Gympie's ultimate sporting legends: #1-30
#30 Chase Rendell, Golf
A prodigious talent with "a lot of potential”, little legend Chase Rendell already boasts an impressive list of sporting accomplishments in his field at just eight years of age.
As he eyes off the coveted world number one spot, the Tin Can Bay Golf Club member will mix it with the world's best next year at the USA Kids Australian Open in Sydney and the Australian Age Division Championships on the Gold Coast.
At just five, he won the the under six division of the Australian Junior Age Championships at Yeppoon in 2016 and backed it up with another win last year.
He has also contested the U.S Kids Australian Open in Sydney and the World Junior Championships at the Badlands course in Las Vegas.
Now under the tutelage of Sean Lynch, who once coached former world number 1 Jason Day, there's no doubt the Victory College student is one to watch in the coming years as he aims to add to his trophy cabinet.
#29 Troy Carlson, Swimming
Six gold from the Australian School Swimming Championships and one silver from the Sydney National Swimming Championships.
A Gympie swimming legend at just 16 years old, the Mooloo kid has made a huge splash in the Gympie community with his talents in the pool.
At the age of 11, Carlson smashed the Bundaberg 200m butterfly event by two seconds with a time of 2.44, his competitive nature making him shine above the rest.
The local talent has earned his share of gold and has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
His love for the sport began at the age of seven over some sibling rivalry.
"My sister was swimming and I wanted to beat her and then I wanted to beat everyone else. I like to win,” he said.
Carlson is training to make his way on the big stage and swim for his country in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics and win gold.
#28 Lachlan and Jessy Keeffe, Aussie Rules
Lachlan: 48 career games (40 Collingwood, 8 GWS Giants), 8 goals.
Jessy: Member of Brisbane Lions AFL squad, yet to debut.
Coming in at number 28 is one of the Gympie region's highest achieving brother-sister sporting duos, the Keeffes.
Lachlan, 28, made his debut for Collingwood in 2011 and went on to play 40 games for the club, mostly as a key defender.
He was delisted by the Magpies after the 2017 season and subsequently signed for the Giants, playing eight games this year before signing a one-year contract extension for 2019.
Jessy, 22, was selected 48th overall by the Lions in the 2017 AFLW draft and maintains a spot in the squad, though she is yet to make her official playing debut.
At 186cm, Jessy will be looking to have a big impact in the ruck for the Lions in the upcoming 2019 season.
#27 Brad Kennedy, rugby league
Four Queensland games.
Born in Lismore, Kennedy moved to Gympie in 1973 and played his first A-grade game when he was 18.
Not the biggest bloke on the field, just 72kg, he played as a centre and adapted a technique that brought down any charging forward or second-rower.
"The smaller you are, the more technique you have to use,” he said. "A small person can tackle the big forwards - you have to go in at their legs.”
Kennedy was your typical centre, speedy and could step. The harder he trained, the better his performance on the field.
"This goes for anyone. If you are playing regularly, training consistently, your game will improve indefinitely.”
His career was cut short at just 24. Kennedy sustained a head injury in a game against Ipswich and did not play again.
But he had enough time to make an impact in the game, with Australian selectors calling to see how his condition was.
#26 Kris Kahler, rugby league
51 games and one try.
The second-rower got his first break for the Brisbane Broncos in 2002.
Despite playing one game, Kahler moved to down to Canberra had his first season with the Raiders in 2004.
He played 35 games and scored his first try as a professional player.
Kahler played with the green machine for three seasons and then moved back to the Sunshine State.
The Gympie product was part of the inaugural Gold Coast Titans squad in 2007.
He had a season overseas in the French Rugby League team Pia Donkeys in the Elite One Championship in 2009 and that same year signed with Gateshead Thunder.
That same year he returned to Australia, playing in the Intrust Super Cup for the Redcliffe Dolphins.
After hanging his boots, Kahler did not walk away from the game, coaching Gympie Devils in 2012.
