Bundy's Aaron Kleinschmidt will play for the Kookaburras.
Bundy's Aaron Kleinschmidt will play for the Kookaburras. Hockey Australia

Bundy's stars ready to shine at the Commonwealth Games

ALL the long hours, hard work and sacrifices are about to pay off for those athletes that will compete at the Commonwealth Games.

The Games officially start tonight with the opening ceremony to be held at Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast in front of an audience of almost one billion people that will tune in.

Bundaberg will be represented by three athletes, in three different sports, over the next 12 days of the event.

All are realistic chances of winning a medal as well.

Here is a look at the trio heading to the Games.

Aaron Kleinschmidt

Age: 28

Sport he'll compete in: Hockey for the Australian Kookaburras

Fun fact: Aaron is the cousin of former Bundy Kookaburra Troy Elder, who won gold with the team at the Commonwealth Games in 2002.

Commonwealth Games appearances: First

A Bundy boy that calls himself a Victorian, Kleinschmidt will represent the Kookaburras at the Commonwealth Games after a career-best season.

HOCKEY: Aaron Kleinschmidt.
HOCKEY: Aaron Kleinschmidt. Mike Knott BUN221217HOCKEY8

He helped Australia to win the World Hockey League last year in India and followed that up with a win in Malaysia at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Kleinschmidt was the top scorer for Australia at the Malaysian tournament.

A midfielder who likes to score, there will be plenty of pressure on him and the Kookaburras with Australia winning the gold at the past five Commonwealth Games.

They will be heavy favourites to make it six in a row.

The 28-year-old was born and bred in Bundy before moving to Victoria at the age of 10.

The team will start its campaign April 7 against South Africa and also face Scotland, New Zealand and Canada in the group stages.

The top two will qualify for the the semi's, which will be held on April 13.

The final will be held on April 14.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio

Age: 27

Local Club: The Waves

Sport she'll compete in: Netball for Silver Ferns

Fun fact: Ameliaranne was the 157th player to debut for New Zealand

Commonwealth Games appearances: First

Just making the Commonwealth Games has been an achievement in itself for Bundy's Silver Fern.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio will represent Bundy and New Zealand.
Ameliaranne Ekenasio will represent Bundy and New Zealand. Michael Bradley Photography

Ekenasio (nee Wells) was picked for the Games just a few months after returning to competition following the birth of her first son, Ocean, last year.

The former The Waves player will be looked upon to lead the shooting for the side as they look to win gold for the first time at the Commonwealth Games since 2010.

Ekenasio was born and bred in Bundaberg but qualifies for the Silver Ferns through her Kiwi father.

Silver Fern Ameliaranne Ekenasio with her son Ocean.
Silver Fern Ameliaranne Ekenasio with her son Ocean. Fiona Goodall

She has competed for New Zealand since 2014 and has made more than 10 appearances for her country.

New Zealand starts its campaign against Uganda tomorrow and will face four other nations in their group during the first week of the competition.

The Silver Ferns must finish inside the top two to qualify for the semis, which will be held on April 14. The final will be held the next day.

Taryn Gollshewsky

Taryn Gollshewsky training for the Commonwealth Games.
Taryn Gollshewsky training for the Commonwealth Games. Mike Knott BUN230118TARYN10

Age: 24

Local Club: Bundaberg Athletic Club and West Bundaberg Little Athletics

Sport she'll compete in: Athletics (discus) for Australia

Fun fact: Taryn is the best discus thrower in Queensland and has won the state title for the past few years.

Commonwealth Games appearances: Second (finished ninth in Glasgow 2014)

Bundaberg's Taryn Gollshewsky is the only athlete from the region at this year's games to experience it all before.

The 24-year-old competed in the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, finishing ninth behind fellow Australian Dani Samuels.

The goal now is to go much higher after getting four years of experience in competitions around the world.

Gollshewsky competed last year in the World Championships in London and followed that up with a medal at the World University games in Taipei.

Taryn Gollshewsky training for the Commonwealth Games.
Taryn Gollshewsky training for the Commonwealth Games. Mike Knott BUN230118TARYN5

A medal is not out of reach on the Gold Coast.

The talented university student, who studies and lives right in Bundy, has a personal best that would put her around the mark for a medal if she can throw that distance in the final.

It will come down to whether Gollshewksy can deliver on the night.

The Bundy athlete will compete in the final on April 12 at Carrara Stadium, the main stadium used for the Games.



Rocky’s new election candidate wants to legalise marijuana

Premium Content Rocky’s new election candidate wants to legalise marijuana

Laura Barnard believes the time is right for Rockhampton to seriously discuss...

Addict can’t stay away from meth in prison or while on bail

Premium Content Addict can’t stay away from meth in prison or while on bail

A drug addict is back in jail after breaching bail for unlawful escape from custody...

Serial offender dumped hire car on side of highway

Premium Content Serial offender dumped hire car on side of highway

He was already on bail for unlawful use of a motor vehicle and dangerous operation...