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Thursday September 3, 2015

SPORT

Making a splash at national comp A group of local divers has brought back a collection of medals from the Diving New Zealand National Championships in Auckland. 11 divers from the Wellington Diving Club, aged between 11 and 22, brought home a total of 28 medals (12 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze) from the competition. The medal total made the Wellington Diving Club the highest achieving club in New Zealand. To compete in the event, divers had to achieve qualifying scores in local, regional and national events dur ing the competition season leading up to the National Championships. Wellington Diving Club head coach James Hardaker also won the prestigious

Diving New Zealand Coach of the Year award. James says that Wellington Diving Club divers put in some great performances at Nationals, winning medals, titles, breaking records and bringing home many trophies. “Wellington Diving Club has been the biggest and most successful team for many years,” he says. “We look forward to our divers continuing to do well in upcoming national and international events.” Rongotai College student Anton Jenkins broke the New Zealand record for the boys 16 to 18 age group in the three metre springboard and was awarded the Benson Cup for Best Male Age Group Diver. Anton was also awarded the Peter Thompson Trophy

for the highest score for his first five dives in three metre. Female diver Yu Qian Goh, was awarded the Waikato Cup for the highest scoring Women’s Open Dive. She also broke two New Zealand records for the Age Group and Women’s Open Synchronised three metre events together with Auckland based diver, Lizzie Cui. Anton and Yu Qian also competed in a Mixed Synchronised three metre event and won gold. They both qualified for the Oceania Championships in December to be held in Melbourne.

SPLASH: Rongotai College student Anton Jenkins competes in the recent Diving New Zealand National Championships in Auckland.

BIG DIVE: Yu Quan Goh was awarded the Waikato Cup for the highest scoring Women’s Open Dive.

SportsFest gets kids moving By Leah Flynn

SEATOUN SCALLY WAGS: The Seatoun team ready for action at the starting line for one of their Dodgeball game.

It’s all about fun on the Dodgeball court By James Baker

There were few rules and loads of fun at the dodgeball in the first Wellington Regional Sportsfest last week. Dodgeball was one of 10 sports at the event staged at venues across the city. While not as well-known as basketball or rugby, dodgeball provides a great introduction to sport, says Caroline Newman, mum and team organiser for the Seatoun Scally Wags . “I don’t think there are any special skills required. If you

can throw a ball that’s great.” She says dodgeball allows kids to play who might not otherwise enjoy sport. “Even the kids who aren’t very good can play.” Dodgeball involves two teams who try to eliminate the other players by hitting them with balls and catching the balls thrown at them. “It’s a sport I really know and like, and the boys can play with the girls,” says Amelia Newman, 9. And did they enjoy the day? “I really liked playing because we won and last time

we didn’t win, says Emma Groombridge, 9. Carolyn Newman likes the Sportsfest idea. “This is their first festival of sports day, and I think it’s fantastic, it’s been a great success” Wellington Regional Sportsfest 2015 is a two day event organised by Wellington city council in partnership with nine regional sports organisations and Primary Sports Wellington. It involves 50 schools, 260, teams and 2200 children from years 5 to 8.

More than 2000 kids, in 263 teams, from 50 schools, across 10 sports converged on sports venues this week for the Wellington Regional SportsFest. The inaugural event was a partnership between Wellington City Council, Primary Sport Wellington and the Health Promotion Agency. The events organisation was driven by the council’s new customer and community partnership team. The unit was formed to help build relationships with communities and to help the council’s sports facilities engage with schools and community groups. Event organiser Elspeth McMillan said that a main focus of the event was getting across the health and wellbeing message. A 2012/13 New Zealand Health Survey found 11% of children were obese and 22% children were

overweight, and there has been a push for councils to do more to fight childhood obesity. ASB Sports Centre in Rongotai hosted most of the sports. Centre manager Mornay Loubser said there was a focus on getting communities to become more active. He said that events like Sportsfest can be the “little spark” that gets children moving again. “It’s about trying to activate our communities to be more active, more often,” Mr Loubser says. “We want to try and get our communities to push play. Certainly we want to get our communities off those couches.” Ms McMillan says the organising team is hoping to run the event again. “All the anecdotal feedback we’ve had is that the kids are loving it. We would like to do it again. That’s the plan, that we would make it an annual event.”

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