TEMORA has made an audacious grab for Wagga’s proud mantle as the “City of Good Sports” on the back of Paralympian Scott Reardon’s 100m sprint gold medal.
Last month Reardon won his T42 class – involving athletes who have lost a limb – with a personal best of 12.26 seconds .
Reardon joins legendary Temora chestnut pacer of the 1970s Paleface Adios and rugby league players Trent Barrett, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Todd Peyton, Josh McCrone and Brett Firman among the town’s sporting greats.
The Temora Independent last week ran a front page story, proclaiming the town was “after Wagga’s crown”.
Temora mayor Rick Firman said he was “unashamedly proud” of his shire's sporting pedigree and would “shout it from the rooftops”.
“Sport is the backbone of Temora Shire,” Cr Firman said.
Wagga cycling legend Barry O’Hagan slapped down Temora’s challenge.
“Alicia Quirk just won a gold medal in the Olympics; there's not much higher sporting achievement than the Olympics,” Mr O’Hagan said.
“Not to mention Wagga cyclist Sophie Mackay is the current national criterium champion.”
Mr O’Hagan took exception to Temora’s claim to Commonwealth Games gold medal triathlete Bradley Kahlefeldt, who moved from Temora to Wagga aged three.
However, Wagga sporting enthusiast and candidate in last month’s council election Paul Watson has claimed Wagga’s proud tagline was under legitimate threat.
Mr Watson described Wagga as “the city of good sports with some of the worst sporting facilities in regional NSW”.
“We’ve spent a lot of money on Robertson Oval and while it’s a good surface, the most recent NAB Challenge game was shortened because the lights aren’t good enough and facilities for spectators are virtually non-existent,” Mr Watson said.
“Maher Oval is constantly bogged, it belongs in the 70s, and Anderson Oval was under water for eight weeks of this year.
“Soccer’s another good example; Rawlings Park is nowhere near the standard it should be, neither is French Fields.
“If we're serious about retaining the city of good sports title and promoting Wagga accordingly, we need to back it up.”
Mr Watson said regional towns like Temora were no longer jealous of Wagga’s sporting facilities.