Sunday September 19 2021



In Full . . .

On the crest of a wake

Posted on October 31 2017 at 12:45:16


Sarah Rees reports from the Oakalls and Parklands.

Water-skiing is perhaps not the most obvious sport for the landlocked Midlands, but Oakalls youngster Danielle Halford has been flying up the rankings this year.

Now aged 11, Danielle started water-skiing as a four-year-old on holiday in Turkey.

By the time she was seven these holiday-only exploits had become more serious and she was awarded “Most promising skier – a future British Champion” by the Neilson coaching team.

The accolade acted as a catalyst for Danielle to further improve her skills. She and her father joined the Dudley Waterski and Wakeboard Club where she could train on a regular basis and benefit from coaching by qualified instructors.

In October 2016 Danielle entered her first novice competition and was narrowly beaten by her father, also a novice. Earlier this year she took part in her first competitions in the national league, travelling all over the UK to compete. 

In a competition in Cirencester Danielle came first in her category and received very positive comments from the judges.

During a subsequent seven competitions this year she achieved a personal best in every competition, showing a consistent improvement. 

In August she demonstrated her all-round skills when she competed in the national Cutting Edge competition for juniors, taking part in two new disciplines – knee-boarding and trick-skiing – as well as water-skiing. She won three silver medals. 

Danielle is now ranked 30th in her age category in the European and African rankings and is the second most improved skier in the country, across all ages.

Over the winter she will be training with national level coaches, at various centres across the UK. She is hoping to take a trip to Florida next Easter, to train with specialist coaches.

With her hopes firmly set on qualifying for the Under 14s British Squad, Danielle is more determined than ever to position herself as a future British champion.

Danielle’s mum, Alison, says: “I am supremely proud of her determination and resilience. There are many ups and downs and spectacular crashes along the way, but Danielle’s passion for the sport has never waned.

“She is a disciplined young athlete and we hope she fulfils all her sporting dreams.”



Twelve children from the 10th Bromsgrove Brownie pack helped group leaders and Coun Caroline Spencer to plant 160 daffodil bulbs on The Oakalls.

The 1st Finstall Brownies also took part in the event, planting bulbs at Harwood Park. Next spring there will be an even greater explosion of golden blooms across the area thanks to the hard work of the bulb planting teams.



Finstall Pre-school held a “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” event at Finstall Village Hall.

The event included a visit from Melanie Lynch, one of the parents and a ward sister on the Medical Assessment Unit at the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch.

Melanie talked about her role as a nurse and the children enjoyed learning how nurses help people. They also had an opportunity to look at medical equipment including a digital thermometer, stethoscope, bandages and slings.

A cake sale raised £46 for Macmillan Cancer Support.


This year’s festive community gathering will be taking place on Sunday December 17, at 6.30pm. Same venue as previous years; the open grassed area by the notice board and Trianon Road.

Please contact me with your news, views and concerns about any aspect of life on the estate.  Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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