When asked to choose my favourite story or moment from my time covering sport in the region this year, I couldn’t come up with one.
To single out a story from one sport which stands out in my memory would be unfair.
There are so many passionate people and tireless workers in this region who are dedicated to their sports so I opted for one image which symbolises what I love most about sport and the community.
The above image was captured in a moment when Narwan Eels were playing Moree Boomerangs for a spot in the Group 19 grand final.
The atmosphere there was electric.
I was sitting on the sidelines with the camera when Wes Kelly took the ball to the Moree line before offloading for Paul Quinlan to score in the corner.
The importance of the clash was not lost to the thousands – literally – of spectators at Rugby League Park.
They went berserk.
There was so much excitement and passion for the game which is not uncommon across many arenas.
For me, the image capturing that moment is symbolic of so many moments in sport.
There have been multiple times throughout the year I have felt the excitement and the heartbreak from the fields around the region – whether it is like making the grand final, a junior realising and fulfilling their potential, the underdog snagging the elusive victory or the rise of women in sport.
I became a sports journalist off the back of being a sports lover.
Many hours have been spent on the sidelines – and on the field – in everything from rugby league and union, soccer, equestrian and cricket.
My heart races in those too-close-to-call moments like any other sports fan.
There’s nothing like sport in a community such as ours.
It brings people together to celebrate and commiserate.
People are proud of their locals achieving and excelling and those achievements should be highlighted.
There are plenty of talented and committed athletes, hard-working volunteers and officials who deserve recognition.
I can’t count how many times I have spoken to someone, either face-to-face or on the phone, felt their emotions and looked forward to voicing their story – sometimes it is just for a chat and a vent.
There is nothing better than being part of a community so enthusiastic and devoted.
You are the people who make my job rewarding, so thank you for another successful year in sport and bring on 2018.