Home' Yorke Peninsula Country Times : January 2, 2013 Contents 28 Yorke Peninsula Country Times Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Annaliese Nipperess's first trip overseas and
first time competing for Australia was a suc-
cess with her team finishing second in the
2012 International Classique.
Annaliese, 14, of Port Wakefield, travelled
to South Africa in November to compete in
the showjumping event which involves three
teams of four riders.
Australia was competing against South
Africa and New Zealand with Annaliese's dad
Mark also accompanying the team as manag-
er.Annaliese and her teammates rode pool
horses, with a new pony randomly selected for
each day of competition.
"There were some nice horses and wow
could the ponies jump, little ponies no bigger
than 12.3 hands jumping 110-120cm,"
The competition was held over two rounds
each day, with riders carrying their faults into
the next round.
"On the first day I had a beautiful little grey
pony that reminded me so much of my pony
Solo, his name was Magic Merlin and he was
awesome," Annaliese said.
After day one, Australia was in second place
behind New Zealand.
"On day two I got this gun of a pony called
Princely Affair ... I wish I could have folded
him up and put him in my suitcase," Annaliese
Australia won the competition on day two
and was leading with seven points ahead of
New Zealand on five and South Africa on
three going into the final day of competition.
"We were last to go in the order and I was
jumping last so it was all up to me ... New
Zealand had two clear double rounds so I
knew I had to ride to the best of my ability,"
"Not only did we jump an amazing clear
first round, but went on to jump a second
clear round putting Australia second for the
day and tying the score with New Zealand.
"So dad had the hard task of choosing two
riders to jump off against New Zealand for the
final overall championship."
The last rider for New Zealand came out
and jumped clear to give New Zealand the
"So overall we came second to New Zealand
and South Africa third, we were devastated
but at the same time so elated with what we
had achieved over the three days," Annaliese
Aside from the competition, Annaliese
rode rollercoasters at a theme park, dressed up
for a special welcoming function, went shop-
ping, and visited a lion park where she fed
giraffes and played with lion cubs.
"This was an experience of a lifetime and
has made me even keener to get out and have
a go and hopefully achieve my dream of one
day competing at the Olympics," Annaliese
"Thank you to everyone for the generosity
shown to assist me and my family in giving me
the opportunity to represent Australia in
REPRESENTING AUSTRALIA... Annaliese Nipperess in action for
Australia at the 2012 International Classique held in South Africa in
PHOTO: Tamara and Blake Images
in South Africa
POINT GUARD... Kelsey Ireland in action for Adelaide Lightning.
Set to celebrate her 22nd birth-
day on January 27, diminutive
Kadina basketball export Kelsey
Ireland is competing in her fifth
Women's National Basketball
The 171cm point guard debuted
in 2008-09 with the now-defunct
Institute of Sport side.
Moving to Adelaide Lightning in
2009-10, Ireland played five games
that season after recovering from a
shoulder injury. She then spent a
season with the Townsville Fire,
where an injured foot further ham-
pered her opportunities.
She returned to Adelaide
Lightning in 2011-12 and is vying
for court time in the Lightning's
point guard role with Angela
Marino and Lauren Mansfield.
Off the court, she is studying for
an honours degree to add to her
Bachelor of Biomedical Science.
"It is tough, as basketball takes a
big chunk of your life, but equally
it's a great environment and we get
plenty of special opportunities,"
"Naturally, I'm eager for more
court time but also am happy, as a
team player, to play my role within
"The ABL (local Adelaide com-
petition) and WNBL seasons roll
into each other, so you are playing
all year round; I don't mind that, as
in the ABL there is more court time.
"The point guard position is a
role where you are continually
learning. Your knowledge of the
game is a key; things like the game
clock situations, what the opposi-
tion defence is doing and what you
can exploit are important parts of
the role as a point guard."
Ireland has played in 71 WNBL
games as at Christmas 2012.
"Among my career highlights so
far are the 2009 U19 FIBA World
Championships in Thailand, where
the national team finished fifth,"
"I was also a member of the 2009
Oceania Championships side.
"Being selected in the Australian
Institute of Sport squad was a big
honour; after a training camp, I
arrived at the AIS on my 17th birth-
"Gaining my degree is a highlight
away from the game."
In her teenage years, Ireland was
a perennial SA Country representa-
tive from under 14 level and she was
in the SA u20 side which won the
national title in 2010.
For the past two years, Ireland
has been playing for the Norwood
Flames in South Australia's Central
ABL competition, after transferring
Ireland started her basketball in
the Yorke Valley association playing
for Paskeville from age 6.
When quizzed about why Yorke
Peninsula continues to produce
high-class basketballers and sports-
people, Ireland explained it was the
good coaching and culture in the
"I was coached by Kym
Prestwood going through the local
system," Ireland explained.
"Kate Langford was playing for
Adelaide at that time, and I aspired
to be like her.
"My mum (Trudy Ireland) runs
the basketball program at the
Ireland's older sister Nikki refer-
ees in the ABL competition and has
been to the national u20s champi-
onships; she has an ambition to offi-
ciate in the WNBL.
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