North Shore Times : February 5th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 31 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 5, 2013 SPORT League players face tough call New venture: Nick Wilson is one of the Black Sticks selected for the first Indian Premier Hockey League. Photo: JASON OXENHAM What a hockey season we have ahead of us. Already in 2013 we ve had several North Harbour players feature in the new Black Sticks teams, New Zealand players are off to earn good money in the lately-launched India Prem- ier Hockey League and players have taken part in the fun beach hockey held at Mt Maunganui. George Muir and Corey Bennett were Harbour s newest selections in the national squad, joining incumbents Steve Edwards and James Coughlan. While in the women s side, Bianca Russell and Petrea Webster retained their selec- tions for 2013 in the Black Sticks squad. Both Russell and Webster have also been selected to go to Argentina from the Febru- ary 21 to March 4 to play five tests against Argentina. Russell, who had taken a break since her outstanding performance at the 2012 Olympics, will be keen to return, while Webster, who unfortunately broke her hand late last year against India, now has an oppor- tunity to secure her spot in the side with some key players taking a break. Then there was the excite- ment of the inaugural Indian Premier Hockey League that finally started in January. After several postpone- ments, it was good to hear the first whistle blown. With an auction held late last year, players were bid for by the five franchises with the top selling price around US$86,000 for the four-week competition. There were several Black Sticks players for auction but only Nick Wilson (US$24,000) and Simon Child (US$20,000) were bought by the franchises. Then, with heated political issues between Pakistan and India, the Pakistan players were removed from the com- petition, which opened the way for three more Black Stick players. With large money being offered to players for a very short period of time and the added entertainment factors of bands playing as pre- match entertainment, mascots and Bollywood dancers, it has surely secured its place on the hoc- key calendar. But the league has already created an issue for new Black Sticks coach Colin Batch. He s hoping to stamp his mark on this group, and the end of the Indian League cla- shes with an important and compulsory Black Sticks training camp. Batch said publicly that all players will need to return and be pres- ent at the camp to be selec- ted in the 2013 Black Sticks team. The Black Sticks training camp was originally moved to cater for the Indian league and the European club season, but with the league postponements there now is a clash. And for the five players in India it will become a tough decision especially with big financial rewards for the winning team on offer. I look forward to keeping you all updated throughout the 2013 season. Those who have been up to Harbour Hockey in the new year will have seen upgrades to the pavilion with a new paint job and new carpet throughout the building. It has given the staff, members and visitors a ref- reshed feeling for the 2013 season. Cup skipper big on paddle boards SUP skipper: America's Cup skipper Jimmy Spithill takes on the State Beach Series. Photo: GUILAIN GRENIER By CATHERINE MURRAY STATE BEACH SERIES Jimmy Spithill, skipper of Oracle Team USA wishes there was a similar event to the State Beach Series in San Francisco where he is preparing to challenge for the America s Cup later this year. The State Beach Series is a great atmosphere and a lot of fun. It s great to see so many kids competing in the different races and it s cool that families are getting involved and doing some- thing that is good for them, he says. Spithill, 33, comes to New Zealand on occasion for work, and when possible takes the opportunity to par- ticipate in the beach series on Takapuna Beach. Introduced to the series by teammate Matthew Mason, he takes to the water in the stand up paddle event. Stand up paddling brings in so many variables with different conditions; and the muscles involved also cross over into a lot of other sports. In 2010, at the age of 30, Spithill was the youngest skipper ever to win the America s Cup in Valencia, Spain. His major focus for 2013 is to defend the America s Cup in San Francisco in Sept- ember. But after that I would like to do one of the big SUP (stand-up paddle) races in Hawaii. Go to.beachseries.co.nz for more information on the State Beach Series or to enter an event. Rowing stalwarts celebrate 30 years Rowers reunite: Takapuna Grammar School's rowing club wants all former people involved with the club to come together on March 2. While the first rowing crews representing Taka- puna Grammar rowed in the late 1940s, the club went into recess for some years before being revived in 1983. In that year, the First XV coach John Beck, wanted to provide a fit- ness programme for his players in the off-season. He chose rowing, and with great support from people like Malcolm and Barbara Iversen, the club was based at Westhaven, sharing facilities with the West End Rowing Club. It took until 1987 for the first medal to be won, and since then there have been some stunning years. The decade of the 1990s produced a total of 49 North Island champion- ship medals and 34 Maadi cup medals. Rowing numbers hit a high of 84 one year. The fortunes of rowing, in numbers and in the medal haul, have risen and fallen in the first dec- ade of the 21st century but what has never changed is the passion and commit- ment of rowers, coaches and parents over the past 30 years. Stalwarts of the club have decided it is a good time to celebrate with a fundraising dinner on March 2. For former rowers, coa- ches and dedicated parents this evening is planned to provide a great chance to catch up, remin- isce and show support for the current club. Go to tgsrowing.org.nz for a link to all the reunion details.
February 1st 2013
February 7th 2013