Monthly Archives: December 2018

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Being a mum is no picnic

CHILD WRANGLING: Aberglasslyn mum Lauren Greay said the support and friendship of other mothers gave her confidence in her parenting of son Bryce, 2, and daughter Chloe, 11 months. Picture: Marina NeilWHEN LaurenGreay fell pregnant with her first child, she did not expect the experience to be so isolating.
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“I lost a lot of friends,” the Aberglasslyn mother-of-two said.“We became a little boring, me and my husband, and meeting new friends was really, really difficult.”

It is a loneliness shared among many mothers of young children, including Heidi Gooley from Newcastle. For Mrs Gooley, the support of other mums has been a lifesaver since the arrival of her son Brandon, now 20 months.

“Being a mum is definitely isolating,” she said. “You need that support from other mums to get you through.”

The women are part of a growing movement bringing mothers together for friendship, adviceand a laugh.

Babes + Picnics groups have exploded across the country since the first meeting was held in Brisbane in October last year. The groups meet once a month in public places and are open to anyone with small children. There are now about 20,000 mumsmeeting in 40 locations across Australia.

Mrs Greay is raising two children, Bryce, 2, and Chloe, 11 months, and says connecting with other parents was a lifesaver.

“My husband almost pushed me out the door to the community mother’s group and those peopleare now my best friends,” she said.“There’s a real need for this. Motherhood is extremely isolating.

“There are days when I don’t leave the house.”

She said one of the most valuable aspects of the groups was being able to drop any facade of the “perfect” mother.

“It’s given me confidence because you’re second guessing everything as a first-time mum, you just doubt yourself so much,” she said.“It’s nice to sit with other mums, who have become really good friends, and have a nice conversation and you don’t have to put up this image that everything is perfect.

“Because it is hard. Some days, my husband comes home and dinner is not on the table but the kids are happy and in bed and that’s what I achieved that day.”

The groups also have a “pay it forward” policy, choosing to donate to a different local charity each month.

“We don’t ask for money as there are a lot of mums where even $5 can’t be afforded,” Mrs Greay said.

“But if you’ve got lots of nappies that the kids have outgrown then we can donate to the Nappy Collective, and things like that.”

The next Babes + Picnics Maitland meeting is on Friday, August 4, from 10am at Maitland Park Bowling Club. The Newcastle meeting is also on August 4, at Habitat Adamstown from 8.30am. For more information visit Babes + Picnics Newcastle or Babes + Picnics Maitland on Facebook.

Bands deny crowd boycott

FALSE: Melbourne rockers Kingswood say they love performing in Newcastle and have never witnessed crowd violence when touring through the city. They have played in Newcastle 11 times in five years.TWO Australian rock bands alleged to be boycottingNewcastle due to crowd violence have rubbished the claims.
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Earlier this week two Hunter media outletsreported that two well-known alternativebands,who regularly tourNewcastle, hadbypassedthe city on their latest tours due to concerns surroundingcrowd behaviour.

While the artists were not revealed, it has been confirmed to the Newcastle Herald that thebands in question are Adelaide punk duo The Hard Aches and Melbourne rock trio Kingswood.

Both have a strong following in Newcastle’s alternative music scene.

On March 27 Kingswood played a sold-out show inthe Cambridge Hotel’s glasshouse tosupport their latest album After Hours, Close To Dawn and The Hard Aches last performed at the same venue on June 9, whenthey filled the smaller warehouse room.

I’LL BE BACK: Hard Aches frontman Ben David, left, said his band will return to Newcastle.

Last week both bands announced tours for October, which did not feature a date in Newcastle, but shows on the Central Coast.

It’s understood both bands are performing intowns and venues they overlookedon their previous tour.

A spokeswoman for Kingswood, whose hitsinclude Creepin and Ohio, denied the band hadboycottedNewcastle and said they had not witnessed any violence.

“The guys have played Newcastle 11 times in fiveyears, the last show was fourmonths ago,” she said.

“They have never experienced any negative vibe or any violence at their shows there.They love their Newcastle fans with a passion.”

