ORANGE’S Richard Turnbull is continuing his association with the Wagga Wagga region in two sports.
Turnbull, who coached Orange Emus to the Central West Rugby Union first grade premierships from 1999 to 2002, was this week appointed the Southern Inland Rugby Union (SIRU) coach.
He has also been coaching disabled athlete Carly Salmon, who enjoyed success at the Australian Athletics Championships on the weekend.
Salmon has cerebral palsy and the 14-year-old lined up in the open competition at Melbourne.
She finished third in the women’s 100m ambulant event in 17.08 seconds.
The teenager backed this up in the 200m where she finished second in a personal best time of 35.86s.
Turnbull, who has coached international athletes including Willie Mtolo, who won the New York Marathon in 1992, was impressed by Salmon’s results, but that wasn’t what he enjoyed most.
“The really exciting thing for me isn’t the medal, it was seeing the excitement on her face because of her achievement,” Turnbull said.
“It was a senior championships and she’s only 14.”
“We’re going to see if we can get her to the Paralympics in 2016.”
After the big meet, Turnbull has put Salmon into “active rest” where she enjoys things like basketball and takes a break from serious training.
While she is doing this, Turnbull will have time to coach the SIRU representative side at the Brumbies Provincial Championships at Jindabyne on the June long weekend.
The SIRU team will go up against the South Coast and Monaro sides, with places in the Brumbies Provincial team up for grabs.
The winning coach will also be given the chance to coach the Provincial side.
After the championships, Turnbull said Salmon will be ready to get into some more serious training again.
The Brumbies Provincial Championships will be held from June 7-9 in Jindabyne.
Turnbull lives in Orange but spends around 10 days a month in Wagga Wagga for work.