Wollongong Hawks in cash battle to survive

Financial constraints will be the Wollongong Hawks’ greatest stumbling block in their bid for inclusion in next year’s new national competition.The Hawks were one of 10 National Basketball League clubs to vote unanimously for a massive overhaul of the sport when delegates and Basketball Australia representatives met in Sydney on Saturday. Basketball Australia and the NBL will now operate under the same umbrella as a single yet-to-be-named entity.”(This vote) signals a critical moment in the history of basketball in Australia,” Chairman of the Boards of Basketball Australia and the NBL David Thodey said.”It is time for change and this unanimous vote of confidence is a vote for our sport, our future and a show of support for the basketball community. Basketball has a bright future in Australia, and with renewed focus, commitment, and support we are determined to ensure the right foundations are set for the next decade.”This will be achieved through the introduction of a single, streamlined national structure for basketball, which promotes unity (and) accountability.”One of the first points of business will be the restructuring of the existing NBL, with early reports suggesting an eight-team format.If the powers-that-be retain a 10-team competition, the Hawks would still be vulnerable if the Brisbane Bullets and Sydney Kings are resurrected in time to apply for playing licences.Given that a licence will cost a rumoured $1 million, “accountability” will be a key issue for Wollongong’s ownership group in the application process.”It’s our firm intention to put in a submission and be part of the new league, but money will certainly be the toughest part for us in terms of meeting the criteria,” Hawks chairman Richard Clifford said yesterday.”On the other hand, we’ve a got a good fan base and we’re strong in other key areas such as community support, corporate support and the support of our local media. We essentially tick all the boxes, but the only thing is the financial backing.”The $1 million figure is being totally reviewed, as are a couple of other things, and that’s certainly one reason why the vote was unanimous. It gives us great hope.”FOX Sports have tabled a $35 million offer to cover every game in 2009, although it is believed the cable TV giant initially proposed an eight-team league.”FOX have made an offer, but it’s my understanding all 10 teams will now be considered,” Clifford said.”I’d say there will be plenty of negotiations over the next couple of weeks, and there’s a fair bit of work needed to hammer it all out.”The move to unify basketball in Australia began 18 months ago when Basketball Australia and the NBL signed a commitment to overhaul the sport.”The formation of this single management body will strengthen the focus on building the sport across all levels, and provide stronger links between national and state bodies,” Thodey said.”We have committed to moving forward together to transform basketball back to its rightful place as a major mainstream sport in Australia, through the development of sound commercial strategies, strong financial management and measurable outcomes.”We aim to deliver a revised governance and management structure and a sustainable business model and plan to ensure the sport’s successful future.”
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Flood swamps rivals at Thirroul

Chris Allum won the ironman event and the open ski at Thirroul on Saturday. The Cronulla club member also finished third in the men’s open surf race. Pictures: KEN ROBERTSON Mark Simpson of Cronulla on his way to finishing second in the open ironman event.
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Manly ironwoman Naomi Flood sounded an ominous warning to rivals with a dominant performance in Saturday’s opening round of the Sydney Water Surf Premiership at Thirroul Beach.A multiple state champion, Flood won the open women’s surf and ski races before making it a clean sweep with victory in the ironwoman event.Warilla-Barrack Point’s Maddison Prior was second to Flood in the ironwoman and ski, while clubmate Jordan White was third in the ironwoman and Bulli’s Brittany Sharkey finished second in the surf race.Sydney-based competitors featured prominently in the open men’s, with Cronulla’s Chris Allum winning the ironman and ski and finishing third in the surf race.His brother Hayden Allum prevailed in the board and finished third in the ironman, while their Cronulla clubmate Mark Simpson claimed second in both the ironman and surf races.Wollongong City’s Ben Squires notched one for the Illawarra boys with his triumph in the surf race, and Bulli’s Downie Langthorne grabbed second spot in the ski.Helensburgh-Stanwell Park’s Damien Cook captured the open men’s beach sprint and flags crowns, with clubmate Daniel Robbards runner-up in both events.Helensburgh-Stanwell Park’s Steine Lofts was third in the flags and Wanda’s Tyron Courtney finished third in the sprint.Bulli’s Cara Langendam emulated Cook’s victory double with a typically impressive display in the open women’s sprint and flags.Coledale’s Davina Strauss claimed second in the flags and Towradgi’s Eva Tobin finished third.Towradgi’s Bernadette Cardillo was second in the sprint and Cronulla’s Sarah Cook ran home third.Perennial series winners Warilla-Barrack Point lead the series heading into round two at Corrimal on November 22. Warilla have won the series six out of seven years.

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All-round efforts put Corrimal in the box seat