#25 Peter Tramacchi, tennis
One US New Haven tournament win with doubles partner Wayne Arthurs in straight sets 7-6 1-6 6-3.
At his prime in 1999, Tramacchi had a doubles world ranking of 45.
He was a captain and coach of the Australian Junior David Cup team, winning the World Championships in 2007.
The 47-year-old made his debut in 1992 and the next year competed at tournaments in Malaysia and Germany. His love for the sport started at a young age, playing tennis at age eight and reaching the Australian Open Juniors quarter-finals in 1988.
Tramacchi qualified for his first tour match in January 1994 at Adelaide but went down in the first round to Greg Rusedski.
He found inspiration from professional world Swedish No.1s Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg and former Czech-American world No.1 Ivan Lendl.
After finishing his career in the early 2000s, Tramacchi devoted his energy into working on junior development in 2010.
#24 Carlin Anderson, rugby league
11 Queensland Intrust Super Cup games, five tries and 13 goals.
The young Gympie flyer first came to national attention three-years ago when he helped the Ipswich Jets to the 2015 Queensland Cup and NRL State Championship titles.
That stellar season earned him an NRL contract with the Brisbane Broncos in 2016.
A serious jaw and facial injury sidelined him for an extended period and he didn't crack the NRL.
North Queensland Cowboys feeder team the Townsville Blackhawks offered Anderson a career last year and he had a stellar season. A serious hand injury robbed the fullback of majority of his maiden season with the Cowboys this year.
"This is my third major setback but hopefully I can come back bigger and better.”
Anderson has another season to run on his contract with the Cowboys next year.
He is on the cusp of an NRL debut if he can steer clear of injury.
#23 Karel McClintock, athletics
200 medals, 100 gold.
Involved in Gympie athletics for 21 years McClintock, has made her way to the legends list for exceeding in shotput, discus, hammer, javelin and sprints.
She has competed in a number of competitions that have earned her 200 medals across a range of events, half of which are gold.
McClintock added to collection of awards this year, competing in the Gold Coast Pan Pacific Masters Games in November.
Just a few weeks shy of her 58th birthday, she added another gold, three silvers and one bronze to her growing collection.
Taking a love for throwing events, her personal best throw with a 3kg shotput is 10.60 metres.
McClintock spent the first half of this year recovering from injury but she is driven to keep going.
Her love for athletics and her long dedication to the sport, not to mention the astounding accomplishments she has made throughout her sporting career earns her a place on this list.
#22 John Muir, Boxing
Amateur record: 90 fights, 80 wins.
Professional record: 10 fights, seven wins.
A dedicated and talented boxer with an impressive resume built over his colourful career in the mid-20th century, John Muir stands out as one of the Gympie region's all-time greats in the world of combat sports. He took up the sport at just 10 years of age and developed his skills during time spent at the Gympie Youth Club.
He became Wide Bay's featherweight champion for four straight years and claimed 80 wins from 90 amateur bouts.
He fought 10 times professionally and earned seven victories but narrowly avoided a place in the 1958 Australian Commonwealth Games team after being out-boxed by then national champion Gary Cowburn at Festival Hall in Brisbane.
Muir became a bantamweight and soon claimed a Queensland title.
Fighting mostly in the regional circuit, Muir competed against and overcame some of the toughest bush boxers around.
#21 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, rugby league
14 games in the Intrust Super Cup for the Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast Falcons.
He is on the cusp of an NRL debut Fa'asuamaleaui is making great strides towards that dream.
Born in Orange, the second-rower made his debut with the junior Kangaroos, barging his way over the try line to score twice.
The 18-year-old made a name for himself in Widgee and Gympie before being signed up with Melbourne Storm in May 2017.
He has risen through the ranks this year not only representing his country but his state in the under-18s and under 20s Queensland sides.
"Growing up I dreamt of playing at Suncorp. Everyone wants to play for the Maroons and run onto the field in front of your home crowd.”
With a strong build and hard running game, he is hard to stop when he starts charging.
