Colac district sports enthusiast and former councillor Warren Riches is calling on Colac Otway Shire Council to host a civic reception for gold medallist Ken Hanson.
Hanson skippered the Australian para-athletic triples lawn bowls team to a Commonwealth Games gold-medal victory last week.
The talented Colac bowler secured the memorable 14-13 victory against New Zealand on Thursday with his final bowl of the day and Mr Riches says a reception would appropriately acknowledge Hanson’s “phenomenal achievement”.
“I think Ken’s performance deserves that; he’s the oldest Australian to win gold and he’s been a local boy all his life whose always been admired in the community,” Mr Riches said.
“I remember when I was a kid at Warrion Cricket Club, Ken would come out and he would score or have a bat if he was needed and never saw himself as having a disability.
“He’s always worked hard and been very good at bowls, and he’s very highly regard and respected up here,” he said from the Gold Coast yesterday.
“He literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with that last bowl and I’m so proud.”
Mr Riches, who served as a councillor of 16 years and mayor for four years, said he remembered encouraging former councillor Cliff Tann who was mayor in 1999 to host a civic reception for golfer Craig Spence after he won the Australian Masters golf tournament against Greg Norman.
“We had civic reception for Craig Spence and it was a wonderful night with the Spence family and the community,” he said.
“I know council finances are tight but I hope our current mayor and councillors can see that Ken’s achievement certainly does deserve a civic reception.”
The council has also previously hosted civic receptions to recognise local heroes’ achievements including AFL star Luke Hodge, marathon legend, the late Cliff Young, district Vietnam War veterans and an array of visiting dignitaries.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.