Tears shed as Rolleston honours one of its own

Kristy Gibson with her award.
Kristy Gibson with her award. Contributed

WHEN Kristy Gibson learned that she was to receive an award recognising her hard work and the time she has devoted to encouraging and facilitating sporting activities both at Rolleston State Primary School and in the local community, she burst into tears.

"When I found out, I ended up crying because the school was notified of the award at 3pm on the day we hosted the district athletics carnival, which I'd organised, and by the end of carnival I was pretty exhausted,” she said.

Ms Gibson said it had then been announced that she had won the Quality Teacher Award applauding the efforts of a Queensland HPE teacher for promoting active and healthy lifestyles.

"It really caught me off guard and I burst into tears, and I don't normally cry,” she said.

"Having your community take the time to write the application and nomination is even more special than getting the award.”

Ms Gibson, who was presented the award at a ceremony in Brisbane earlier this month, said she had secured funding for and coordinated the development of the Rolleston Community Oval - a $63,000 project that has been visited by cricket legend and former Australian captain Alan Border, who praised it for being one of the best regional ovals he had ever seen.

Ms Gibson said the school's previous oval was not big enough for many sporting events, and before last year's opening of the new oval, athletics carnivals and other events were hosted elsewhere.

"We had a good oval but it didn't fit a 400-metre track on it,” she said.

"And we decided it would be good if we could host sporting events in Rolleston.

"The children travel for everything here, and some kids already travel an hour just to get school.

"Then they have to travel another hour to get to carnivals.”

Ms Gibson said the new multi-use oval has a 400-metre track, four long-jump pits which double as beach volleyball courts, two grass netball courts with removable posts, and a new cricket pitch.

She said the local community had been a dedicated driving force behind the project, laying sprinklers and digging trenches.

The oval, which is a council oval but also a 100m walk from the school and available for use by the public and students, was multi-functional and ideal for stimulating and inspiring healthy, active lifestyles for all ages in the region.

Ms Gibson said she had also invited sporting experts to visit the region and run workshops and clinics with the children and the oval was also used by Rolleston Cricket Club, the Rolleston Roos Rugby Club and local touch football.

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