Thursday December 21, 2017
Swindale Shield could be toughest yet Wellington’s 2018 Swindale Shield draw could be the toughest yet as the union’s 14 Premier clubs battle for just seven places in the slimmed-down Jubilee Cup. The 2018 Premier club rugby season kicks off with a Gala Day round at Awakairangi and Maoribank Parks in Upper Hutt on March 17. Early points will be more important than ever with Wellington’s traditional top-eight structure cut by one team to allow for an even seven-seven split for the second round. Reigning Swindale Shield and Jubilee Cup champions Old Boys University will kick off the defence of their titles against Poneke in one of six opening day matches at Awakairangi Park. Perhaps the feature match of round one will be the clash between beaten 2017 Jubilee Cup semi-finalists Tawa and Marist St Pats, but pundits will have to wait until round 10 to see a repeat of the Jubilee Cup final when Old Boys University
host Hutt Old Boys Marist at Nairnville Park. WRFU Rugby Board Chairman Peter Scott said the 2018 season shaped as being tougher than ever. “With the new top-seven format we are going to see some very good teams miss out on the Jubilee Cup and some very accomplished teams compete for the Hardham Cup later in the year. “I think there is no doubt the new format is going to raise the stakes during the Swindale Shield. “Picking up early points on the ladder could be the difference in 2018 and I’m sure we will see some very well-prepared teams when the season kicks off on March 17.” Other features of the 2018 draw include a midweek Anzac Day round on Wednesday, April 25 with the popular Derby Day round to follow on April 28. The new seven team Jubilee Cup and Hardham Cup competitions are scheduled to kick off on Saturday, June 9.
Old Boys University celebrate the glory of winning the Jubilee Cup earlier this year. PHOTO: Supplied
New directors appointed to WREDA board Three new directors have been appointed to the board of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA). The leaders of the Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council, whose councils are the joint shareholders of WREDA, have welcomed the appointments of Tracey Bridges, Wayne Mulligan and Kylie Archer.
“I know Tracey, Wayne and Kylie well – and I know they’ll bring first-rate business, events and community acumen to the board table,” Mayor Justin Lester says. Greater Wellington chair Chris Laidlaw adds: “It gives me great confidence to see the talent and experience these three new board members will bring to WREDA. “Leaders in their own fields, Kylie, Wayne and Tracey have a
solid mix of experience in many business, technology innovation and cultural disciplines. WREDA is in good hands going into 2018.” Tracey has also been appointed to the board of the Wellington Regional Stadium Trust. The new appointments bring the WREDA board to eight. The remaining directors are Peter Biggs, Thomas Pippos,Grant Guilford, Dave Gibson and Matt Clarke.
Tracey Bridges is a specialist in strategy, reputation, decision making, change and risk management, and social marketing. She is a member of Global Women, the Women Leaders’ Network, and finalist in the 2016 Women of Influence Awards. PHOTO: Supplied
Nine sports selected for Talent Development Programme A range of sports organisations are rejoicing after Sport Wellington accepted them as part of the Wellington City Council-funded Sports Talent Development Programme for 2018. The successful organisations are: Badminton Wellington, Dynomites Sport Climbing, Fencing Central, Capital Football, Wellington Hockey, Netball Wellington Centre, Central Rowing, Volleyball Wellington, and Swimming Wellington. A panel of representatives from Sport Wellington, Sport New Zealand and the council selected the nine due to their focus on building systems, str uctures and processes that help nurture talent, and helping young athletes realise their potential in sport and in life. “We are proud to be associated with the Sports Talent Development Programme; it is a fantastic programme that any emerging athlete in the region can aspire to become a part of,” councillor and sport portfolio leader Simon Woolf says. “Since our involvement in the programme we have seen more and more athletes from Wellington representing New Zealand at an international level.” The Talent Development Programme supports a number of talent development projects aligned to the na-
tional and regional sporting organisations. This year 16 applications were received with nine sports successful in securing funding to support a range of initiatives including research into performance measures and specialist services such as athlete life advice. Over the last four years the programme has transformed from being an outcome-based investment to become a process-lead investment associated with developing talent and effective Talent Development environments. Mark Watson, Sport Wellington’s Performance Hub Senior Advisor states: “The impact of this approach is starting to come to fruition with athletes, parents and coaches now fully integrated into this process alongside staff associated with the Regional Sports Organisation’s (RSO) performance programmes.” A lso associate d to t he 2018 prog ra m me, Spor t Wellington will continue to work with Wellington Golf and Athletics Wellington in developing their talent programs. Netball Wellington Centre General Manager Sue Geale says she “could not thank enough” Sport Wellington and Wellington City Council for the support they provided netballers through their funding.
Cook Strait News 21-12-17