by Claudia Williams
SPORT IN 2018: It was a busy year for sport in the South Burnett in 2017 and this is set to continue in 2018 with new events on the calendar and changes to fixtures.
In 2017, the Murgon Crusaders and South District Devils stepped up from the South Burnett cricket A-grade to the Gympie competition.
Before the Christmas break, the South Burnett teams were showing the move was the right decision, with Devils in second place behind Gympie Valleys, while the Crusaders are in third place.
It will also be exciting to watch the progress and achievements of our women cricketers Holly Ferling, Renee Irvine and Courtney Sippel as they challenge for Queensland and Australian selection.
In January, modified sedan drivers will race to Kingaroy Speedway for the annual Kings Royal on January 25, 26 and 27.
For the first time, the Queens Royal will be raced during the weekend, with women coming from throughout Australia.
Also on January 27 will be the Kingaroy swimming carnival, with up to 200 competitors expected at the annual event.
The world's best athletes will be converging on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games from April 4 to 15.
Kingaroy's Taliqua Clancy hopes to be among them, representing Australia in beach volleyball as she did at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Back in the South Burnett, there will be more opportunities for runners to test themselves.
In addition to the Maidenwell Running Festival at Easter will be the Wondai Country Running Festival in June.
The event is adding to the 2km fun run of 2017 with a 10km road run, 10km forest run, and a half and full marathon.
For the first time, South Burnett Football will enter a team in the Toowoomba reserve grade competition.
Players will be challenged in the bigger league and it will give more players the chance to play in the South Burnett competition.