Graeme BattyHalf centuries by skipper Graeme Batty and Michael Stephenson, plus two wickets from Dean Merola late on day one have given Corrimal the upper hand against Helensburgh in their Illawarra cricket clash at Ziems Park. Batty made 73 and Stephenson 54 as the Cougars made good use of batting first to post 238 at stumps on day one of the round four two-dayer. Merola then claimed 2-14 in the final hour to leave the Burgh struggling at 2-26 heading into Saturday’s second day. In other games, Port Kembla piled on 9-248 to be in a strong position against Wests at King George Oval. An unbeaten 66 from Daniel Lee, plus Luke Hunter’s 54 and Warren Habak’s 34 anchored the Port innings. Luke Boncompagni (4-60) and Matt Cram (3-57) chipped away for Wests, but they’ll have to bat well on day two to take first innings points. The strong batting display continues an encouraging start for Port – who failed to win a game in the last two seasons. Wollongong scored the lowest total of the day, bowled out for 161, but are within one wicket of beating University. Andrew Pickard (39) and No 8 Brad Haimes (35) rescued Wollongong, who were 7-97 at one stage. Tim Long (4-23) and Jason Welsh (5-33) then destroyed the Students’ batting, with Uni to resume at 9-73. Students skipper Scott Tutton has played a lone hand with the bat, with an unbeaten 38.Welsh said: “161 was more like 220 with the outfield heavy, but we should have made more runs than we did.”Andrew and Brad did a great job and now we’ve got to go after the outright.” Meanwhile, a sluggish wicket and slow outfield contributed to Northern Districts posting only 190 from 89.2 overs against Dapto at Hollymount Park. Butchers skipper Scott Beckett top-scored with 57 and was supported by Brett Murphy (24) and Lee Turner (22). Dapto spinner Kyle Connor produced the outstanding bowling effort of the day, taking 6-49 from a marathon 28.2 overs. Meanwhile, bat dominated ball in the top-of-the-table clash at Judy Masters Oval with defending premiers Balgownie making 9-256 against Keira. Adam Berwick (81) and Simon Wilson were dropped early in their innings, and along with Mark Longhurst (49) capitalised to put Bally in a strong position. Bally skipper Chris Sheppard declared late in the day, but Keira survived three overs to resume at 0-6. Balgownie are the team to beat again this season and Keira get a chance to test their batting depth on day two. Ladder (before round 4): Balgownie 16, Wests 12, Keira 12, Dapto 12, Port 12, Uni 10, Wollongong 10, Corrimal 5, Helensburgh 4, Northern Districts 4.
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Meeting over Lysaghts Oval soccer grants

Wollongong Olympic officials will meet Wollongong council general manager David Farmer today to discuss money being spent on the development of Lysaghts Oval.Wollongong Olympic Soccer Club expects to see an itemised account of the $2.5 million State Government grant that was referred to ICAC, at a meeting with Wollongong City Council general manager David Farmer today. The meeting, scheduled for 1pm at Wollongong City Council, is also expected to be attended by representatives from the other two partners – Wollongong Sports and Recreation Centre Pty Ltd and Wollongong Epic Events Pty Ltd – in a joint venture to develop Lysaghts Oval. “We want to know what’s happened to the money and how it has been spent,” Wollongong Olympic’s Manny Mavridis said. A Department of Premier and Cabinet spokesman confirmed on Friday that “certain allegations regarding payments from the Government relating to Wollongong soccer clubs and facilities” had been raised with the department.The matter was then referred to the state’s corruption watchdog. Wollongong City Council was appointed the trustee of the $2.5 million given to the Wollongong Wolves and Wollongong Olympic to leave Brandon Park in 2002.Mr Farmer said the council would meet with members of the relevant organisations this week to discuss the project’s progress. “We will be in a better position to comment on this matter after meeting with the relevant parties next week,” Mr Farmer said on Friday.”Council is a trustee of a grant on behalf of the NSW Premier’s Department and has fulfilled (and will continue to fulfil) its responsibilities to distribute the funds in accordance with the agreement.”A six-person building committee made up of an independent chairman, three members from Wollongong Sports and Recreation Centre Pty Ltd, the owner of Lysaghts Oval, and one each from Wollongong Olympic and Wollongong Epic Events is authorised to use the State Government funds for the project.
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Bali executions: No solace at end of a gun

Georgia Lysaght, who lost her brother Scott in the October 2002 Bali bombing. Gayle Dunn’s son, Craig, was one of the 88 Australians to die in the blast. The bombers’ deaths have brought little comfort. Picture: PRO CARLESS
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The Bali bombers execution by a firing squads has provided little relief for South Coast families who lost loved ones in the bombings six years ago.Imam Samudra and brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas were executed by separate firing squads just after midnight on Sunday, Indonesian government officials confirmed.In Ulladulla, Gayle Dunn woke to the news that her son’s killers had been shot dead by a firing squad, but the news brought her little comfort.”Nothing is ever going to bring them back. You are never going to see them grow old,” Ms Dunn said.She said she would have preferred to leave the bombers locked up and believes the real culprits remain free.”They are the puppets,” she said.”Until we get the masterminds it could happen again – it is only the tip of the iceberg.”In October 2002 her 18-year-old son Craig, flew to Bali with his mates Danny Lewis, 19, and Nigel Devenport, 18, on a surfing holiday.It was their first overseas trip and on the Saturday night the trio walked to the Sari nightclub.At 11.05pm, a white Mitsubishi van parked out the front exploded.The shock wave shattered windows blocks away from the popular Kuta nightspot and left a metre-deep crater.The attack killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.Nigel survived, but Craig and Danny died in the blast.Since her son’s death, Ms Dunn has channelled her grief into positive community projects. In March, she was named South Coast Woman of the Year after raising $1.6 million to build the Dunn and Lewis Memorial Youth Centre at Ulladulla.”There is never closure, because they are never coming home,” she said yesterday.In Wollongong, Georgia Lysaght, who lost her brother Scott in the blast, said the executions of the bombers “doesn’t bring any sense of closure or relief”.”The fact they are executed doesn’t change the way I feel,” she said.”It is just wasted energy to give them the time of day that they didn’t give anyone killed … It doesn’t bring my brother back.”Scott Lysaght, 33, lived in Jakarta and worked as an engineer. He was visiting Bali to play in a rugby match when the bombs went off. Ms Lysaght said she hoped people didn’t blame the bombings on Asian or Islamic people.”I have a lot of friends who are Asian and Islamic and it is really difficult for people at these times,” she said. Gayle Dunn is raising funds for a permanent memorial to the victims of the Bali bombers, raising money through the Dunn and Lewis Foundation.To make a donation or learn more visit www.dunnlewisfoundation南京夜网.au.

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