Robert Crowther wins the world junior long jump title in Beijing in 2006.
Robert Crowther wins the world junior long jump title in Beijing in 2006.

Bowen’s greatest sporting heroes remembered

BOWEN is famous for its mangoes and beaches, but we have also produced some of the country's best sporting legends with our annual Sporting Hall of Fame event showcasing just some of the talent.

Event organiser Rodger McGrath said the Bowen Independent had always reported on the town's sporting successes and looked forward to continuing the relationship online.

Over the years, Mr McGrath has collated some of the best sports people to hail from our region and awarded them the honour of being inducted into the "Bowen Sporting Hall of Fame", with their names etched into the board at the Grand View Hotel.

Some names which Mr McGrath said must be recognised for their contributions include:

Corinne Dibnah

While the conditions were far from what she was used to at Bowen Golf Club, Corinne Dibnah became one of the world's most famous golfers when she won the women's British Open in 1988.

Dibnah was the first Australian woman to win the British Open and went on to win 19 professional tournaments worldwide.

 

Corinne Dibnah in 1981
Corinne Dibnah in 1981

Michael McLean

Michael McLean played NRL between 1985 and 1992 for Sydney Roosters, Newcastle Knights and Gold Coast with a total of 81 first grade games.

Over the space of 1991 to 1992 he also played five State of Origin games for Queensland.

 

Former Origin player Mike McLean, publican at the Grandview Hotel.
Former Origin player Mike McLean, publican at the Grandview Hotel.

Robert Crowther

Robbie Crowther is a long jumper from Bowen, becoming the first Australian since Jana Pittman to win a world junior athletics gold medal.

Robert won the 2006 gold medal for long jump at the World Junior Athletic Championships in Beijing with a jump of 8m. He was the first indigenous AIS athlete to win a world junior gold medal.

Crowther's winning jump of eight metres in Beijing was the best-ever by an Australian junior.

 

Robert Crowther winning the world junior long jump title in Beijing in 2006.
Robert Crowther winning the world junior long jump title in Beijing in 2006.

David Martin

Bowen local David Martin was "honoured" to be named the 2020 Sporting Hall of Fame Inductee.

Martin has two national sailing titles under his belt and a career sailing and working on yachts through the Mediterranean.

Martin won the 1989 Australian Sabot Junior Championships in Sydney and the 1992 Australian Sabot Senior Championships in Hobart.

 

With two national sailing titles to his name, David Martin was right at home on his Laser at the Port Denison Sailing Club's 150th anniversary regatta in Bowen. He was born in Bowen and has moved back with his wife Faraday who is coaching Bowen juniors.
With two national sailing titles to his name, David Martin was right at home on his Laser at the Port Denison Sailing Club's 150th anniversary regatta in Bowen. He was born in Bowen and has moved back with his wife Faraday who is coaching Bowen juniors.

Rod Halley

Prior to the State of Origin, between 1973 and 1974, Rob Halley played Queensland v NSW as a second rower.

Halley was well known as a "tackling machine".

 

Bowen’s Rod Halley during a training session with the Redcliffe Dolphins, the Brisbane Rugby League team he joined in 1972.
Bowen’s Rod Halley during a training session with the Redcliffe Dolphins, the Brisbane Rugby League team he joined in 1972.

Stephen Corbett and Grant Reiber

Grant Reibel and Stephen Corbett were both selected for Junior Kangaroos Rugby League touring teams.

 

Greg Pearce

Greg Pearce was selected in the Australian Under 17 cricket team as a batsman in 1986.

In 2003 he accepted an invitation to play at Windsor Castle for the "Royal Household Cricket Club" the official cricket club of Her Majesty the Queen.

 

Neville Greatorex

In 1951 aged just 19, Neville Greatorex won the 30 mile Queensland State Cycling Championships.

With three generations of impressive titles under their belts, Mr McGrath said the most famous sporting family in Bowen, would have to be the Joccheims "by far".

 

Neville Greatorex from Bowen runs in the Queen's Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games.
Neville Greatorex from Bowen runs in the Queen's Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games.

Merle Jochheim

In 1950, Merle Jochheim won one gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the Queensland Swimming Championships in Brisbane.

Leo Mazey, Jayne O'Regan and Merle Jochheim pictured on Anzac Day 2020.
Leo Mazey, Jayne O'Regan and Merle Jochheim pictured on Anzac Day 2020.

Jayne O'Regan (Jochheim)

Merle Jochheim's daughter Jayne won gold at the 1970,1971 and 1972 Queensland Junior Swimming Championships.

Jochheim went on to win gold at the 1972 Australian Junior Championships.

Kieran O'Regan

Merle Jochheim's grandson Keiran won the 2006 gold medal in the 200m breaststroke at the Oceania Games in Cairns.

Kieran O'Regan talking to media after winning the 200m Breaststroke final. Photo: Aaron Francis.
Kieran O'Regan talking to media after winning the 200m Breaststroke final. Photo: Aaron Francis.