Wednesday January 10, 2018
Sporting highlights of 2017 Our picks for Wainuiomata sport success stories By Dan Whitfield Natasha Hargraves pushed herself in 2017 when she represented New Zealand at the 2017 UCI BMX World Championships, in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The young BMX sensation made it through to the top 60 for her age group but was knocked out in the eighths. She was one of approximately 80 riders from New Zealand who attended world championships. When the Wainuiomata News spoke to Natasha last, she was focusing on the New Zealand BMX season and her next big race, the New Zealand Nationals. Jared Paku, Raymond Seumanu, and Manawa Lambert were named New Zealand champions in 2017. All three took out national titles at the New Zealand Boxing Championships in September. It was the first time Jared and Manawa, both 14, have won a national title – for Raymond, 16, it is his fifth. The trio currently compete for Wainuiomata Boxing Club and are three athletes to watch in 2018. Wendy Paulik wants to see Wainuiomata Tennis Club return to its former glory. She turned her attention to the growth of the club last year explaining that people have made the club what it is today and for a community like Wainuiomata, it’s a great
asset to have still around. Wainuiomata Tennis Club has been open for 70 years this year and has seen hundreds of players, from children to adults, enjoy the sport. It currently has around 180 members. For more information about joining the club, contact Julie Day on 021 342 555. Ben Tupoloa was one of the many players from Wainuiomata Rugby Club who were celebrated at the end of the 2017 season. The Wainuiomata No.8 picked up the significant status of Premier Player of the Year after contributing to the team’s success last year. He scored nine tries throughout the 2017 season. Notable players from the club include Piri Weepu, Jonah Lomu, Tana Umaga and Neemia Tialata – and there’s no doubt soon Wainuiomata will add Ben to this list. Shane Richardson blitzed his way through most races on 2017 – both in New Zealand and overseas. His Wainui Joinery Kawasaki ZX-6R helped him out in December while racing the 2017 Suzuki Tri-Series, and spent several months racing in the United States early last year. Shane says the experience of last year was worth it and helped him dream big for the year ahead. The Wainuiomata rider is at the top of our list of sportspeople to look out for in 2018.
ABOVE: Shane Richardson. PHOTO: Supplied RIGHT: Natasha Hargraves. PHOTO: Dan Taylor
with Jacob Page
Catch a million dealt politically correct blow
Jared Paku, Raymond Seumanu and Manawa Lambert. PHOTO: Dan Whitfield
ABOVE: Ben Tupola with Ginny Anderson. PHOTO: Dan Taylor LEFT: Wendy Paulik. PHOTO: Dan Whitfield
The changes to the ‘Catch A Million’ six catching competition during New Zealand’s summer of cricket shows how political correctness is overriding common sense and fun. The competition sees $50,000 put up at each Black Caps short form fixture this year for anyone wearing a designated orange shirt who can take an unassisted one-handed catch. With Colin Munro blasting the hapless West Indies over the rope 10 times, it’s fair to say there were plenty of thrills and spills as people did what they could to take a catch. That included falling over unsuspecting people, including children. The promotion which was done several years ago has naturally proven wildly successful. However after what I will call ‘The Fun Police’ questioned the safety of people trying to take such crowd catches, the decision has been made to have designated catch zones and to ban any diving like we are all at a motel pool. I don’t want to see anyone hurt, yet alone children but realistically if we try to remove all risk from the world, a lot of the fun goes with it. The best way to keep kids 100 percent safe is to not take them to any cricket matches. It’s simply PC madness. The competition adds colour and excitement to a six. I’ve clattered into kids in an attempt
to snare a lollipop at a lolly scramble, imagine what I and many others will do for $50,000. Yes there will be the odd person that cops a stray knee but the reality of serious injury is quite low. Despite the barrage of sixes over the summer already, there hasn’t been one injury. A hugely popular promotion which encourages people to get down to the ground and watch live sport has now had its brakes pumped because of those who live with a worse case scenario mindset. Life is about risk and managing it. The new rules make it much harder to get a winner for the prize and means people are being told where to sit if they want an outside chance at winning the cash. That’s what it is, make no mistake, it’s an outside chance at $50,000. To catch a cricket ball that has been hit with enough power it flies into the crowd is tough enough without having to do it with one hand. Herding all potential winners into a couple of spots on the ground means it’ll be like feeding time at a pig farm with everyone getting in each other’s way and preventing a catch being taken. This is another win for the political correct pandas and another low point for those who want to have fun in the sun in this mixed up, muddled up world we live in.
Wainuiomata News 10-01-18