ON THE BEACH: Grant Kenny in action as a masters competitor.
ON THE BEACH: Grant Kenny in action as a masters competitor. Harvpix

Our region has produced some outstanding athletes

AN interesting exercise with the top 100 Queensland Sporting heroes.

It has certainly being a talking point, nearly as much as the NRL coaching merry-go-round.

I must say the Daily's list of the Sunshine Coast Sport's 30 Greatest week was pretty awesome as well.

There certainly has been some debate, which is great for the great state and region we live in.

I did my own Sunshine Coast list two weeks ago when the idea was floated to me, not knowing what the Daily would come up with, and the below is what mine looks like.

My criteria was slightly different to pick my top 10 Sunshine Coast sports champions as I just looked at a few decades ago in the formative years when the Coast was much smaller and we had some wonderful folk making headlines around the country and around the world.

If I started from 11 - because I couldn't get it to 10 - I would probably have to say Benny Pike is my No. 11. He was a super amateur back in the day. He travelled the country and the globe representing the Sunshine Coast and never taking a backward step.

I would have to put another boxer Darren Obah at No. 10 for the same reason. He was at the top of his game for a long time.

Cricketer Ash Nofke comes in as my No. 9. He was the pride of the Coast for more than 10 seasons playing first-class cricket.

My next two are hard to separate so 7 and 8, in no particular order, are lifesaving legends Kristy Munroe and Kerri Thomas who were outstanding ambassadors for the Coast and the benchmark in their sport.

Craig Polla-Mounter comes in at No.6 for cracking the NRL from the Coast and representing the Canterbury Bulldogs, playing 192 games.

Pro surfer Gary Elkerton is at No.5. He had 12 years on the circuit, was never out of the top five, was runner-up three times for the world title and was a fearless competitor.

Golfer Ian Baker-Finch comes in my No.4 with a British Open under his belt. He was the toast of the Coast in 1991.

Grant Kenny is my No. 3, as an ironman and an Olympian. I don't think anyone will ever forget him winning the Australian junior and senior ironman in 1980.

Clint Robinson is my No.2, not only for his 1990 Olympic hold in kayaking but also his longevity as an Olympian and as Australian surf lifesaving ski paddler, winning a record number of national titles.

My No.1 turned out to be the same as the Daily, with Mal Meninga, for what he achieved in rugby league as a player over a long period of time, in the NRL and representing Queensland and Australia. I know the Sunshine Coast is so very proud of him.

Now this is just my little list and my memories of outstanding athletes who came from our little region, which of course has changed so much today. I could have named about 100 easily, particularly over the past 10 years and I know everyone will have their own which is why lists are so good.

LAST week, I attended a welcome meet and greet for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, hosted by Sunshine Coast Council, and it was very exciting to hear how pumped the Bunnies are wanting to get involved in our region. Big George Burgess was a massive hit and Shannon Denato, their chief commercial officer, spoke passionately about their commitment to the rugby league community and regional areas like the Sunshine Coast so it seems the council has landed a very big excited rabbit and it is not even Easter.

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