World BMX champion Jade Parker and fellow Bundaberg star Abbie Blackburn.
World BMX champion Jade Parker and fellow Bundaberg star Abbie Blackburn. Mike Knott

Parker on top of the world

JADE Parker could rightly lay claim to the title of Bundaberg's Sports Star of the Year for 2011 after winning state, national and world titles in her sport of BMX.

The tough 14-year-old firstly took out the Australian crown in Cairns, but her crowning achievement came at the world championships at Copenhagen in August.

There, she clinched a famous victory in the 15-year girls division, finishing ahead of Japan's Seko Haruka and Lajmi Megane, in an Olympic sport, and it was the realisation of a dream after crashing out at the 2010 world titles.

"It's amazing and I'm happy, but it still feels a bit surreal," Parker said on her return to Bundaberg.

Her home town got the chance to hail its hero when the Shalom College won the 15-years title at the state championships hosted by the Bundaberg club in September.

But Parker had to share the spotlight at that competition with clubmate Abbie Blackburn, who notched her sixth straight state title, in the 14-years division.

Gin Gin's Heather Bourke also won a world title - in indoor archery.

Darren Enslin, of Apple Tree Creek, also aimed up at the World Long Range Target Rifle Championships in Brisbane, claiming overall top position in the individual 800-yard aggregate, ahead of 380 of the world's best shooters.

His wife Gillian Webb-Enslin also represented Australia with distinction in the event.

Also in shooting, Brett Foster won his second straight Australian National Rifle Association open class international title after winning five straight Queensland championships.

He also represented Australia at the Bianchi Cup, which is the equivalent of the United States Nationals, for the second year in a row, placing seventh in a class international field of 210 and was the second-placed Australian.

Fourteen-year-old Rheed McCracken became Australia's youngest qualifier for the London Paralympics after taking out the 100m title at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Championships at Sharjah in the UAE earlier this month.

Nick Silcox performed creditably for Australia at the world under-23 rowing regatta in Amsterdam.

Sam Daff continued his rise to the top in softball, captaining the Australian under-19 men's team on their successful tour of Argentina in September, while Tyrell Priestley confirmed himself as a star of the future with his selection in both the state under-19 and under-17 teams and being part of a national title.

Joel Latham again achieved Australian and Queensland hon

ours in hockey and attended two Hockey Australian Futures Camps, while his elder brother Brody was part of the Australian Country team which took out the silver medal at the Oceania Cup.

Bundaberg football goal-keeping product Mitchell Langerak made a superb debut for German heavyweights Borussia Dortmund in a 3-1 Bundesliga victory at Bayern Munich in front of 66,000 fans before also being included in the Socceroos squad.

Fellow local product Josh Brillante established himself in the Gold Coast United team in the A- League and also shone in all his matches for the Young Socceroos.

Cassandra Millerick won an Australian title in another highly successful year in lawn bowls, while batting dynamo Matt Fulton represented Australia on the schools under-16 tour of the West Indies, and Ameliarnne Wells again represented Australia in netball and was part of the Queensland Firebirds squad which won the ANZ Championship undefeated.

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