Young blades learn woodchopping skills at fun day

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Woodchopping is one of the most popular events at Australian ag shows and the future of the sport is looking bright locally after a junior woodchopping fun day was held in Biloela in September.

Alicia Retschlag, a local woodchopper, said the aim of the day was for keen young choppers to learn new techniques and have some fun.

With a lot of shows being cancelled in the past year (fortunately not our Callide Valley Show!), Alicia explained there had not been a lot of events for juniors to compete in.

“We’ve got a little group of juniors that are quite keen. So, Noel Carbery (Edit: local woodchopping legend) and I were one day sitting here going, ‘We’ve got to do something. Let’s have a juniors fun day and a bit of a barbecue afterwards’.”

So, on September 25, a small group of woodchoppers gathered at the Biloela Showgrounds.

“We had three juniors attend. And then we had Brodie Dingle, who’s from Eidsvold and chops in the Stihl Timbersports Series,” Alicia said. “He came up and coached them and he gave them some good tips and tricks. Some of the adults chopped as well and got some advice on improving technique.”

During the day there was coaching on underhand technique as well as standing block.

“A lot of the juniors don’t graduate to standing block until they’re in the upper teens, because they lack the upper body strength, but they started that to show them the correct technique and how to draw up the blocks and from go to whoa basically,” Alicia explained.

“The kids had a ball, though they were exhausted as they went through so many blocks.”

There were more juniors interested in the fun day who couldn’t attend, so another one will be held in the first half of next year.

Brodie Dingle, Quade Burnham, Noel Carbery, Bill and Benji Retschlag and Grant Burnham.
Quade Burnham and Bill Retschlag being coached by Brodie Dingle on standing block technique.
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