5 May 2015
Our champions – Whitehaven’s sporting stars
Whitehaven Coal boasts sporting stars among our ranks.
Two of our workforce at Narrabri, Wade Ryan and Dee Heinemann, recently became champions at their respective sports. Here we find out the latest on their champion efforts.
Wade packs a punch to win second title
Champion boxer Wade Ryan wants to one day become a boxing World Champion. By day a Mine Operator at Narrabri, at night Wade trains up to four hours a day, six days a week in pursuit of his dream.
Having recently won the NSW Middleweight championship, Wade now wants to continue delivering the knockout punches.
“I’m delighted to have won the NSW Middleweight title – but my ultimate goal is to win a World title. You have to aim for the top,” he said.
Wade, 25, won the title in a powerful display in Dubbo last month, securing a unanimous decision after eight rounds against Michael Dan.
“It was a tough fight,” he said.
The state wins puts his professional fight record at eight wins from 10 bouts and is his third consecutive victory. Next up for Wade, who trains at the Black and Blue Gym in Gunnedah, is likely to be a Gunnedah bout on 23 May.
Seven up for rodeo champion Dee
He’s our very own rodeo star. Dee Heinemann has once again become Australian champion Bareback Rider for the seventh time.
Dee, 34, who has been based at our Narrabri mine for the last four years, regularly swaps his hard-hat for a cowboy hat on the Australian rodeo circuit. And the popular storeman/yardman
has once again come out on top to win the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association organised competition.
The tough competition involves Dee staying on the horse for eight seconds – scoring points from judges in the process.
“I grew up with horses and have been riding since a boy. The competition is hard work but I really enjoy it,” he said. “I fly to competitions at weekends. Quite a few of the other competitors
come from a mining background, particularly from Western Australia.”
Dean Lawrence, Commercial Manager at Narrabri, said Dee was an extremely modest and hard-working employee – with a special talent.
“To be the Australian champion Bareback Rider for the seventh time is special. While Dee assures me that he will not be chasing the all-time record of 9 wins, he has already starting competing in
the 2015 series.”