#20 Gayle Holmes, equestrian
A GYMPIE region sporting talent is taking on the world stage. Widgee-based Gayle Holmes has represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games.
Last year she did the unthinkable by winning a host of state and national riding titles straight off the back of a serious injury.
In 2016, Holmes had her foot shattered when a horse kicked her and she required the surgical insertion of a metal plate and seven screws.
She climbed back on the horse after several months and picked up the Queensland State Distance Rider and Points Rider awards, the State Distance Horse and Points Horse, won the Collier Cup, placed equal first as a National Distance Rider, second in National Points, second in Horse Points and third in Distance.
"To do that after my accident was a huge comeback.
"I am quite pleased with myself,” Holmes said.
Arguably one of Gympie's toughest women, she rode in one event with a broken hand.
#19 Linda Blowers, shooting
SHOOTING is Linda Blowers' speciality and she won a silver medal at the world International Practical Shooting Confederation Championships.
She was a part of the 2011 Australian Women's team at the championships, where the team finished second overall.
Blowers finished sixth individually in the open women's competition, which was her fifth world championships.
Blowers represented her country at the Australasian Championships held in Malaysia.
The whole family has a love of the sport, with husband Alain and stepdaughter Karla heavily involved.
Blowers not only excels in the sport, she is also a partner of a law firm in Gympie.
Accredited as a Family Law specialist in 2001, Blowers concentrates predominately in such cases, however, she has experience in body corporate property transactions, leasing and group title matters.
#18 Jimmy Downey, football (soccer)
HE IS arguably one of the region's best athletic exports, playing at the elite level in football (soccer).
Just as talented on the running track as on the football field, Downey proved coming from a regional town was no limitation to achieving your dreams.
Now retired, during his prime Downey played for both Perth Glory and the Wellington Phoenix in the A-League, as well as stints in Europe before a severe knee injury derailed his plans of making it in the world's best league.
While not being directly involved in the game anymore, the Lions and Columbia junior said it was the skills and attributes he developed in Gympie that allowed him to mix it with the game's elite.
"Playing in a men's competition at such a young age definitely helped my transition into representative and then professional football,” he said.
Downey currently plays for the Ballarat Red Devils in the National Premier League Victoria Division1.
#17 Barry McTaggart, rugby league
HE WAS the hardworking prop from Gympie when he debuted with the Balmain Tigers in 1969.
That same year, McTaggart was part of the side that secured an unthinkable grand final win against favourites the South Sydney Rabbitohs 11-6.
The Gympie product got a start in the Tigers' 17-man squad after rugby league immortal Arthur Beetson was suspended.
He was rewarded for his effort in that game by going to England with Australia's World Cup squad in 1970.
The tall prop made his international debut for the Kangaroos in a 17-15 loss to France in the third round of the competition and was injured in the match.
During his career he appeared in three minor tour matches - against St Helens, France (in a non-Test match) and France B.
McTaggart played with Balmain from 1969-72 and scored three tries during his career.
He retired in 1973. The Gympie legend has a life membership with the Gympie Wanderers.
#16 Julie Ashton-Lucy, hockey
ASHTON-Lucy was Gympie's first Australian hockey representative at the Olympic Games in London in 2012.
In 2013, she received the Sports Achievement Award and was named the World's Best Umpire following her performance at the Olympics.
An exceptional Queensland and Australian hockey player, she represented Australia as an umpire.
The 2012 Olympics was Ashton-Lucy's third (she also umpired at the 2004 and 2008 summer Olympics), including the Germany-Argentina bronze medal playoff at Beijing.
The international umpire was named Hockey Australia's Official of the year for 2009.
Ashton-Lucy umpired at both the Champions Challenge and Champions Trophy, where she was an outstanding ambassador for Hockey Australia.
Her long list of achievements feature umpiring at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Hockey World Cup.
#15 Darren Burns, rugby league
DARREN Burns is not only the face of Gympie rugby league, he is also its driving force.
