Last weekend Napier Boys’ High School won their 14th consecutive NZSS Orienteering title in the 30th edition of the event held in rural Wairarapa.
The early events had as few as 60 or 70 competitors but now over 350 athletes assemble to contest the races. There are three disciplines run over as many days.
First up is the sprint course, which is 2–3.5 km long. It requires speed of leg and thought, where a hesitation or poor decision can cost a few seconds and several places. This year, Rathkeale College’s 60 hectare campus made for very fast times.
Long races can be up to 6 km for senior boys, with nearly 300 metres of climb by the optimal route. A different athlete often wins – one with stamina who is more subtly in touch with map and terrain. Running up the wrong gully can cost irreplaceable minutes. The Ngaumu Forest map, Mingimingi, provided deep stream gullies, tangled undergrowth and steep hills to supplement the mud underfoot.
The final day are the relays, which invariably decide the champions. Teams of three run branching courses in spectator friendly races. After all the rain, soft underfoot conditions made every step a slog on the rolling farm of the Riverlands map, near Opaki.
Napier’s dominance can be traced to the arrival of Derek Morrison’s children at the Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools around the turn of the millennium. While success was not instant, as coach Derek built a sustained programme with a competitive culture at both schools – NGHS has nine titles of their own.
Even now, with his last child nearly a decade gone, Derek continues as NGHS coach and, with the two schools’ teams working so closely together, has never really left NBHS either. However, since graduating from Derek’s assistant, Hugh Forlong-Ford has in recent years been the coach of record for NBHS.
The Napier secret is not startling. It depends on the simple principles of recruitment, skill, fitness and enjoyment. While there are certainly members of the team who focus exclusively on orienteering, most see orienteering as one sport among many, often using it to supplement their fitness for other sports. Identical trainings are run on consecutive days so that students can choose which meets their other commitments best. Inclusiveness is crucial to the Napier mind set, with newcomers and old hands equally valued. Thus continuity is maintained, so even passing the coaching baton hasn’t interrupted the streak.
While 14 years of sustained success looks utterly dominant, in reality there have been many close run events, chiefly from Hawke’s Bay rivals Havelock North High School (coached by Steve Armon and Derek’s brother, Geoff).
This year, Napier’s victory wasn’t assured until Bayley Stephens-Ellison crossed the line for Napier ahead of HNHS in the Senior Boys’ relay, the last race of the weekend. In 2015, the two schools were separated by a single relay place. But the closest was in 2006 as, when the points were tallied, the two schools shared the title – Napier’s third and, to date, Havelock North’s only one.
Appropriately, New Zealand sporting legend Brian Lochore presented NBHS captain Jonty Anderson with the trophy.
For full results visit: https://wellingtonorienteering.org.nz/#results
Longest National Championship Win Streaks (all sports):
Boys Basketball: Church College, 1984-1991
Girls Basketball: Church College, 1991-1999
Girls Cricket: New Plymouth Girls’ High School, 2003-2008
Boys Hockey: Christchurch Boys’ High School, 1962-1968
Girls Rowing: Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, 1991-1999
Boys Rowing: Wanganui Collegiate, 1963-1969
Boys Rugby Leauge: St. Paul’s College, 2004-2010
Boys Squash: Auckland Grammar School, 2003-2008
Boys Orienteering: Napier Boys’ High School 2014 -2017
New Zealand had never won a game at a Handball World Championships or International Handball competition.
But that all changed over the school holidays when the New Zealand U17 Boys made history by winning four of their eight games at the inaugural Beach Handball U17 World Championships played on the island of Mauritius, off the coast of southeast Africa.
The 10-strong New Zealand team of mostly Year 12 students featured players from Wellington (eight), Christchurch and Palmerston North and was captained by Paul Ireland of St Pat’s Town (number 8 singlet pictured above).
Paul discussed New Zealand’s maiden win against South Africa. “Before playing this game we had all been told that New Zealand handball teams had been to four world championships and had never won a game, “ he explained. “So going into the game we all pumped and we beat them two sets to nil. That was the best game we played in the whole tournament.”
New Zealand also had the support in the stands of the highly ranked Portuguese team who had earlier beaten them, while a rousing pre-game haka was well received by the crowd.
