Thursday January 11, 2018
Top sporting moments of 2017
Wellington Harrier Athletic Club national champions Tessa Hunt and Kelsey Forman.
In January Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, which includes the clubs of Lyall Bay, Oriental Bay and Scorching Bay, receive a cheque for $1 million from the Infinity Foundation. In February the Wellington Phoenix open new training pitches at Martin Luckie Park, while Miramar marathon legend Bernie Portenski dies of ovarian cancer, aged 67. That same month the Maranui Under-14 surf lifefsaving squad win their fifth consecutive title at the Capital Coast Junior Championships, while in March six of the club’s members win 11 medals at the national championships. April sees five Wellington women win silver as part of the CanSurvive team of breast cancer survivors who competed at the national dragon boat championships, while in May Island Bay under-20 athlete Kelsey Forman is named Wellington’s female Athlete of the Year for her achievements in middle-distance and road running. Another two local young
Maranui Surf Lifesaving’s winning Under 14 squad.
sportspeople, Imogen Skelton and Lewis Clareburt, are selected to compete in the Commonwealth Youth Games that month, with Lewis also selected for the national surf team. In June Kiwi Club Athletics president Peter Jack is awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for his dedication to rugby and athletics, while Wellington Scottish runner Stephen Day wins the national marathon championship. The British and Irish Lions visit Wellington in July as part of their once-in-12-year tour of New Zealand. Later that month Wellington College student Cam Robinson wins gold in the javelin event at the Oceania Area Championships. There is more success for the Island Bay Football Club in 2017, with their women’s “Flames” team crowned Division 1 champions in September. The following month sees Wellington win seven medals at the national
Island Bay United Football Club’s Flames celebrate being Division 1 champions.
International taekwon-do competitors Jakob Braakhuis, Logan Braakhuis, Kyla Walton and Georgia Vogt.
Marathon runner Bernie Portenski, who died in February.
synchonised swimming championships. In November Wellington teeenager Paris Lokotui helps New Zealand Women’s Under 17 basketball team win a spot at the U17 World Cup after reaching the finals of a tournament in India. That same month sees four young members of the Berhampore Interna-
PHOTOS: Cook Strait News File
tional Taekwon-do club return from the world championships in Dublin, with two winning medals. Finally, in December St Patrick’s College’s top cricketers take out the regional secondary school competition for the first time in 30 years.
with Jacob Page
Catch A Million dealt politically correct blow 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, let 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 politically 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.
Cook Strait News 11-01-18