NEXT GENERATION: Rising local sporting stars Elliarna Mitchell, Denver Cross and Eden Hedges were in attendance at the Bowen Sporting Hall of Fame function.
NEXT GENERATION: Rising local sporting stars Elliarna Mitchell, Denver Cross and Eden Hedges were in attendance at the Bowen Sporting Hall of Fame function. Jordan Gilliland

Bowen Sporting Hall of Fame welcomes newest member

IT WAS drinks all around as the Bowen Sporting Hall of Fame inducted a new name to its ranks.

The night saw Bowen athletes past and present band together to celebrate not only the inclusion of a new name to the honour board, but also the success and achievements of the athletes granted funds from last year's event.

Kieran O'Regan was the recipient of this year's top honour; he was recognised for his achievements in representing Australia internationally in swimming.

The former Bowen resident, who now lives on the Sunshine Coast, was unable to attend the evening, but spoke to the crowd by phone and said that all athletes of Bowen should strive their hardest.

"I know sometimes it can feel difficult when you're in a regional town to make your way in sport," he said.

"It's important for everyone in that situation to keep pushing forward though, because if you keep trying, you will be recognised.

"I'm so honoured to be given this award and I'll make sure to keep pushing sport and success to those new athletes."

Mr O'Regan's greatest success came at the 2006 Oceania Championships where he won gold medals in the 200m breaststroke and 4x100m medley relay events.

Event organiser Roger McGrath said that the night was a great success, and that he was proud to have been able to show Bowen once again the calibre of athletes that the town can produce.

"It was a really great night," Mr McGrath said.

"I love being able to support our junior athletes as well as honour our past ones.

"Everyone in Bowen should be proud of the athletes we produce, for a small town we see a lot of talent.

"I look forward to the support of the community, Abbot Point Operations and our athletes next year as we try to assist even more young stars in the next 12 months."

The night was also a chance for last year's grant recipients to talk to attendees regarding the success that they had in the past year.

Bowen young gun Eden Hedges told the crowd about her success in taking out the women's division in the Magnetic Island to Townsville Swim.

"Money from grants like this help when we travel to places that are much further away, especially as I transition to open water swimming which can sometimes be quite a distance from home," Ms Hedges said.


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