Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 08-03-16 Contents 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2016
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Trio triumph at National champs
Ben Keaney, 41, of Lyneham, Jessie-May Nel, 19, of Wamboin, and Ben Pratt, 17, of Isabella Plains.
Photo: Melissa Adams
They took home a haul of medals from
the National Wrestling
Championships in Melbourne but their
sights are set on winning more.
Athletes from ACT Wrestling had a
medal tally of four golds, two silvers
and one bronze after competing in
Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling
events at the event held between
February 19 and 21.
With her feet firmly on the ground
again in Canberra after winning a
junior and senior gold medal in
freestyle events, Jessie-May Nel said
her focus was back on training.
There's no time to rest as Nel, along
with fellow wrestlers Ben Keaney and
Nick Verreynne, will head to the 2016
Oceania Championships in Hamilton,
New Zealand, to compete from March
11 to 13.
"I need to make weight for that and
that would be qualifications for
Algeria in April and if I place in the
top two there you qualify for an
Olympic spot," Nel said.
The 19-year-old, who made the
switch to wrestling from artistic
gymnastic four years ago, said it felt
"surreal to be just a competitions
away" from an Olympic qualifying
tournament. But it wasn't just glory for
Nel in Victoria, 17-year-old Ben Pratt
won gold in the junior freestyle event
and a silver medal from his debut
match in the senior freestyle division.
"For the seniors, I was quivering in
my boots," he said.
"One of the lads was a massive hulk
of a man. I couldn't even get my hands
around his arms."
Pratt said it took him a moment to
get his head together and not let his
opponents physical size "psyche him
out." "He had a couple of big shots and
I just managed to get the sprawl on
right at the right time, get around and
get the points," he said.
"The atmosphere was great.
The guy I ended up losing to in the
seniors was out on the practice mat
giving me pointers not long after,
which was cool."
Ben Keaney won a silver medal in
the 59 kilogram Greco-Roman
division in Melbourne. The 41-year-
old from Lyneham said he was looking
forward to heading to New Zealand
and facing the region's best.
"I have in the sport well over 10
years," he said.
"Nick, Jess and I will all go to
Oceania and see how we go there."
ACT Wrestling coach Witold
Rejlich said he couldn't have been
prouder of his athletes and felt the
talent in the capital had never been so
strong. While competition was fierce
for them on the mat, he said his role
was to raise the profile of the sport and
secure funding so that the wrestlers
were supported to reach for
"Funding is very limited," he said.
"There's great potential in the club and
we are looking at all avenues to help
them get there and represent the ACT
on the world stage.''
Canberra residents will be able to turn
to pharmacists for a flu shot without a
prescription for the first time in 2016.
Assistant Health Minister Meegan
Fitzharris will announce on Thursday
changes in territory regulations to
allow the influenza vaccine to be
administered to adults at pharmacies,
creating increased access to flu shots
for walk-in patients and promoting a
wider vaccination coverage rate in the
Changes to the Medicines, Poisons
and Therapeutic Goods Regulation
2008 will see the ACT join other
Australian jurisdictions including New
South Wales, South Australia and
Queensland. Victoria is waiting for
government approval for pharmacy
The changes were considered in a
discussion paper released by the ACT
government in 2015 and will include
requirements from the ACT Chief
Health Officer Paul Kelly, including
pharmacist training for vaccine
administration, indemnity insurance
and record keeping.
Pharmacists will need to know how
to identify and treat possible side-
effects from vaccines.
Allowing pharmacists to
administer the influenza vaccine will
improve public health and ensure
Canberrans can access vaccination in a
range of ways,'' Ms Fitzharris said.
Pharmacist vaccinations will
complement existing immunisation
services available through visits to
general practitioners, other primary
health providers and workplace
The discussion paper said there was
more than double the five-year average
for influenza notifications in the ACT
in 2015. Influenza cases peaked during
August, but ACT Health said the spike
was consistent with seasonal patterns
and national trends.
Notifications in the ACT were most
common among children younger than
nine, followed by adults aged between
the ages of 30 and 33. The median age
of cases was 33, and women accounted
for 54 per cent of all notifications.
ACT Health data shows most
Canberrans access immunisation
services through their GP or
workplace vaccination programs.
The ACT has a good coverage of
vaccination for the flu among the
community, but we can always do
better,'' Ms Fitzharris said.
The introduction of pharmacist
vaccination services will increase
access and availability of influenza
vaccinations for adults. This in turn
will help to increase immunity across
the ACT community.''
STROMLO FOREST PARK
Council welcomes master plan, with reservations
Western Creek community council
has welcomed the master plan for
Stromlo Forest Park, but has raised
reservations the changes could
overdevelop the site, causing it to
lose its spacious feel".
In a submission to the ACT
government, council chairman Tom
Anderson was supportive of the
addition of the road cycling facility
within the plan, suggesting it may
improve safety in the area.
"Hopefully, the road cycling facility
will take some of the pressures off the
surrounding roads as they do not have
hard shoulders and there is a real risk
with riding on the roads," he said.
Residents were pleased with the
inclusion of northern accommodation
and the proposed Gondola but what
was most appreciated was the
proposed pool -- a public facility the
community had wanted for many
decades, he said.
"Given that all of the primary
schools in Weston Creek are full, or
nearly full, and the George Weston
School in Coombs is open, the pool
would enable water safety to be
brought to the young in our
community," he said.
"It would also provide a facility for
the ageing residents for exercise close
to where they are living."
Much of the council's submission
was positive, however Mr Anderson
included a warning about plans feeling
congested and mentioned residents'
concerns that fire trail maintenance
was being overlooked.
"The Bushfire Memorial is within
the park and seems to have been
crowded by several proposed uses
adjacent to it," he said. "Council would
like to see less of the district open
playing fields adjacent to this."
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