Page 15

Thursday January 25, 2018

SPORT

15

Laykold Cup track cycling carnival wide open Cyclists in action in last year’s Junior Wheelrace Grand Prix. PHOTO: Supplied

Ninety years after the Laykold Cup was first presented, the 2018 edition of Wellington’s biggest track cycling race will take place this Sunday at the Wellington Velodrome. Now taking the form of a 10km Open Scratch Race, the Laykold Cup is one of the highlights of a full day of racing, which also includes the Poneke Plate for women, the Stayers Cup for masters and the Junior Wheelrace Grand Prix. Cash prizes are up for grabs on every race, for every grade. Last year’s Laykold Cup winner Carne Groube, a rising star on road and track, will not be back to defend his title so the trophy is wide open. A Wellington rider has not won it since 2011 when Lee Evans sprinted to victory. Lee will be taking part and with his focus being on sprinting, he could win it again providing he can get to the finale with some energy left. Pat Crowe-Rishworth leads the other local favourites, and has come

close before, preferring long-distance breakaways. Others in the mix will be under-19 road specialist Henry Levett, and experienced riders Matt Sharland, Grant Perry and Gideon Burke. Grace Saywell defends her Poneke Plate but Bridget Olphert and Zoe Perry will be aiming for an upset. Out-of-town riders could also make things hard, especially Sophie-Leigh Bloxham who won in 2015 and 2016. The Junior Handicapped Wheelrace Grand Prix is held over 1km (three laps) and is open to all riders under 17. Qualifying heats are run in age groups, with all riders coming together for a final, with younger riders generally given a good headstart. Jackson Moyle won the 2017 race ahead of Millie Donald and Lucy Fulljames.  The event kicks off at midday on Sunday, January 28 at the Wellington Velodrome in Hataitai. Competitors’ entry fees are $5 for juniors, $7 for seniors, with free entry for spectators.

A crackerjack turnout for bowling club centenary The entire membership of the Island Bay Bowling Club gathered after their gala tournament on S u n d ay f o r a commemorative photo to celebrate their centenary. The Cook Strait News was also on hand to acknowledge the occasion. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

Free return buses for Round the Bays Catching a free return bus from some of the outer regional locations of Wellington is a new initiative introduced this year for participants doing the 6.5km event at the Cigna Round the Bays fun run on Sunday, February 18. As part of their strategy to encourage participation from across the Greater Wellington region, Sport Wellington has organised a free bus from; Wairarapa, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Johnsonville, Porirua and Kapiti. 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 all 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. “When you book you need to have your bib number as you need to be fully paid before you can book on a bus,” Sport Wellington event director, Anna Carrington says. “Buggys, scooters and wheelchairs can be taken on the bus but we must be advised of this when the booking is made. “A confirmation email and further details will be provided upon booking.” Departing from the train stations, participants need to be at the station at least 15 minutes before the departure time and will need to show their registration bib to the volunteer as they board the bus.  Seats can be booked via a form at wellingtonroundthebays.co.nz or by calling Ana on (04) 380 2070 ext 234.

Sports talk

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 at 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 agegroups 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.

Cook Strait News 25-01-18  

Cook Strait News 25-01-18

Cook Strait News 25-01-18  

Cook Strait News 25-01-18