New Zealand went on to beat South Africa and Togo again and lose to host country Mauritius to finish 13th out of 16 teams. The tournament was won by Spain who beat Italy in the final. Handball is very popular in Europe and is an Olympic Sport. In the girls competition Hungary beat the Netherlands in the decider (no New Zealand team) and these countries are all among the best in the world in the senior ranks.
Not bad either considering none of the New Zealand team had played beach handball until a few months ago when they travelled to the Cook Islands for the Oceania Championships. They finished second to Australia in the Cook Islands, booking their passage to Mauritius.
“There were rumours of the U17 World Championships late last year, so we set our sights on qualifying. We had about 30 players in the overall group, which got reduced to 10 and we started preparing then.”
New Zealand was grouped with Italy, Portugal and Australia in pool play. “In our first game we played runners-up Italy. We had seen footage of them playing from their Euro tournament so we knew what we were in for. It was such a great experience to play them and for us to see first hand the amount of skill, hard work needed to compete with the best.”
The trip bodes well for the future development of beach handball in New Zealand, a sport that provides strong pathways overseas with regular tournaments worldwide.
All the New Zealand players have a background in indoor handball, with the two being two distinct sports. “Beach handball is a lot different to indoor, it’s really fast-paced and fun to play. It incorporates aspects that make it exciting for the crowd, like different scoring.”
There are four players on the sand at any one time, but on attack the goalie becomes a rush goalie and part of the attack.
The trip was entirely self-funded, including the coaching staff Tim Rayner and Aaron Huddleston who are current senior New Zealand representative players as well.
Back home, Paul plays for his school St Pat’s Town in indoor handball, who were crowned NZSS Senior champions earlier this year, beating Christchurch’s Cashmere High School in the final.
Paul has been playing handball since 2014. “I got into the sport through my brothers, one of whom went to Samoa in 2012 with the New Zealand U20 team, and I thought this is a cool sport and a way to represent my country.”
As well as indoor and now beach handball, Paul plays social basketball and football and serious cricket, being a member of the St Pat’s Town First XI and a fast bowler.
Paul is back at school now, but next week he’s off to the Cook Islands with the New Zealand U21 indoor handball team to compete in the Oceania Championships. He is the only member of the recent U17 beach handball team to earn selection for this team as well.
The other two current school-aged players in this U21 team are Cassius Papera (Paraparaumu College) and Angus Hazelton (Scots College).
The New Zealand team in Mauritius was:
Paul Ireland (St Pat’s Town)
Max Brookes (Scots College)
Angus Hamilton (Cashmere High School)
Michan Hunter (Palmerston North Boys’ High School)
Danyah-Lee Skelton-ChongNee (St Pat’s Town)
Miguel Aizpuru (St Pat’s Town)
Josh Holland (St Pat’s Town)
Joseph Poata (Wellington College)
Ezekiel Fiso (Scots College)
Johnathan English (St Pat’s Town)
Coaches: Tim Rayner and Aaron Huddleston
Gold - 8
Connor Bell - Discus
Zac Reid - 1500m Freestyle/400m Mixed Freestyle Relay
Laticia Transom 200m Freestyle/400m Mixed Freestyle Relay
Mya Rasumussen - 400-IM
Lewis Clareburt - 200m/400i-IM/400m Mixed Freestyle Relay
Chelsey Edwards - 400m Mixed Freestyle Relay
Finn Kennard-Campbell - 50m Backstroke
Silver - 14
Nick Palmer - Shot Put
Katrina Robinson - 3000m Track
Tatiana Kaumoana - Discus
Jasmine Pepi Milton/Ella Akkerman - Beach Volleyball
Shylah Te Urang - 51kg Boxing
Abigial Morton - Girls Time Trial Cycling
Lewis Clareburt - 200m Butterfly/200IM/400m-Freestyle/4x100m Mixed Relay
Ciara Smith - 100m Breastroke/4x100m Mixed Freestyle Relay
Laticia Transom - 100m Freestyle/4x100m Mixed Freestyle Relay
Mya Rasumussen - 200m Breastroke/200IM
Finn Kennard-Campbell - 4/100m Freestyle Mixed Relay
Bronze - 9
Katrina Robinson - 1500m Track
Imogen Skelton - High Jump
Kyle Chen - 75kg Boxing
Pelea Fruean - 60kg Boxing
Hannah Bates - 100m Butterfly
Gina Galloway - 100m Backstroke
Ciara Smith - 50m Breastroke
Laticia Transom - 50m Freestyle
Finn Kennard-Campbell 100m Backstroke
New Zealand’s track and field athletes and swimmers secured four silvers and a bronze on day four of competition at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Whangarei’s Ciara Smith began proceedings in the 100m breaststroke in the pool. Smith swam a fast paced 1.10.72 to take out second place.
