FORMER Knights fullback Robbie O’Davis hopes to stretch his fitness footprint across the region.
WORKING OUT: Robbie O’Davis leads a fitness session at Eleebana Public School. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
A personal trainer and triathlete, the 40-year-old former Queensland and Australian No.1 runs his Change 4 Change bargain-priced boot camps three times a week at Eleebana Public School, Maryland Public School and Maitland Grossmann High School.
O’Davis said the hour-long sessions started at 6pm and were held at all three schools Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“My long-term goal is to have a Change 4 Change boot camp within a 10-kilometre radius of each other throughout the Hunter region,” O’Davis said.
“The two main things that lead to obesity and people being unfit are financial viability and time efficiency, so I’ve made it financially viable, and our survey shows the best time for most people is between 6pm and 7pm, after the kids have done their homework and had dinner.”
O’Davis said the sessions were open to anyone, were conducted by qualified personal trainers and cost $5 per person – “or a handful of change” – to cover wages and insurance.
SIDELINES is not easily outraged, but we were last week after reading a column on The Guardian website that selected the ‘‘worst Ashes teams’’ of all time.
Included in the Australian XI was none other than Lake Macquarie’s favourite son Robert ‘‘Dutchy Holland’’, who played four Tests on the 1985 tour of England, taking six wickets at 77.5.
‘‘Holland managed to get his name onto the Lord’s honour board with a five-wicket haul in the second Test of the 1985 Ashes, but things went downhill quickly from there,’’ The Guadian wrote.
‘‘The spinner managed only one wicket in his subsequent three Tests in what was considered one of the weakest Australian Ashes squads to tour England.’’
Sidelines would point out that Holland’s 5-68 from 32 overs at the home of cricket bowled Australia to their only Test victory of the tour.
And if he struggled in the next three games, he was not Robinson Crusoe against an English batting line-up containing stars like Graham Gooch, David Gower, Ian Botham, Allan Lamb and Mike Gatting.
Sidelines is more than happy to go into bat for our Dutchy and point out you don’t need to delve back almost 30 years to find Australia’s ‘‘worst’’ Ashes spinner. Try Nathan Hauritz, Xavier Doherty and Michael Beer for starters.
Heads you lose
KADE Snowden has attracted widespread sympathy for the seven-game ban he incurred for his shoulder charge on Cowboys hooker Ray Thompson.
But Channel 9 commentator Darryl Brohman had an interesting viewpoint on the Footy Show last week.
While most of Brohman’s panellists felt Snowden had been harshly treated, Brohman said: ‘‘I disagree. He hit him in the head. He broke his jaw.’’
Brohman is in a better position than most to empathise with Thompson.
In the 1983 Origin opener, he collected an infamous Les Boyd elbow that broke his jaw and cost him a Test jersey. Boyd was banned for 12 months but Brohman was eating pureed food for weeks.
AKU Uate’s howler at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night prompted much press-box debate about the worst bombed tries in rugby league history.
Names like Cronulla’s Russell Richardson, the Warriors’ Glen Fisiiahi and Newcastle’s Paul Marquet all rated a mention.
The winner by consensus was Canterbury’s Max Mannix, who knocked on diving for the line against St George in 1984 after racing more than half the field.
In a tryless game, it cost the Bulldogs victory.
At least Uate could breathe a sigh of relief after Newcastle conjured up a 26-18 victory against the Broncos to keep their season alive.
JUBILANT Jaffas players, officials and fans piled into the dressing room after their preliminary final win on Saturday and were about to launch into the club’s victory song when they realised someone was missing.
Coach David Tanchevski was serving the second week of a two-game ban for criticising a referee when his team defeated Hamilton on penalties to book a Northern NSW State League grand final berth in their maiden top-division season.
Under the ban, the coach was not allowed in the changerooms.
So the cry went up: ‘‘Everyone outside!’’
The Jaffas crew streamed out of the sheds and gave a rousing rendition of the team song with Tanchevski in the open air.
Tanchevski and midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse have now served their suspensions and are free to take part in the decider against Magic at Wanderers Oval on Sunday.
A CALLER rang the Herald on Friday to report that AWOL Raiders star Blake Ferguson was at a Newcastle tattoo parlour on Wednesday with good mate Todd Carney. If our spy is correct, Ferguson will be sporting some new ink on his hands.
IN recent seasons outgoing Cessnock coach Todd Edwards and his Western Suburbs counterpart, Craig ‘‘Barney’’ Miller, have enjoyed one of the Real NRL’s most competitive rivalries.
Miller got the best of Edwards last season when the Rosellas won the grand final 16-14, and there was plenty of heat in the build-up due to the Wests mentor’s ‘‘coalmine’’ comment at the competition’s awards night.
Miller angered the Goannas when he said he wished his club had a ‘‘mine’’, a reference to Cessnock players being recruited through job opportunities.
Interviewer Darren Forward then responded with the classic retort: ‘‘You mightn’t have a mine, but you have a casino.’’
Any animosity has certainly disappeared.
Cessnock’s 23-16 loss to Kurri in the elimination final on Saturday ended Edwards’s coaching career in the Real NRL, and Miller was one of the first to congratulate him.
‘‘Last night I got a text from Barney, which was nice, as he’s a bloke I really respect,’’ Edwards said yesterday.
‘‘He’s doing the same sort of job that I do and he’s a pretty passionate bloke that knows his footy and knows that sometimes things happen.’’
NRL field trip
WHILE on Real NRL coaches, Sidelines spotted Craig Miller and Kurri Kurri captain-coach George Ndaira swapping notes at yesterday’s qualifying final between Macquarie and Souths at Peacock Field.
Miller’s Wests host Souths on Sunday in the major semi, and Ndaira’s Bulldogs face Macquarie in sudden death.