Silver lining in Homebush visit

14 February 2011

Alan Reid, Nathan Perry, Monique Dewson and Tamara Rushworth soak up the atmosphere at Homebush Olympic Stadium before the relay final.Quambone Public School might only have 24 students, but its relay team won a silver medal at the State Athletics Carnival at Homebush.

The tiny school's success united and excited the whole community of Quambone, which is situated west of Coonamble, on the edge of the Macquarie Marshes.

However Quambone principal Cassandra Mackay said the students almost missed out on the event last year after bad weather nearly stopped the school travelling to the Zone Athletics.

"Our whole community was ecstatic when our relay team won and another student placed third in the 100-metre sprint," she said. "It dawned on us that this meant we could compete in these events in Homebush."

The P&C helped raise funds to support the students and their families - with one resident donating $500 - and the school provided funding for coaching.

Ms Mackay said the students trained under the eye of local coach, Katrina Shelton, but weather conditions again made things difficult with much of the town oval under water for long periods.

However all the students faced up to the effort required and times began to improve and baton changes became smoother.

The school also funded a day's coaching with a professional coach from Orange who provided the competitors with insights into the Homebush event as well as tips on working together as a team.

At the State Carnival the Quambone Public School students all ran their best times to date.

Relay team member Monique Dewson said after winning their heat, the students lined up for the final.

"In the final we came second. All of our mums and dads were crying.  It was lots of fun. I loved it."

Ms Mackay said the relay team's success was "exciting for everyone at Quambone" and brought the community together.

Photo: Greg and Kayla Perry

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