Hannah Bates from Christchurch then won bronze in a hotly contested 100m butterfly with a time of 1.01.27.
Wellington’s Lewis Clareburt continued his excellent form, earning his fourth medal of the games, a silver in the 400m freestyle in a time of 3.54.15.
“I’ve got a PB in every event so far so I’m pretty stoked with that, there’s been a lot of work go into this,” said Clareburt.
“Being up on the podium is such a great feeling at an international competition, so I’ve just been taking it in and loving it.”
In the athletics stadium Te Aroha’s Tatiana Kaumoana won silver in the discus with a throw of 45.54m.
“The throws felt good but they didn’t go as far as I was hoping, definitely good to get on the podium but I would’ve liked to be on the top spot,” said Kaumoana.
Team flag bearer Nick Palmer was pipped at the post in the men’s shot put.
Palmer led the competition from the beginning but an Australian thrower managed a 19.70m toss on the second to last throw of the meet, bettering the Kiwi’s 19.57m effort. Palmer had a chance to top that but was unable to, his last throw falling short.
“It took me a few throws to get going, I never really found my rhythm and that’s the way it goes sometimes so I’ll go back to the drawing board and prepare for world juniors,” Palmer said.
The women’s beach volleyball team of Ella Akkerman from Tauranga and Jasmine Milton from Whangarei looked the better of the teams as they took on Scotland in their semi-final.
The pair were clinical from the outset to win the first set convincingly 21-12 but made hard work of the second as Scotland pushed them to extra points. The Kiwi’s then forced errors to take the win 22-20.
“It was good to get the result, we didn’t do it in the convincing way we wanted but at least we made it through,” said Milton.
The pair will take on tournament favourites Australia in the gold medal match tomorrow.
“As long as we go out and play our best we’ll be happy but we definitely want that gold medal as well”.
The men’s team of Tyran Gillespie from Rotorua and Keegan Joe from New Plymouth beat South Africa in two sets to place 5th overall.
In the ring Pelea Fruean continued the boxers strong campaign with a determined fight against her English opponent. The Auckland fighter threw precision punches to win in a unanimous decision.
“She wasn’t an easy opponent so I had to stay busy, I had to use my straight shots and my right when her guard was down but she made me work for it,” said Fruean.
The win sees Fruean advance to the semi-finals and guarantees her a medal.
The 16 year old is the cousin of WBO heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker.
Medal tally: Gold x8, Silver x7, Bronze x5
About the Commonwealth Youth Games
Dozens of New Zealand’s most promising and exciting young athletes will take on their Commonwealth counterparts at the Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games, held between 18 – 23 July 2017.
The Games will be the largest international sporting event ever hosted in the Bahamas, and the largest ever edition of the Youth Games. Up to 1300 athletes aged 14-18 are set to make the most of an inspiring and immersive mix of impactful sporting competition, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships.
A team of 33 young Kiwi athletes will represent New Zealand at the Games. The team will be made up of eleven swimmers, ten athletics representatives, three cyclists, five boxers and four beach volleyball players. The athletes have been working hard to prepare for the Games and will build on the successes of previous Kiwi teams. The last Commonwealth Youth Games was held in Samoa in 2015 where New Zealand won 20 medals, made up of seven gold, eight silver and five bronze.
The Bahama’s first-ever international multi-sport event will see 94 medals contested across Athletics, Aquatics (Swimming), Beach Soccer, Boxing, Cycling (Road), Judo, Rugby Sevens, Tennis and Beach Volleyball. It will be the first time Judo, Beach Soccer and Beach Volleyball have been contested at a Commonwealth Youth Games.
New Zealand’s swimmers put in a stellar performance to claim 6 medals in the pool on day two of the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Laticia Transom, originally from Taihape, led the charge, winning gold in the 200m freestyle with a time of 2.01.56.
