1200 honour our Cather­ine

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE -

HUN­DREDS of school chil­dren were in­spired by the strong mes­sage given by Olympic gold medal­list Cather­ine Skin­ner on Fri­day when she ad­dressed a crowd of more than 1200 at the Mans­field Re­cre­ation Re­serve.

Cather­ine was wel­comed home with loud ap­plause and cheers, ac­com­pa­nied by Mans­field Shire Mayor Paul Sladdin, and school cap­tains from Mans­field’s pri­mary schools.

Mayor Sladdin wel­comed ev­ery­one to the civic re­cep­tion for Cather­ine and in­tro­duced Cr Rus­sell Bate who de­scribed what trap shoot­ing was about, and how hard it was to co­or­di­nate eye and hand move­ments to be able to shoot such a small ob­ject mov­ing at high speed.

“It’s an event that is both phys­i­cally and men­tally de­mand­ing,” Cr Bate said.

“It’s an event where one missed tar­get can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween win­ning and los­ing.

“Cather­ine is a pretty ex­cep­tional young lady – she em­bod­ies what it means to be the best in her field.

“You have to sac­ri­fice a lot of things to reach the level of suc­cess that Cather­ine has.

“She is truly a Mans­field girl – she was born here, went to pri­mary school here and high school here.

“She has proven to be a fan­tas­tic am­bas­sador for the sport, her coun­try and in­deed for Mans­field.

“We’re proud to call Cather­ine Skin­ner a Mans­field girl.”

Mayor Sladdin then pre­sented Cather­ine with the ‘key to the shire’.

He con­grat­u­lated her on her mar­vel­lous achieve­ment of not only rep­re­sent­ing Australia and Mans­field at such a huge world event, but on also achiev­ing the high­est honour of a gold medal.

He ex­plained the mean­ing of the ‘key to the shire’, say­ing this was only the third time such an honour had been placed on a Mans­field cit­i­zen - the other two be­ing world snow­boarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin and world cy­clist Si­mon Gerrans.

“Civil re­cep­tions are held when coun­cil wants to honour one of its ci­ti­zens,” Mayor Sladdin said.

“This is the high­est honour a coun­cil can con­fer to an in­di­vid­ual.”

Mans­field’s other Rio Olympian - run­ner Vicki Mitchell - was in­vited but was un­able to at­tend, although she did send a mes­sage to the com­mu­nity which was read by Mayor Sladdin.

“The Mans­field com­mu­nity is such a won­der­ful com­mu­nity, and su­per sup­port­ive - it’s awe­some to come from there,” she wrote.

Mayor Sladdin also pre­sented Cather­ine with a small sculp­ture made by an Alexan­dra artists rep­re­sent­ing a trap shooter.

In her re­sponse to the pre­senta- tion Cather­ine gave an in­spi­ra­tional talk, mainly aimed at the 700 plus stu­dents present.

“If you have a dream, if you want to do well ei­ther in stud­ies or in sport don’t give up, keep prac­tis­ing, keep try­ing and even­tu­ally your dream will come true,” was her mes­sage.

“Try ev­ery­thing – you will only find what you area good at if you try it first.

“I wish you all the best for your fu­ture, even if you don’t know what that is yet.”

Cather­ine an­swered many ques­tions about the Rio Olympics, what it was like to be in Rio, what was it like to com­pete.

She said it had taken her some 10 years of prac­tice and com­pe­ti­tions to get to the Olympics which was her dream – but it was all worth it.

“I had to com­pete in many cham­pi­onships and events to gain points and to qual­ify for the Olympics and then I was happy just be part of the team – I didn’t ex­pect to come home with a medal,” she said.

“When I fired that last shot and hit the tar­get it was hard to be­lieve I had just won a gold medal, it took some time to sink in.

“I just stood there and said to my­self ‘what have I just done?’

“It was then a whirl­wind for the next three hours as the me­dia all swamped me.”

Cather­ine re­marked that although this was the small­est Olympians re­cep­tion she had at­tended since re­turn­ing to Australia, it was the best and the proud­est for her.

IT was a rous­ing cheer for Cather­ine Skin­ner as she en­tered the Mans­field Re­cre­ation Re­serve on Fri­day morn­ing to be wel­comed home from the Rio Olympics.

Con­grat­u­la­tions by the hun­dreds were be­stowed on Cather­ine by many fans at Fri­day’s re­cep­tion - below is a se­lec­tion of the day’s pro­ceed­ings.

PHOTO: Pam Zierk-Mahoney

PROUD MO­MENT: Mans­field Shire Mayor Paul Sladdin pre­sented Olympic gold medal­list Cather­ine Skin­ner with the key to the shire, flow­ers and a spe­cially cre­ated sculp­ture at a civic re­cep­tion on Fri­day in honour of her win in Rio.

FROM YOUNG TO OLD: More than 1000 lo­cal stu­dents and residents at­tended last Fri­day’s civic re­cep­tion for Olympic gold medal­ist, Cather­ine Skin­ner in­clud­ing young two year old Mia Mahoney.

PHO­TOS: Rhyll McCor­mack and Pam Zierk-Mahoney

ALL SMILES: Darby McCor­mack of Mer­ri­jig was thrilled to be able to ac­tu­ally touch an Olympic gold medal won by Cather­ine Skin­ner.

AUSSIE: Ava Ben­nett (left) em­braced her Aus­tralian spirit, drap­ing her­self in the Aussie flag.

EX­CITE­MENT BUILDS: A sea of green and gold awaited Cather­ine Skin­ner on Fri­day with chil­dren from Mans­field Pri­mary School dressed in Olympic colours.

RE­SPONSE: Cather­ine Skin­ner has the chance to re­spond to her pre­sen­ta­tion of the key to the shire be­fore the 1000 strong crowd.

YOU CHAMP: “Cather­ine Skin­ner you champ”, Harry Pur­cell’s hand­made sign loudly pro­claimed (above).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.