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SPORT

Thursday April 28, 2016

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Local girls making a splash with Olympians Two local girls spent the weekend splashing around with Olympians both past and present. Sophie Irving, of Island Bay, and Tamrah Titcombe, of Lyall Bay, were two of 36 swimmers aged nine to 13 who attended the Jetstar Super Swim Squad camp this past weekend in Auckland. The coaching team, captained by Dean Kent, head of swimming at Northern Arena and three-time Olympic squad member, was filled with some of the best swimmers New Zealand has to offer.

Double Olympic gold medalist Danyon Loader made an appearance at the camp, meeting and speaking with the young swimmers. “Being able to pass my knowledge onto the Squad members has been a real privilege for me. If these kids are the next generation of swimming Olympians, we are in good hands. “I hope I have inspired them as much as they have inspired me,” Danyon said. Matthew Titcombe, father of Tamrah Titcombe, said meeting and learning from the worldclass coaching team was definitely inspirational for the girls.

“This is such a great opportunity for the kids. It is because of the Camp that Tamrah became so motivated in her swimming, and it is something that will change all these kids’ lives. It is a fantastic initiative from Jetstar.” This is the fourth year of the Jetstar Super Swim Squad, which young Kiwis qualify for by winning their age group at one of six events in the New Zealand Ocean Swim Series 2015-2016 season. Jetstar flies the winners and one caregiver up to the camp, where the youngsters are coached and mentored in both the pool and ocean.

Capital’s big fight night By Nikki Papatsoumas

A local boxer is hoping to take away a New Zealand title this weekend, all while putting boxing “back on the map” in the capital. The Wellington Big Bash will take place this Friday night at the Wellington Indian Centre in Kilbirnie. The night will see 20 local corporates fighting it out against each other, before Asher ‘The Punisher’ Derbyshire takes on Thomas Heads for the New Zealand Cruiser Weight Title. The title is currently vacant, after it was stripped from its predecessor. Derbyshire, who was helping to promote the event alongside a team from BD Productions, said tomorrow’s event was a “big deal” for Wellington boxing. The title has never been fought in Wellington and has never been won by a Wellingtonian - however, with a record of seven wins and two losses, Asher hopes to change that.

Asher Derbyshire, with his fiance Dayna Carter and their daughter Nevaeh Derbyshire.

If he wins this will be the Wellingtonians first New Zealand boxing title. “This is a big deal for Wellington boxing as we haven’t had a title fight since Shane Cameron last fought down here which was a few years ago now. “I better win,” he laughed. Derbyshire, who has just come off a loss at Christchurch’s Super 8 fight night, has been boxing for ten years, three of which have been at a professional level. He said 20 competitors taking part in corporate fights at tomorrow night’s event represented different clubs around Wellington.

“Some have experience and others don’t, they are new boxers. There are a lot of guys taking part who are actually boxers and there will be some really good fights.” Derbyshire said he was thrilled to bring a boxing event to Wellington and hoped to put boxing in Wellington on the map. “Boxing is struggling a little bit in Wellington so hopefully it puts us back on the map.”  Wellington Big Bash will take place tomorrow night, Friday April 29, at the Wellington Indian Centre. For tickets, head to www.eventbrite. co.nz

From left Sophie Irving, Danyon Loader and Tamrah Titcombe PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Leedom

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