“The last 25 metres I gave it all I had and it worked out really well,” Laticia said.
“Standing on the podium, there’s nothing like it, it was so uplifting, it was great.”
Wellington’s Lewis Clareburt then set a New Zealand age group record to earn another gold medal posting 1.49.89 in the men’s 200m freestyle.
Gina Galloway from Auckland swam a gutsy race to take out bronze in the 100m backstroke with a time of 1.02.68.
Finn Kennard-Campbell, also from Auckland, followed suit in the men’s division of the same race, posting a time of 56.85 to claim bronze.
Palmerston North’s Mya Rasmussen took silver in the 200m breaststroke finishing in 2.31.49.
Taranaki’s Zac Reid then dug deep to win the gruelling 1500m freestyle race in a time of 15.40.11.
A free to use video interview with Laticia Transom can be accessed at this link. Free to use images are available on request from email@example.com
Earlier in the day Auckland cyclist Abigail Morton won New Zealand’s first medal of the games in the time trial. Morton recorded a time of 13.45 to finish second and earn silver.
The 16 year old Baradene College student said she had no idea whether her time would be good enough to earn her a podium spot.
“I went harder at the start because there were a few variables like wind and by the end the conditions had eased so that helped me along a bit,” said Abigail.
“Standing on the podium was special, I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to wear my podium tracksuit so it was great to stand there next to some good competitors.”
Fellow cyclist Jenna Merrick from Auckland narrowly missed out on a podium spot, coming in fourth. In the men’s time trial Dylan Simpson from Palmerston North placed 21st.
At the beach volleyball stadium the men’s team of Tyran Gillespie from Rotorua and Keegan Joe from New Plymouth held strong in their do or die match against Jamaica. The pair played a tidy game to win in 2 sets, 21-10, 21-10.
“We tried to play our game and stuck to our game plan and that got us the win,” said Tyran.
“It was awesome, a really great feeling to get the win after that loss yesterday so we’re pretty happy,” said Keegan.
They now face Cyprus in tomorrow’s quarter final.
The women’s team of Ella Akkerman from Tauranga and Jasmine Milton from Whangarei won their match against Trinidad and Tobago in 2 sets, 21-9, 21-18. They finish top of their pool and will face England in tomorrow’s quarter final.
The Kiwi boxers also kicked off their campaign today. Rakai Kirkwood from Auckland had a tough loss against Canada on a split decision. Jayden Downs from Auckland then lost to England, again on a split decision.
Kyle Chen from Paihia danced around his Australian opponent for the win and will progress to the quarter-finals.
Shylah Waikai also progresses to the next round following a convincing win against Sri Lanka.
New Zealand now sits in second on the medal table behind only England.
Medal tally: Gold x 3, Silver x 2, Bronze x 2
A recent trip to Japan with the New Zealand development surf lifesaving team gave Wellington College Year 11 surf lifesaver and swimmer Atakura Julian a good taste of international competition.
“It was my first time representing New Zealand and it was great experience and an eye opener for me, to see where every country is at and to get a feel for how we go against others,” Atakura said.
The 16-year old was called up as a rookie in the 10-strong New Zealand team that finished third behind winners Australia at the Sanyo Bussan International Lifesaving Cup in Japan in late June.
Australia finished on 854 points to comfortably win the title for the tenth consecutive year with hosts Japan in second with 711 and the Kiwis close behind on 703 points. South Africa finished fourth, USA fifth, Japan B sixth, the Netherlands seventh and Hong Kong eighth.
Atakura did well in a number of events, including finishing second in the men’s Tube Rescue and men’s Oceanman Relay team events and seventh overall in the individual men’s Surf Race and fourth in the men’s team Surf Race.
Another current secondary school team member, Claudia Kelly from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, earned two silvers, a bronze and gold with the women’s Beach Relay team.
Before they returned home, the athletes spent a morning in a cultural exchange with 150 10 and 11 year-olds at the beach, guiding them through what they do and what they love about surf lifesaving.
Previously, Atakura enjoyed success at the the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in Christchurch in March.
“I won golds in the U16 Surf Race, the U16 Run Swim Run, the U16 Surf Team and Tube Rescue, so I was really happy with that.”
