Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Laver's Birthday among Sport Highlights

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Laver's Birthday among Sport Highlights

Article excerpt

Aspire CQ

Warren Acutt

TOMORROW my daughter shares her birthday with arguably Rockhampton's most famous son: Rod Laver.

To the younger readers he was today's equivalent of Roger Federer, perhaps even better, having won two calendar grand slams, that's the Australian, Wimbledon, French and US Opens in the same year. The only tennis player to have currently achieved this. How will his home town celebrate his 80th birthday? Hopefully plans are in place. Either way, tomorrow provides the ideal opportunity for a photo opportunity beside his bust at the entrance to Rod Laver Plaza in the Riverside development and to post that pic with birthday wishes on social media. Good publicity for the town, its attractions, and people who came from here.

Last week we heard that Rockhampton had gained the hosting rights for the Oceania Cup. The Pacific Nations hockey tournament which provides the winning men's and women's nations qualification to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is a great accomplishment for the town and Central Queensland. Arguably Australia's current most successful sporting team, men's Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Cup holders the Kookaburras, here September next year, along with the Hockeyroos, who on the weekend just missed out in a penalty shoot-out with the number 1-ranked Netherlands to feature in the women's World Cup final. Rockhampton also has produced several hockey stars who have played for the Australia: Kim Ireland, Matt Gohdes, Jamie Dwyer, and Australia's Commonwealth Games flag bearer and former Kookaburras captain Mark Knowles.

Did you know the Australian men's rowing team is in Rockhampton training on the Fitzroy River, away from the cold of Canberra, in preparation for its world titles? Remember Moura- born, Rockhampton-raised Alexander "Sasha" Belonogoff in the quadruple sculls at the Rio Olympics, that gut-busting silver medal win? Rockhampton is also set to host about 1200 secondary school students for the 2018 Queensland Schools and Inter-Regional Rowing Championships on September 22-24. …

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