Sportstar October 2018 nominees

By Riverine Herald

Congratulations to Damien Cocks and Latisha Painter who are the senior nominees and Joshua Walsh and Grace Moyle who are the junior nominees for Sportstar of the Year.

It was the third time Damien Cocks had represented his beloved Victoria in cricket.

And this time, he finally got the reward for effort he deserved as Victoria won the Special Olympics T20 Invitational carnival.

Taking a brief break from his representing of Echuca Cricket Club, Cocks made the journey to Adelaide to don the Big V, and ended up smashing his previous best team finish of fourth place.

He also had one of his best personal appearances after his first showing in 2013.

In the three day carnival, Cocks made more than his share of runs, took a few strong catches, and took a vital five-wicket haul en route to winning the championship with Victoria.

His efforts also saw him named in the All-State team of the carnival.

And it will see him named co-winner of this month’s senior Sportstar nomination.

‘‘Every one of us just had one thing on our minds — to win the carnival.’’

There isn’t much in her sport Latisha Painter hasn’t been able to achieve this season.

And she has gained the recognition of her peers in the process.

In August she was named by her peers as the Gymnastics Victoria Athlete of the Month.

Not a bad performance.

But that is only the beginning.

Competing as a tumbler with Palmers Gym in Bendigo, she claimed the 2018 level seven tumbling club championship.

With the club title under her belt, she moved on to the state level, claiming the Victorian State Championship for Junior International Female Tumbling in the under 22 category.

Then heading to the Australian National Gymnastics Championships for the year, her hard work earned her the title of 2018 Senior International Female Tumbler.

It’s not a bad resume for the young gymnast to have.

A national and state champion, with very real claims to being one of the most elite tumblers in the world.

And a more than fitting co-winner of this month’s nomination for Echuca Moama’s Senior Sportstar.

There were not many medals in outrigging competition that Joshua Walsh didn’t win in the past month.

His recent trip to the 2018 Trans Tasman Gubbi Gubbi Waka Ama event, followed by his appearance at the 2018 National Junior Outrigging Canoe Racing Championships, was a triumph.

Walsh returned from the events having competed in eight events, for which he claimed eight medals, including four gold.

And, not fully satisfied with beating people his own age, Walsh stepped up an age group and competed again, gaining extra experience as he prepares for a future tilt at the world championships in 2020 in Hawaii.

While he is the member of a team on the Gold Coast, he remains in his home town, taking to the waters as often as he can to improve his distance and endurance as he works towards the goal of the national championships.

But he is clearly on the right track with his recent success.

And that has earned him a nomination for the 2018 Junior Sportstar.

It’s a major achievement to be playing for your state at any age.

So how big an achievement is it to be playing for Victoria at 11?

Grace Moyle, a young local cricketer who has already represented Northern Rivers, has earned that opportunity, and will go to Western Australia in December to represent the School Sports Victoria under 12 female cricket team.

After a series of trials, she found herself selected in the state team, one of just 13 from the 60 originally offered a trial.

Moyle has just started her new season of youth girls cricket in the GMC, moving from Echuca East to Echuca, and will be representing Northern Rivers once again.

A growing star in cricket, Moyle is set for big things as she continues in the sport.

And that includes a nomination for Junior Sportstar of the Year.