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Wednesday May 24, 2017

SPORT

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Olympic Harrier Club steps-up annual race By Patrick French WHITIREIA JOURNALISM STUDENT

A local outdoor, recreation and fitness club will step-up their annual cross-country race this year. Johnsonville’s Olympic Harrier Club will host and compete against the New Zealand Army team at this year’s Grand Memorial cross-country race on May 27. Peter Denman, an official helper at the Harrier Club, is excited by the challenge. “We approached them up in Linton where their training is done,” Peter said. “So they’re all coming down and we’re competing against them.” The event, which goes back to 1920, pays tribute to those who battled in the World Wars, and is an important date in the club’s calendar. “The Grand Memorial Races commemorate people who fought in World War I and II,” Peter continued. “So the memorial races acknowledge the members of our club (who died).” Peter believes having the NZ Army team at the event this year will be very

special for one particular club member. “We have a Lieutenant Colonel in the club,” he explained. This is Lieutenant Colonel Trent Corbett, based at Army Headquarters in Wellington, and who will also be competing in the race. The course itself includes several stream crossings and a lot of mud. It encompasses the Onslow Pony Club, Boom Rock Rd, and Ohariu Valley. Peter estimated a turnout of about 75 runners, with a range of age groups and ability levels present on the day. “We get older people, and people who haven’t run in quite some time”, he said. “We usually have quite a varied turnout on the day.” After the race, the vibe would turn a lot more casual as runners head to the clubrooms. “We go back there and have cups of tea and perhaps a few beverages.” The Olympic Harrier Club was established in 1914, and has about 200 members. “And that’s across all age groups”, Peter said. “Our oldest athlete Tony Simmers at last year’s Memorial Race running ahead of Craig Walker. PHOTO: Supplied is 80.”

Treat for netball community The sporting spotlight is on netball this winter with the launch of the ANZ Premiership, New Zealand’s new elite domestic netball competition. ANZ is calling for entries in their Dream Delivery programme to help Wellington netball players achieve their dreams this season supplying players with new performance gear, training sessions led by professionals or inspirational visits from netball heroes. “We are proud to support netball at all levels, from grassroots right up to the Silver Ferns. We know sometimes all you need is just that little bit of extra help to achieve your dreams, so ABOVE: Mya (2nd from the right) stood on top of the podium as the winner in the senior devision at last weekend’s judo competition in Palmerston North. RIGHT: The gold medallist has only been doing judo for three years. Mya thoroughly enjoys the martial art. PHOTOS: Supplied

Judo gold for Karori student By Julia Czerwonatis

Mya Hartley, Year 9 student at Samuel Marsden Collegiate, competed in the North Wellington Open Judo Championships in Palmerston North last Sunday obtaining a gold medal. Mya won every fight in her weight division and is now on her way to becoming New Zealand junior judo champ. “The first fight was pretty easy but as I was getting towards the final fights it got a lot harder,” Mya said. The aspiring judo champ moved to New Zealand from London where she used to do Hapkido, a Korean martial art. When Mya and her family settled here three years ago she wanted to try something new. “Mya’s grandfather was doing karate and judo, and suggested to try judo,” Maria

Hartley, Mya’s mother, said. “She had a natural ability for the sport and is doing incredibly well at every competition going up the ranks,” Maria stated. Mya likes the wide range of different techniques she learns training judo. “You need good stamina to move around. It’s important to watch your opponent and make your moves according to what the other person does,” the gold medallist explained. Her next big goal is going to the Secondary School Championships in Christchurch to represent her school. “With judo you get to travel around New Zealand which is great. Everyone is really connected. It’s fun that I get to know people from Auckland or the South Island because I competed against them at some point,” Mya said.

we are committed to helping as many netball fans as we can,” Sue McGregor, ANZ Head of Sponsorship, said. Earlier this month, a dream came true for a lucky group of 150 high school netball players who were surprised with a training session led by seven high profile stars of the ANZ Premiership. The students were taken through an intense training session to help show them what it takes to build their fitness ahead of the start of this year’s netball season.  Wellington netball clubs, teams, players and fans can tell ANZ what they need to achieve their dreams online at anz.co.nz/dreambig.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

The ever evolving All Black machine Wayne Smith’s departure from the All Blacks set up after the Rugby Championship is a big loss. Expect head coach Steve Hansen to stay in his role through the next Rugby World Cup in Japan but a gap opens that will be hard to plug with the specialist defence coach Smith retiring after more than 20 years in the All Black coaching environment. There’s also curiosity over who will replace Hansen in 2019. All signs point to former Chiefs coach Ian Foster who has been an All Black assistant for a number of years. Foster didn’t have much success with the Chiefs but does have the respect of the men in black. The concerning number of injuries

to key All Blacks prior to this Lions tour has many scratching their head. Captain Kieran Read and hooker Dane Coles being the two key players up in the air. If Read, who has a hand injury, can’t play against the Lions, Ardie Savea should play No 8 and Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock should be All Black captain. Whitelock has been the best forward in Super Rugby and a key reason the Red and Blacks have won all 12 of their games. Either way, when former Wellington stalwart Jimmy Gopperth is named the best player in the European Championship, how scared can we be of these tame Lions?

Independent Herald 24-05-17  

Independent Herald 24-05-17

Independent Herald 24-05-17  

Independent Herald 24-05-17