Wednesday January 24, 2018
TriAbility Triathlon, perfect for beginners Sport Wainuiomata’s free summer training sessions for the 2018 TriAbility Triathlon have been welcomed by locals. The training sessions, held at the Wainuiomata Summer Pools on Saturday and Sunday mornings, are to introduce or motivate people preparing for the TriAbility Triathlon that is set for March 17. One of this year’s newbies who has started training with the group is Melanie Fraser, a seasoned triathlete who loves cycling. Melanie says she used to train with Tri-Poneke in Wellington. “I was looking for that similar feeling, the whanaungatanga of working in a group. TriAbility was a perfect fit. I met people at the pool and we just went from
there,” Melanie says. The group meets at Wainuiomata Pools and goes over the run, cycle and swim courses, allowing people to go at their own pace. Training is done with a buddy to train who is a little more experienced or have knowledge of the course. Event organisers have also outlined the course by posting green instruction sheets on lamp posts around the course so people can train in their own time. “This year we want to focus on encouraging getting people to get active again in inclusive community events, so we have decided to only run the Super Sprint and Super Sonic distances,” says Sport Wainuiomata chairwoman, Terina Cowan.
Melanie Fraser is getting ready for the TriAbility Triathlon. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
“We have also added an extra incentive to enter this year’s event by reducing the entry fee,” she says. The TriAbility Triathlon is for people of all abilities, but is also about shifting attitudes and changing behaviours towards disabled people in our communities. The event supports people with physical, intellectual, neurological and sensory impairments to compete alongside non-disabled triathletes. This will be TriAbility’s fifth year in Wainuiomata, a successful event that the community can call their own. For more information on the event or training sessions, go to www.sportwainuiomata.com or call Peter Cowan on 027 264 5553.
Aotearoa Bike Challenge on again The 2018 Aotearoa Bike Challenge, a month-long workplace challenge which encourages New Zealanders to make everyday trips by bike, will once again run for the month of February. Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today that the challenge would begin on Thursday, February 1 and says organisations across the country are encouraged to get their staff involved in some friendly competition, and to experience the benefits cycling can have. The challenge follows a successful first year in 2017, which saw nearly
two-million kilometres cycled by more than 14,000 people, from more than 1000 organisations, including almost 4000 new riders. “The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a great opportunity to see how easy it can be to fit cycling into your everyday life. This year we hope to see even more New Zealanders get on their bikes with some great prizes on offer for participating, including e-bikes,” she says. For more information and to register for the challenge visit www. aotearoa.bike
Sports talk Cigna Round the Bays will be on February 18
Free buses to Cigna Round the Bays fun run Lower Hutt residents have the option of catching a free return bus if taking part in the 6.5km event at the Cigna Round the Bays fun run next month. Cigna Round the Bays will be held in Wellington on Sunday, February 18 and as part of a strategy to encourage participation from across the Greater Wellington region, Sport Wellington has organised free buses. The buses are scheduled to arrive in Wellington in time for the start of the 6.5km events; the run/walk, Mitre 10 Buggy Walk, and the Active Families category where children under the age of 12, accompanied by an adult, can ride their scooters. Following the event, buses will depart from Kilbirnie Park, the finish line, at 12.30pm. Funded by a grant from Pub Charity, the buses are free of charge but there will be donation buckets on each bus where 100 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to the Cigna Round the Bays official charity, Achilles International New Zealand. There are 50 seats on each bus so participants need to get in quick and book. Seats can be booked via an online form on the Cigna Round the Bays website www.
wellingtonroundthebays.co.nz or by calling 04 380 2070 ext 234. Sport Wellington event director, Anna Carrington advises that “when you book you need to have your bib number as you need to be fully paid before you can book on a bus.” Buggys, scooters and wheelchairs can be taken on the bus but must be noted when the booking is made. Since its inception in 1979 with just under 4000 participants, the event has grown from strength to strength over the last 40 years. Last year, saw over 14,300 registered participants take part in running or walking around Wellington’s scenic waterfront. Sport Wellington prides itself on delivering an event that has reduced barriers ensuring a wide range of the community is able to participate. Having a low entry fee, a range of distances, and providing a festival atmosphere at Frank Kitts Park and Kilbirnie Park, Cigna Round the Bays encourages people to take part in active recreation and celebrates their achievement. The Lower Hutt bus will leave from Waterloo train station at 8am.
with Jacob Page
Netball’s golden goose flying away The Silver Ferns seem to be missing an opportunity to raise their profile. I pride myself of being aware of a large variety of sport going on in the world but I must confess I had no idea that an international netball series was starting. To be honest, with the exception of Maria Folau, I’m not sure I could name many starting Ferns’ players these days. Ironically, New Zealand lost the international to England, a sign of the times that other nations are catching up in a sport that has, for so long, been dominated by Australia and New Zealand. I was slightly embarrassed that I did not know the game was happening but it’s worth pondering why? We are currently in the midst of a women’s sport evolution. Rugby, cricket, football and mixed martial arts have been instrumental in women having a more visible presence to the public while netball appears to have gone backwards. Player depth seems to be minimal and interest seems to have lagged.
The trans-Tasman netball competition was a flop, largely because New Zealand franchises were not competitive. The new national competition appears like a step backwards when most other sports are rapidly progressing when it comes to the women’s portion of their sport. These are potentially tricky waters to navigate for those within Netball New Zealand. How can the country’s most popular girls sport keep their players going through the age-groups to become competitive on the court and engaging to those watching it? The Laura Langman saga where arguably our best player has been barred from playing in the black bib, has not been a good look and is potentially troublesome. The sport needs an injection of a charismatic, world class player that can be the poster girl for the foreseeable future. Without a turnaround in fortunes, netball may find themselves missing a golden opportunity to cash-in on the mood of the sporting world.
Published on Jan 23, 2018