Welcome Miss Magpie

LW: Here it is Kristen - what you've spent your two years at the Addy working towards: your Final Word debut.

So Kristen, first things first. Welcome to the sports department and why don't you start by telling the readers about your nickname, Magpie.

Please don't tell me it's anything to do with the Collingwood Football Club.

I've already got Bourkey sitting beside me. Surely, Doley and I don't have to deal with another annoying - and that's putting it politely - black and white supporter in the sports department.

One was more than enough.

KA: Thanks for the warm welcome Westy. 

I am very excited to be a part of the Addy sports team. 

I don't want to be all sappy, but becoming a sports journalist is a dream come true. 

I am a proud Collingwood supporter, with all my teeth, I might add. 

Magpie is my nickname and I look forward to talking about how amazing Dane Swan is all year. 

LW: That will be riveting, Magpie. Can't wait.

Anyway, plenty of time to talk footy, and the season will be here before we know it.

The NAB Challenge is now just a little over a month away from getting under way when your Collingwood takes on Geelong at Simonds Stadium on a Wednesday night on February 12.

Your first sporting assignment this week has been going out and about at the Oceania Masters Athletics Championships.

It seems the athletes have all had a great time in Bendigo, and yet again, Bendigo has been a fantastic host city.

KA: The Oceania Masters have been fantastic. 

All of the athletes seem to be having a memorable time both on and off the field. 

Records have been falling and Bendigo athletes have been taking home gold medals. 

It is great to see so many people in their 80s and 90s, in particular, race down the track. It's inspirational. 

LW: While the Masters games are a chance for older athletes to still get out and compete, the other big sporting event for the city this week has been the School Sport Australia 12-and-under Cricket Championships.

Down the track in a decade or so whenever a new player is introduced to the Australian cricket team I'm sure we'll be referring back to this week's papers to see if they played in Bendigo.

There has been some super young talent on display, and well done to all the curators who have worked tirelessly to get the wickets up each day.

But if the Oceania Masters and Cricket Championships haven't been enough this week, we've now got the Bendigo Pacing Cup to look forward to on Saturday night.

It has certainly been a busy start to the year for sport in Bendigo.

Now, I know you love your footy and cricket Magpie, but what about the trots?

Anything take your fancy on Saturday night at Lord's Raceway that you will be throwing a bit of your hard-earned cash on?

KA: Well Westy, I have as much chance of tipping a winner than I am of beating Steve Moneghetti in a marathon. 

I am not a betting person and wouldn't know where to start if I were to look at a form guide. 

But I did tip the Bendigo Cup trifecta last year, so my tips aren't all bad. 

I have to go for the odds-on favourite Bitobliss. 

What about you? Do you have a tip for me?

LW: A tip... back Essendon to finish higher than Collingwood this year.

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