Kingswood spokeswoman

The Hard Aches frontman Ben David also rejected suggestions his band was avoiding Newcastle due to crowd violence at previous shows.

“No, all rumours man,” David said.“That’s not the case, we will always come back.”

It could be argued Newcastle is actually enjoying a live music boom.

Since the Cambridge Hotel extended their capacity to around 800 people through renovations late last year, the Newcastle West venue has hosted sold-out shows from The Living End, San Cisco,Dune Rats and Bliss N’Eso.

In the coming months major Australian acts Bernard Fanning, Grinspoon, Meg Mac and Illy are also expected to perform in front of capacity crowds.

NJC aim to honour Lees with feature

PROPOSAL: Rachel King carries the stable colours of Max and Kris Lees to victory aboard Sound Proposition at Randwick on June 24. King will ride Sound Proposition again on Saturday when he starts as topweight in ATC Heritage Volunteers Handicap (1800m). Picture: bradleyphotos南京夜网419论坛Newcastle Jockey Club hope to honour latechampion trainer Max Lees with a feature raceheld in his name in December each year.
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TheHeraldunderstands the NJC is in talks with Racing NSW about prizemoney for the addition of The Max Lees, which it hopes to make the highlight ofthe meeting already featuringthe Robert Thompson Cup.

Lees, who died in 2003, had 20 group 1 winners and was twice second in the NSW metropolitan trainers’ premiership from his Newcastle base.

He and Paul Perry were the first trainers inducted into the Newcastle and Hunter Racing Hall of Fame this year.

Lees’ son, Kris Lees, meanwhile, will beout to build on his already best-ever season as a trainer at Randwick on Saturday.

With 154winners Australia-wide and 151in NSW after Bold Chance saluted at Taree on Friday, Lees will take second in the statepremiership –his highest finish –and is sitting fifth in the national standings.

At Randwick, Lees has chances with Upscale (race three), Time Out Of Mind (five), Sound Proposition (six), Felines (seven), Olympic Academy andAdmiral Jello (nine).

Meanwhile, fellow Newcastle trainer Phil Atkins hopes promising three-year-old gelding Star Crossed can rise to the occasion again, this time against resuming 2016 Red Roses runner-up Super Too.

Max and Kris Lees with County Tyrone in 2002.

Star Crossed won at Canterbury over 1100 metres on July 12 and makes the jump to Saturday company in race four (1000m). Atkins, who has seven horses in work, was happy with Star Crossed butwary of the Marc Conners-trained favourite, Super Too.

“He’s done really well since Canterbury and, coming back to a 1000 metres, he’s had a couple of runs now and I haven’t had to do much with him,” Atkins said.“The horse is very well.I’m sure he’ll run well but the filly of Marc Conners’, she might be a real good filly. She’s had a couple of runs in stakes company and run well, and if she’s improved off her break, she’ll be very hard to beat.

“There’s a few other chances in the race and it will probably be one of those where it’s three lengths between first and last.It’s a step up tomorrow and a test again, so we just hope he’s up to it.”

** Newcastle Jockey Clubwill farewell racecourse operations manager Peter Birch at the end of the month.

Birch is retiring after almost five years in the job at Newcastle to returnhome to Queensland.

He came to Newcastle with the task of managing the Racing NSW-funded$11.2 million renovation of the course proper, which opened in March.

NJC chairman Geoff Barnett paid tribute to Birch.

“We really appreciate the work he has put in, in particularly the way he managed the installation of the new track,” Barnett said.

“He managed the training and racing, the re-routing of the horses,during that time, and it was very clever the way he did that.We really respect what he has done for us and we very much wish him well for the future.”

Barnett said Birch’s assistant, Marshall Howarth, and Racing NSW’s David Hodgson, who has been working part-time at Newcastle to learnabout the new surface, will oversee track operations for the immediate future.

Cavalry returns for Hawks-Blues battle

RECOVERED: Aaron Wivell will be back in action for Cardiff at No.1 Sportsground on Saturday against Newcastle City after missing six games. Picture: Marina NeilNewcastle City can edge closer to a top-two berth on Saturday when they meet local rivals Cardiff at No.1 Sportsground.
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City are two wins behind the Hawks but have won five games straight after a sluggish start to the Black Diamond AFL season.