He currently starts and finishes his day training five days a week with the Capital Swim Club at Freyberg Pool overlooking Wellington’s Oriental Bay.
After returning from Japan, Atakura is preparing for more competition on the other side of winter, starting in the pool.
“We have the New Zealand Short Course Championships coming up in October in Auckland and the NZSS Swimming Championships before that in Hamilton.”
Wellington College have been one of the dominant schools at the NZSS championships, winning in 2011, 2012 and 2012, finishing third in 2015 and second in 2014 and last year when Westlake Boys’ High School won.
Atakura would love to emulate the success of a few years ago and bring the title back to the school in its 150th year in 2017.
Atakura’s specialist events are 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly.
Looking ahead to the end of the year, he hopes to head to Australia for swimming and surf lifesaving events.
Atakura was a keen spectator before he took up surf lifesaving.
“I have been doing this four just over four years ago – I’ve been attracted to the water since I was little and I just saw people going out there and I thought I’d go down and see what’s all about.”
He joined Wellington’s Lyall Bay club and hasn’t looked back. Competitive swimming came on the back of the surf lifesaving.
School friend Luther Maxwell is another athlete Lyall Bay doing well, winning the U16 Ironman title at the National Championships in Christchurch and Liam Chesney of nearby St Pat’s Town won the U16 Beach Run.
Below are some selected Photos of the Week highlighting some of the secondary school sporting events, news stories and achievements from the past week in NZ secondary school sport.
Want to contribute to College Sport Media’s Photos of the Week? We’d love to hear from you and publish your photos. Drop us a message on https://www.facebook.com/collegesportmedia or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Note: If photos are not taken or by you we need to know their source so we can credit the photographer that took them or the publication where they were first posted.
1. Morning training on the harbour last week for the Takapuna Grammar School’s rowers. Photo credit Takapuna Grammar School Rowing https://www.facebook.com/tgsrowing
2. The St. Margaret’s College Senior A netball team after winning Round One SuperNet competition. St Margaret’s beat St Andrew’s College 37-35 in the first round decider last Thursday. The final points table (seven matches played) was: St Margaret’s 24 points; St Andrew’s 22; Vila Maria 21; Ashburton 21; CGHS 13; Rangiora 12; Rangi Ruru 4; Marian 0. Photo credit: School Sport Cantebury - https://www.facebook.com/SchoolSportCanterbury
3. On Mondays, Iritana Hohaia, Isabelle Cook and Simone Cook wear blue. They take the court as core members of the Opunake High School senior girls' basketball team. But come the weekend, they don yellow and black as they step on the court with the Taranaki Thunder in the national women's competition. For sisters Isabelle and Simone, 15 and 17 respectively, their first year with the Taranaki team has been a testing one, but both have found a way to thrive against tougher opponents. "It's a lot more physical in the women's competition," Isabelle says. Read more at the Taranaki Daily News at http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/sport/94224262/opunake-high-school-basketball-trio-prove-themselves-at-the-top-level Photo credit Grant Matthew/Fairfax NZ
4. Taradale High School’s Casey Hales is the sole Hawke's Bay paddler in a three-strong New Zealand under-18 girls K1 team competing at the Junior Worlds in Slovakia in three weeks, leaving last week for three weeks of training. At the New Zealand Open Championships in Kawerau Hales finished second in the under-18 K1 division and fifth in the open division. Paddling at the January Oceania Championships in Auckland Hales finished third in the under-18 division and was the second best of the Kiwis. At the Australian Open in Penrith Hales finished fourth in the under-18 division and was the best of the Kiwis. Read more at Hawke’s Bay Today at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503460&objectid=11883897 Photo credit Duncan Brown.
5. Several hours before the All Blacks took on the British and Irish Lions on Saturday, St Bernard’s College, Lower Hutt, hosted a touring Irish school Blackrock College. St Bernard’s College beat the Blackrock boys 43-0 in the First XV clash, while Blackrock won 48-12 in the Second XV match. Photo credit: Wareham Sports Media. More photos at https://www.facebook.com/pg/Wareham-Sports-Media-922231524463851/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1640927459260917
6. The Aorere College U17 basketballers last week celebrating their win over Mission Heights Junior School Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/aorerecollegesport/
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