After a career in the national rugby league that had him play for the Brisbane Broncos, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Western Suburbs Magpies and the Sydney Roosters, Burns is an inspiration to Gympie's aspiring rugby league players at a time the game at a regional level is struggling.
He has mandated the presence of rugby league at school level, which has led to a resurgence of young players in the local junior ranks, with 355 playing for the Devils juniors.
As rugby league grows to feature the National Rugby League Women's competition, Burns lead the charge behind the inaugural Devils women's team in 2019.
The next season will have the Devils expand to include four teams: A-grade, under-18s, reserves and women's.
Burns has also brought the likes of Allan 'Alfie' Langer, Petero Civoniceva and Jack Reed to the region.
#14 Charlie Dann, golf
GOLFER Charlie Dann has turned pro and finished 19th at the Australasian PGA qualifying school. The Gympie product played as an amateur at the Australian Open last month and despite not getting to the final stage Dann took plenty away from the tournament.
"My game does not feel far from where I need to be and I felt like I belonged there. In golf, if you don't play well you are still learning things every time,” he said.
The former James Nash Student is touted as one of the best amateur golfers but his reach extends beyond golf. He has a goal to help juniors on a permanent basis.
"I have been interacting with juniors at my club at Pelican Waters and I have given some equipment and other things I can give away to them,” he said.
Dann will continue his preparations for his first tournament as a pro in February next year the Victorian open.
He may not be able to get through because of his ranking in which case he will need to qualify.
#13 Tracey Lewis, swimming
LEWIS is Gympie's best Australian Paralympic amputee swimmer and did not let anything get in the way of her succeeding.
She went on to win many medals at the 1984 New York/Stoke Mandeville Games.
Throughout her career Lewis won three silver medals and one bronze.
She won silver in the women's 100m backstroke A8, women's 100m butterfly A8 and women's 200m individual medley A8.
Lewis won bronze in the women's 200m individual medley A8.
Lewis smashed no fewer than four world records in the trials for LA games in Sydney.
In her prime she went to the Amputee Olympics in Los Angeles in 2009.
The Gympie legend was awarded the 1984 Queensland Sportsperson of the Year.
It is through these achievements that Lewis earns a spot on our list of Gympie's greatest sporting legends.
#12 Steven Elliott, basketball
HIS dream of the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 is well and truly alive.
The basketball star was selected in the Australian Rollers team and won a bronze medal at the IWBF World Championships in Germany this year.
A natural athlete all his life, with an aptitude for rugby and running, Elliott didn't let the diagnosis of a debilitating neurological condition at age 13 stop him.
As an eager athlete and rugby league player in his first year of high school at James Nash, Elliott was looking forward to playing his first game of junior league with the Gympie Devils.
But with those plans halted, he shifted his focus to what he could do, rather than what he couldn't.
And so began Elliott's association with wheelchair basketball.
In 2009, Elliott competed for six days in the Australian Youth Paralympic Games and he was 14 when he became a member of the Queensland squad.
He is one of the best para-athletes in the country, which is why he earns a spot on our list.
#11 Noah Lane, surfing
LANE was born and bred in Rainbow Beach and has been involved in competitive surfing since he was 11 years old.
His career started to take off at the age of 19, when he surfed at the Australian Pro Junior title in South Australia 2010.
He went from ninth position to fifth overall, one spot away from selection for the World Junior Pro tour.
Lane cemented a top-10 ranking in 2009 in the ASP Australasia Pro Junior rating after collecting second at the Chill Pro Junior in Western Australia. A year later he claimed his Queensland Championship Circuit crown, to go on and surf the Quiksilver Pro trials.
Lane now lives and surfs in Ireland, where he won the Magicseaweed's The Winter Session, where he took home a $20,000 cash prize.
From surfing Australian competitions alongside the likes of Stu Kennedy and Owen Wright, Lane is a legend of the surfing community and has put our region on the world stage.
#10 David Mawhinney, rodeo
HE IS Gympie's real life cowboy.
David Mawhinney was a champion bull rider in his time, adding three world titles to his belt.