Cardiff have had the wood on the defending champions this season, albeit by just four points and six points in their two meetings.

The Hawks have won a remarkable seven games by 11 points or fewer and would have a perfect season if not for two heavy losses to leaders Terrigal-Avoca.

Cardiff coach Nathan Harkness has named key forward Aaron Wivell in his squad after last week’s general bye.

Wivell is the second leading goalkicker in the league with 20 majors despite missing the past six matches through injury.

He has not played since Cardiff beat the Blues at No.1 Sportsground on May 13.

Mitchell Knight

Newcastle City welcome back influential Nick Gill and are approaching full strength with four weeks to go in the regular season.

“We have a couple out, but we’re getting close,” said Blues player-coach Mitchell Knight, who has only recently returned to the field himself.

At Hylton Moore Oval,Peter Van Dam will celebratehis 300th game for Terrigal-Avoca in the local derby against Killarney Vale.

Van Dam, in his final year before hanging up the boots, will joinDave Grimmond and Ken O’Brien as the only players to play 300 games for the Panthers.

Terrigal-Avoca’s three-timeElliott Davey Medallist, James Webster, is understood to be close to making his first appearance of the seasonafter recovering from a kneeinjury he suffered in the 2016 grand final, but he was not named in the Panthers squad on Friday.

At Feighan Park, last-placed Warners Bay must beat Nelson Bay or their slim finals hopes are over.

Watch Zane Jones’ huge hit for Northstarsvideo

Watch Zane Jones’ huge hit for Northstars | video TARGET MAN: Zane Jones celebrates a goal for the Northstars early in the season before he injured his knee. Picture: Wulos
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TweetFacebookTHAT hit by @ZaneZila_. Cam Critchlow felt the full force of the #ZaneTrain🚂 on Saturday #AIHL#WeAreNewcastlehttps://t.co/l1pbCimYDf

— Proski Northstars (@NewNorthstars) July 17, 2017

“We unleashed him in the third period.

“He announced himself as a returned player with quite a bit of noise. I’ve never seen a guy try harder to score a goal.

“He made two gigantic hits, perfectly legal. Hits like that can turn games, and they certainly lift the bench, the fans and in many ways deflate the opposition.

“The first hit was on their team captain, who’sbeen in the league a long time and is highly respected, big, physical player, and he just got rocked.”

The second, on Adrenaline star Cam Critchlow, was even bigger and drew gasps from the crowd.

Jones’ introduction coincided with the Northstars storming home with six goals in the final term to keep their Australian Ice Hockey League finals hopes alive.

Petrie said his team were playing well anyway, despite the score, but Jones “changed the feel of the game”.

“The opposition just becomes more timid. There’s no other way to put it.

“If you’ve got your foot to the floor and the other team backs off a little bit, it all comes together.

“I know if I was on the ice I’d be aware of where he was at all times.

“You don’t want to get caught by that guy.”

Petrie said another key factor in the win was a new approach in attack.

“We stopped mucking around with the puck. We just demanded that they simplify their offence, shoot the puck more and get into dirty areas in front of the net.

“We’ve got all these guys with elite professional shots not using them, looking for fancy backdoor passes.”

The sixth-placed Northstars (24 points) face a season-defining away double-header this weekend against the fourth-placed Melbourne Mustangs (27).

Win both and they could end the weekend inside the top four. Lose both and they are almost certainly out of the finals race.

“We’re not a bad team; we’re a very good team. We’ve just struggled to string a few wins together,” Petrie said.

“Webelieve we’ve turned a corner and we’re a threat to any team in the league now.

“This weekend starting tomorrow against Melbourne Mustangs is absolutely pivotal, not just for us but the Mustangs and everyone with aspirations of finishing third and fourth.”

The Northstars, almost back to full strength,have the rare luxury of having to leave two healthy players behind when they fly to Melbourne.