Due to circumstances beyond their control this did not happen, Clr Steer said, but there was good reason to believe that next year would be a different story.

“We have already received interest from new sports to become involved when we travel to Bankstown and are very excited to get things happening for then.”

He said that preparations for the Sydney exchange would begin early in the new year.

Opportunities such as this were very important for places like Broken Hill,” Clr Steer said.

“Without the hard work and dedication from sporting group co-ordinators, coaches and parents, as well as those whom home-hosted our visitors from Bankstown, events like this would simply not be possible.”

The generous contribution from sponsors Bankstown District Sports Club, the Musicians’ Club, Essential Energy, Perilya, the Democratic Club and Laurie Pace was also greatly appreciated, he said.

“The committee could not have shown the level of hospitality it had to our Bankstown counterparts (without the sponsorship). The commitment that Broken Hill City Council shows to this program should also be commended.”

Netball Coordinator, Sheree Quinn, said local businesses had also come to the fore in her sport.

Buttercup, Retravision, West Football Club, Jetset Travel, the Democratic and The Haven Restaurant all supported the netball contingent with great results, said Ms Quinn. 

“Broken Hill produced one of the largest contingents of netball seen in the last few years with ten local teams competing against two teams from Bankstown and each other in a round robin format. 

“We are already looking to take at least six teams to Bankstown in 2012.”

Cricket Coordinator, Denis Watts, said that sport was also generously supported by the Outback Emus and businesses Bemax, the Credit Union and Silver City Workingmen’s Club. 

“Participants from both cities and their families all had a very enjoyable time for the week which was one of the best I have been involved in over the years,” Mr Watts said.

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