He put the region on the rodeo map, competing at the National Senior Pro Rodeo Association World finals at Las Vegas three years ago.
Mawhinney won the over 40's World Champion All Around Cowboy, World Champion Steer Wrestler and World Champion Bull Rider. He was also runner-up in the over 40's Saddle Bronc title, which Gary Lee Alger of the United States won.
The bull rider had previously won all round titles with the National Rodeo Association of Australia in 2012 and 2014.
"It felt really good to achieve these titles after a big decision to spend the six weeks needed overseas to qualify,” he said.
It is through these achievements that Mawhinney earns a spot in the Top Ten of The Gympie Times 30 Greatest Sporting Heroes.
#9 Arlene Blencowe, MMA
THE Gympie mixed martial artist and boxer is the sixth top female featherweight fighter in Australia.
Arlene 'Angerfist' Blencowe began her boxing career in 2012 and she has a record of 11 wins and seven losses.
She has won two world championships.
The featherweight, who is originally from Amamoor, has not fought since December 2017, when she lost to current champion Julia Budd by a split decision at Bellator 189.
Known for close contests, seven of Blencowe's 17 fights have gone to decision, and all four of her last Bellator bouts went down to the judges' scorecards.
Five of her 10 career wins have come by way of knockout, while four of her losses came via submission.
'Angerfist' scored an impressive knockout victory at Bellator 206 in San Jose in September last year.
"It's always good seeing photos of me throwing them and copping them too,” she said.
#8 Janelle Thorburn, touch footy
A PIONEER for touch football Janelle Thorburn brought the sport and the region into the limelight.
At a time when the sport was still fairly new, Thorburn made the Australian World Cup side in the 1990s.
She captained the A-grade women's team and played in the men's A-grade competition - which caused a stir.
Thorburn was made a life member of Gympie Touch in 1994.
She came back to the sport in Gympie, running the juniors' competition for a few years.
In the National Seniors Touch League, Thorburn was the player of the final in the Razorbacks 1998 squad.
A talented athlete, she excelled in a number of sports, hockey and golf. Still an avid golfer, Thorburn continues to play with Gympie Ladies Golf.
Thorburn broke the glass ceiling in the sport and through these achievements she finds herself eighth on The Gympie Times list of our 30 greatest sporting heroes.
#7 Billy Heseltine, cycling
CYCLIST William "Billy” Heseltine was one of the finest sportsmen Gympie produced.
The Gympie product was the country champion of Queensland in his prime. He missed an Australian call-up for the 1952 Olympic team due to a horrific bike crash.
Heseltine won the 10 miles (16km) scratch on the track at the 1950 British Empire Games (now Commonwealth Games) in New Zealand. Winning a state title in Bundaberg in 1949 after an easy defeat of Goldfern Club's B.Young, Heseltine was the number one state selection for the Australian title in Sydney in September 1949.
The Brisbane Telegraph reported he travelled 128 miles (205km) each weekend from Gympie to Brisbane to race.
In the Queensland titles Heseltine set a bitumen track record for 1000m time trail of 1 minute 191/5 seconds. As the Queensland number one, in the Australian championship he helped the state win the teams' pursuit for the first time.
#6 Jenny Harragon, bowls
ONE of the Gympie region's biggest sporting heroes was the late Jenny Harragon.
Harragon lived at Veteran but played for the Kandanga Bowls Club.
The former international bowls player represented Australia internationally seven times, according to her multiple listings on the Kandanga Bowls Club Honour Board.
The 58th person to wear the Australian team cap, she made her Australian debut in 1998 and went on to enjoy a seven-year international career. She retired from competition in 2005 to take up her role as an Australian selector from 2006 to 2013.
She was skipper of the Australian women's fours team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and achieved her best result on the international stage at the 2004 World Championships, where she won silver in the women's triples.
At a national level, she helped Queensland secure the National Round Robin trophy in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2005.
#5 Margaret McIntosh, cricket
MCINTOSH smashed the glass ceiling in the Gympie region for women's sport back in the day.
