CHOPPING GOALS: Novice woodchoppers Akzil Johnston, Usha Johnston and Steele Johnston from Mirani and Awatea Barrett from Finch Hatton at the Comet Show.
CHOPPING GOALS: Novice woodchoppers Akzil Johnston, Usha Johnston and Steele Johnston from Mirani and Awatea Barrett from Finch Hatton at the Comet Show. Contributed

Champions of the future

Woodchop: Show season has started with a bang in the Central Highlands, with woodchopping being one of the biggest drawcards.

Competitors of all ages have flooded to the showgrounds to compete in one of Australia's oldest sports.

Central Highlands Regional Council CEO

Scott Mason said the woodchop started in the 1870s and was still developing future world champions in the region.

"As one of our heritage sports, there is a real appreciation for the skill and precision that athletes can use an axe in a proficient manner and people love to take time to come and have a look at the woodchopping competition,” he said.

"It's really exciting to see the children compete and learn.

"It's a good environment for them to learn their skill. The crowd's certainly very supportive of the younger competitors.

"What you are watching at some of these chops today, like Comet on Sunday, or Alpha yesterday or Capella on Friday, some of these younger competitors will be future champions in the sport, not just in Australia, but internationally.”

For many families around Central Queensland, the woodchop is a tradition that they have been competing in for generations.

"For such an old sport, it's alive and well and that's what's really exciting about the younger competitors coming through. It really guarantees that the sport will continue to flourish and grow in future years,” Mr Mason said.

"Australia really was settled with hard work.

"Lots of timber was cleared with an axe for farming and for building homes, sleepers for

railways.

"It's about remembering where we've come from, and it's probably one of the most amazing tools that man has invented.”


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