Winter Olympian and current Ipswich Sportstar of the Year Deanna Lockett
Winter Olympian and current Ipswich Sportstar of the Year Deanna Lockett Rob Williams

Ipswich's top 30 could easily have been a super 60

AFTER highlighting 30 world-class Ipswich achievers from the past three decades over the past week, the next question has to be: "who missed out?''

Looking back over those 30 years showcased Ipswich's international quality and sporting diversity over that period.

My "greatest 30'' of that time included national captains, multi-talented men and women, Hall of Fame inductees and multiple award winners.

 

Ipswich's top 30 greatest from the past 30 years.
Ipswich's top 30 greatest from the past 30 years.

But Ipswich has shared in so much success over the past three decades, many achievers were unable to make the list.

Among them was current Ipswich Sportstar of the Year Deanna Lockett. Having only lived in the city for a short time, she has already impressed representing Australia at the past two Winter Olympics.

Given my top 30 favoured Ipswich-born and bred achievers, Deanna just missed the cut. However, she's a wonderful example of the dedicated sportspeople living in our city.

Similarly, international golfer Rachel Hetherington was up with the leading contenders.

After spending her early years in Port Macquarie, Hetherington achieved major American LPGA Tour success while living at Bundamba before moving overseas. She turned professional in 1994.

 

Marathon man Clay Dawson
Marathon man Clay Dawson Warren Lynam

Of the current Ipswich achievers still based in the city, marathon man Clay Dawson and sporting all-rounder Josh Roberts deserve recognition for their incredible efforts.

Clay's incredible journey has been well documented by the QT, as has Josh's highs and lows in baseball and league.

Josh has often been rated Ipswich's best rugby league player in recent seasons for his deeds at Norths. If only he'd climbed the footy representative ladder and matched his powerful baseball career captaining the Brisbane Bandits in the national league.

 

Ipswich Musketeers baseballer Josh Roberts
Ipswich Musketeers baseballer Josh Roberts Rob Williams

Supercars driver Ash Walsh is another outstanding Ipswich product. But he's yet to win a major race on the tough Australian circuit. Maybe next year.

Going back in time, Australian touch football duo Lynelle Hardy and Paulette Oldham were among the elite athletes on the short list, along with Australian footballer Kaylene Janssen and one of our best hockey goalkeepers Lindsay Woods.

Football pioneers like Michelle Sawyers were just outside the 30 year scope of the latest sporting list. Michelle, and her multi-talented husband Steve, have achieved much throughout their sporting careers.

Other top quality sports-people who have served our city proud over the past 30 years include Juanita Feldhahn, Alistair Stevenson, Kasey Wehrman, Donna Dalby, Karyn Murphy and Pat Boyle.

Walloon-based Juanita represented Australia at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Sydney Olympics, being an important team member for higher profile Aussie road cyclists.

Al was a top runner, representing Australia in the 1500m at the 1998 World Junior Championships in France.

Although growing up in country Queensland, former Australian Socceroo Kasey made Ipswich his home for a number of years before becoming Western Pride's inaugural National Premier Leagues senior men's coach in 2013.

Donna is one of Australia's top indoor cricketers, having taken on national coaching positions with international sides in recent seasons.

 

Leading women's footballer Karyn Murphy (right).
Leading women's footballer Karyn Murphy (right). Franca Tigani

Former Jillaroos and Queensland legend Karyn is fulfilling important integrity roles with the NRL. She played 27 internationals for Australia, leading the Jillaroos on 17 occasions.

She also has the NRL Women's premiership grand final medal named after her.

Western Pride general manager Pat shared in Australian World Cup successes playing indoor cricket.

Readers who offered feedback also showed they have good memories. Many of their selections were valid.

Who knows, we may attempt a "Super 60'' in the future.

Your turn

So who else do you think should have been included among Ipswich's "greatest 30'' sporting stars of the past 30 years?

Achievers who represented their country while growing up in Ipswich, or who had strong Ipswich ties, should be considered. The focus of this list was on Ipswich pride and the impact they made for the city.

Email your thoughts, with your name and suburb, to: qtsport@qt.com.au



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