A Widgee lass from the well-known McIntosh family, she was 19 years old when she was selected in the Queensland cricket team which she went on to captain.
After a brilliant performance in the test against rivals New Zealand, McIntosh gained a Brisbane newspaper award for the best country all-rounder.
It was a perfect debut in 1946; Miss McIntosh finished her bowling on 7/35 against the Kiwis.
She was an excellent fielder and her batting and bowling figures in the Queensland v New Zealand match were a shade better than her team mates.
McIntosh represented her state on numerous occasions and won selection in the Australian women's team in 1947-1949.
The talent and passion for the game ran through the whole family.
Her father and brothers were also well-known cricketers.
#4 Archie Bradley, boxing
BRADLEY was inducted into the boxing hall of fame after 41 bouts in the welterweight division. They don't make them like him any more.
He was dubbed the Gympie Whirlwind and Gympie Tornado, names that tell you all you need to know about the fighter: lightning fast with enough power to knock you off your feet.
He was born in Wickham St, Gympie, on January 4, 1897. Bradley would train in the back yard of a Gympie barber shop and he would go on to not only put Gympie on the Australian sporting stage but change the face of boxing as a whole. In the 1920s his stamina and athletic ability as a boxer and rugby league player became legendary. After his retirement from boxing, Bradley bred greyhounds for racing.
He was one of the first athletes of his era to actively shun alcohol and tobacco in pursuit of his pugilistic dream.
As a boxer, he was ahead of his time and most definitely deserves legendary status.
#3 Glen Boss, horse riding
THE Australian jockey best known for riding Makybe Diva to victory in three consecutive Melbourne Cups - 2003, 2004 and 2005 - is a Gympie legend.
The Caboolture born star was taken to the Gympie races as a 15-year-old by his grandparents and left school a week later to become an apprentice jockey in Gympie.
While in Gympie, Glen Boss won 60 races in less than 10 months, which prompted a move to the Gold Coast.
Makybe Diva was the second winner to carry 58kg or more since her three victories since 1972.
The British-born mare failed to attract a bid at auction and was brought to Australia by owner Tony Santic.
During her success Makybe Diva achieved $14.5 million in prize money and won 15 of her 36 races. Boss is still working as a jockey in Australia today.
It is through this achievement that he is ranked No 3 in Gympie's 30 greatest sporting heroes.
#2 Billy Degoumois
BILLY 'The Kid' Degoumois is Gympie's top kickboxer.
He demolished his opponent in the third round of the World Kickboxing Federation Super Welterweight title in 2009.
In front of about 1000, Degoumois went into the fight injured and still recorded a victory.
Degoumois stepped back in the ring in 2011 to fight Taylor 'Hellraiser' Harvey in Brisbane - the match was televised.
He was the 2009 Sports Star of the Year finalist and in 2010 opened a kickboxing gym in Gympie.
While Degoumois has his own lofty ambitions, his interest in passing on the skills to a new generation will help keep the sport hotly contested for years to come.
Arlene 'Angerfist' Blencowe, number nine on this list, worked in Degoumois's gym during her break in 2015.
Through his incredible career Degoumois finds himself on number two of The Gympie Times 30 greatest sporting heroes.
#1 Vic Summers
ARGUABLY one of Gympie's greatest athletes, the late Vic Summers continued wood chopping until age 93.
Summers won about 14 championships at Gympie, and won the the world tree-felling championship eight times.
His first title was won in 1940 and started chopping wood when he was about four years old.
Summers thought his good form over the years was due to taking cod liver oil.
His former contest partner Max Krogh said the Summers legend would never die.
"If he'd been a cricketer they'd have named streets after him,” Krogh said.
"Like most champions, he had a performance diet that helped him win. Half a teaspoon of cod liver oil every morning and a nip of rum at 4pm.”
Summers chopped in front of the Queen in 1954 and she presented him with a commemorative axehead, which remains on display at the Latrobe Axeman's Hall of Fame in Tasmania.