And in sports news, sports fans, the news is … we’re back!

Yes! Sport is, anyway. Back in action. How good? Not a question. It is of course very good.

After months of lockdown and sign-ins and masks and all that malarkey, right across our community, society, what we’ve come to know as our LGA, local folks have been bursting out onto playing fields and running free like so many buffalo.

Cricketers, baseballers, touch footballers, beach volleyballers, softballers and people who just like to run – shout-out to The Vipers and to Joe Ward and the crew at Manly Beach Running Club – are doing what they love the most: telling the global pandemic to tell its story walkin’.

And in the meantime, people are still winning.

Yes, somehow, despite so many mid-year months of enforced inactivity, so many local heroes are in the running for so many gongs for good deeds and service.

Four locals and the Narrabeen Classic World Surf League leg have been named as finalists in the NSW Sport Awards at Parramatta’s CommBank Stadium on Monday, January 24.

The gala dinner will see Mark Webber (motor racing), Mick Fanning (surfing), Naomi Flood (surf lifesaving and kayaking), Kerri Pottharst (beach volleyball), and Harry Williams (football) inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions. The great Mark Ella (rugby) will be placed high in an antechamber of the pantheon when he is elevated to Legend.

Officially, a Legend. You could ask for little more in terms of recognition about a body of work.

Another legend, indeed local legend, is NSW Blues coach Brad “Freddy” Fittler of Terrey Hills, who is a finalist for Coach of the Year. North Manly’s Mick Garnett, the Wheelchair Sports CEO, is a finalist for Administrator of the Year.

Freshwater volleyballer Stefanie Fejes is a finalist for Young Athlete of the Year while Winter Paralympian, Ben Tudhope, from Manly is a finalist for Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability.

Well done and good luck all.

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