Tag Archives: Ballina

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World Cup Home in Ballina

World Cup Home in Ballina

After competing in the ISKA (International Sports Karate Association) World Cup in Sydney on the weekend Ballina’s Bec Washington has brought home the ultimate title, Karate World Cup Champion.

The 24 year old, who was already the National Champion in Taekwondo, is now also the international Karate Champion.

The weekend began with Bec, or Miss Bec as she is known to the many other students at Ballina and Alstonville’s Strike Martial Arts, winning second place in Koshiki Full Contact. “This is not a bad effort for the first time seeing as she didn’t even know the rules” joked her Instructor, Strike Martial Arts’ Master Shane Mckeahnie.

On day two, in front of 5000 spectators at Sydney’s Whitlam Leisure Centre Bec pulled out all stops to win first place in continuous sparring

“It was crazy” said Bec Washington. “They were some of the hardest fights of my life. The woman that I beat had twenty kgs on me. It’s completely different fighting to Taekwondo.

“It was really exciting to have Sir (Master Shane Mckeahnie) there with me, especially as we competed together. And to have my mum there to support me was pretty special. The first day was a really good experience. I didn’t really know the rules so we just had to go for it. The intensity was an indicator of what the next day was going to be like. To come and out win the continuous sparring was unreal. I had to pull on everything I have ever learnt and all my training over the past nine months to get me through to the finals.

The support I have received from my Coach Master Shane and all the people at Strike has been phenomenal”.

The Karate World Cup is held every three years and is attended by competitors from all over the world.

Bec Washington is now qualified to compete in the Australasian Titles for Karate in Sydney in November, followed by the national Taekwondo Championships in Adelaide in December followed by the Canadian Open and the US Open in January.

Strike Martial Arts is currently seeking sponsorship for their Elite Competition Team.



Undefeated: Our National Champion Heads to World Cup

Undefeated: Our National Champion Heads to World Cup

Ballina’s Bec Washington is Australia’s number one black belt in Taekwondo, holding the national championship title for open heavy weight black belt division. And with a run of wins this year that leave her undefeated in karate, she is now heading to the World Cup in October to compete internationally in this martial art.

The World Cup will not be her fist international competition, having gained two bronze medals at the New Zealand Open in 2013.

Bec’s recent wins at the 4th round of the ISKA (International Sports Karate Association) Tournament, held at Caboolture on the Splendour weekend, can be seen on the Strike Martial Arts facebook page. “That was the last tournament before the World Cup so it was good to have those wins” said Bec.

The 24 year old puts her success down to her training at Ballina and Alstonville’s Strike Martial Arts, especially her coach and mentor Master Shane McKeahnie, a sixth dan black belt master. “I have an awesome coach” she said. “I started training when I was 19 and had never really done much sport before that. I could see so much improvement in myself – I was more confident as well as being fitter and healthier. The environment at Strike is what kept me going. It’s like a family, it’s very supportive and there are no egos”.

“Miss Bec” as she is known to the many other students at Strike Martial Arts teaches at both the Alstonville and Ballina Dojangs. Local Chef Natasha Stamm, who is known for her cake making business Treats and Teirs (which supplies cakes and desserts to some of the Northern Rivers’ favourite cafes and restaurants including Quattro and The Top Shop) has recently joined the adult Taekwondo introductory classes with Bec. She was inspired after watching her seven year old son Jonty benefit from martial arts training.

“Jonty has become so fit and strong since he started training” said Natasha. “Mentally it’s been very good for him. He’s more disciplined and he has matured. The difference is incredible. I think all school children should do martial arts, it sorts them out”.

Strike Martial Arts has produced over 40 national champions in the different divisions, as well as having two students compete at the Commonwealth Championships for Australia in 2009. Owner and coach Master Shane McKeahnie was himself a former National Champion in the Black Belt Division and was awarded a Bronze Medal at the World Taekwondo Championship in Korea in 2012.

To anybody interested in learning martial arts, including kick boxing fitness classes, Bec says “Just come down to the classes in Ballina or Alstonville and say hi. Meet the instructors and have a look at the environment”.



New blood sought for Board

Marilyn Perkins and Tony Gilding

The Ballina Region Community College is calling for Board Members to see their dynamic business through the next phase.

