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Maya, Keely and Bryn – St Mary’s latest Superstars

Maya, Keely and Bryn – St Mary’s latest Superstars

A lot is to be said about the talent in our youngsters, St Mary’s Primary School recently had several students display remarkable talent in their chosen sporting fields and went on to successfully represent Polding teams encompassing all dioceses in NSW. Polding is an elite level of sport in the Catholic Schools system.
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In Touch Football, 11-year-old Keely Thornhill and 12-year-old Maya Simmons represented Polding in the PSSA Touch Football three-day Carnival held in Mudgee just weeks ago and came out of it State Champs!

This was the first time the girls had represented at Polding level, they played 14 games including the grand final, and were said to have played outstandingly coming home with a win for NSW.

It wasn’t an easy feat for the girls as they had to work around playing with girls they had only just met, Maya explained, “It was hard at first but once we got to know each other it got much easier, we learnt a new move that we mostly used the whole time.”

Along with a great performance both girls can proudly say they also scored a try at Polding level... go girls!  
Maya and Keely have played touch football for five years, so they have some experience under their belt. “We both enjoy it because it’s quick and fun to play.”

Keely added, “I felt really good about the effort we put in on the day, all the girls from our team were really nice and it was good to get to know each other and make new friends. We played with girls from Lismore, Newcastle and Maitland, just to name a few.”

“It was a really hot day,” Maya laughed, “We were pretty exhausted by the end of it.”

Keely added,  From the experience, I learnt different moves that you can do that I didn’t know about and that it’s not just one certain position that does all of the moves.”


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In Rugby Union 11-year-old Bryn Whittaker represented Polding in Sydney at the Western Sydney University Hawksbury Campus.

Bryn first travelled to Bathurst to make the Diocesan team, one term later he travelled to Forbes to try out for the Polding side, Bryn was picked in possible and probable’s to then be announced in the team.  

Bryn explained, “I’m in Year 5 and usually everyone who gets picked is in Year 6 so I wasn’t expecting to be picked, I couldn’t really believe it, I didn’t think I would make it in, I just went down there and had fun.”

Bryn was in Sydney for the competition for a week, two days of training and a team bonding session before being handed their jerseys, three days of Rugby Union was then played. Bryn’s team came in eighth overall, which was a fantastic achievement.

“It was great fun, I enjoyed myself a lot. If you make it into the team you know what you’re doing and it’s pretty easy to fit in with people, it was just really fun and it’s much easier when everyone has a go.”


Bryn usually plays prop and hooker, he mentioned his favourite position is hooker, “It’s a bit more important because there is only one of you on the field, with prop there are two of you.”

“Some of the people we were up against were massive, like the size of adults..” Bryn smiled, “I think we could have done better but I’m pretty proud of where we came considering how big the other teams were and the teams that came first were Sydney teams that trained every week.”


Mr Glenn Corben said, “Just to get to the Polding level is a really big achievement in itself, we are very proud of Maya, Keely and Bryn in their amazing achievements. Not only are they noticed in the Orange community as fantastic Rugby Union and Touch Football players, but, now they able to display how great they can play to Sydney and NSW.”

Congratulations to all students, what a fantastic achievement representing your school and your town with pride!

Time for “silent Saturday” for bad Aussie sports?

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Lois Jones - People of O-Town

Lois Jones - People of O-Town