Having recently moved to new larger premises in Alstonville, the College is expanding.

“New blood is what we are after” outlined Director Tony Gilding. The owner of Macadamia Castle, an active conservationist and President of Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia, Tony has been an active Board Member. “And we strongly encourage women to apply.

“There is an underrepresentation of women on our Board which we would like to address. We are committed to a Director composition which reflects the community the College serves. We are losing Marilyn Perkins, an experienced female Director who has been incredibly active in the community for decades”.

A well known community advocate, Marilyn Perkins is the longest serving member of the Board. After joining the College Committee in 2003, she later became Deputy Chair and then Chair of the Board in 2007. She continued in that role until 2011. At the upcoming AGM Marilyn will retire, making way for at least one new Board member and possibly more.

“Making strategic decisions about the future of the College is exciting” outlined Marilyn. “The rewards are always there – it is great to be part of a dynamic and interesting team – I’ll miss that. Our College is proactive in pursuing innovation, including new ways of teaching and learning. So we must have new people with fresh ideas to ensure the continuation of a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation”.

A not for profit education facility, the Ballina Region Community College has campuses in Ballina, Alstonville and Yamba. The College offers courses in three streams – vocational education and training, work skills and general lifestyle. Courses cover diverse areas including business, IT, fitness, health and wellbeing, languages, hospitality, visual arts, cooking and photography. Most subjects are VET accredited.

Board members attend meetings every two months, serve on Board sub-committees and occasionally represent the College at functions. Participation in the Board enables members to gain valuable experience in governance, actively participate in the community, be part of a committed team and undertake College courses free of charge.

Applications close 10th March. Potential applicants may contact Richard Hughes on admin@ballinarcc.edu.au


Downloadable high resolution images:

Photo 1 – Marilyn Perkins and Tony Gilding (portrait)
Photo 2 – Marilyn Perkins and Tony Gilding (landscape)
Photo 3 – Marilyn Perkins
Photo 4 – Tony Gilding
Photo 5 – Marilyn Perkins and Tony Gilding outside the Ballina Region Community College

Frenzy of activity at Angels Beach North

A frenzy of activity is occurring at Angels Beach North, with four houses being shaped into homes and two further lots in the design stages.

Angels Beach North, East Ballina

The walk/cycleways leading to the beach and East Ballina Shopping Centre are now in place and renowned local builder John Eggins has joined other respected builders to showcase his talents within the mews precinct at the prestigious community. “We are thrilled that John has joined with us here” said Agent Narelle Elks from Elks Property.

In a move that even they didn’t anticipate, Mark and Robyn Ambler have also chosen to relocate across the road from Silver Gull Drive East Ballina, where they have lived for fourteen years, into the mews precinct.

“We were people who 18 months ago wouldn’t have had a bar of moving into a more compact home” said Mark Ambler, a professional football (soccer) coach. “But I just turned 60 and we decided to make the lifestyle move now rather than wait another ten years. We like to go away fresh water fishing and with this home it will be easier to lock up and leave”.

As with all the mews allotments, the Amblers’ north east facing lot fronts a park, rather than a road. The couple have recruited GJ Gardner to build their home, which has been designed around their boat.

“When we first went over and met Narelle and Bob Elks we instantly considered them honest genuine people to deal with” said Mark Ambler. “From that moment on we decided to give it a go and put our house on the market. Three weeks later, we were away on a fishing trip and got a call to say an offer had been made. Now we can get on with life”.

With its two parks, state of the art playground and two hectare nature reserve, Angels Beach North is the jewel of the Ballina Shire. Land is priced from $310,000 for a 435m² mews allotment and from $499,000 for a modern three bedroom two bathroom two garage beach house and land package. “Downsizing has never been more affordable” outlined Narelle Elks, “as the mews allotments are torrents title there are no body corporate or strata fees”.

For availability and pricing please visit www.angelsbeachnorth.com.au or contact Narelle Elks of Elks Property on 0429 433778.

Downloadable high resolution images:

Photo 1 – Mews Precinct home, Angels Beach North East Ballina
Photo 2 – Angels Beach North December 2012