,Auckland Grammar School (Open Division) and Hutt Valley High School (Girls Division) won the annual NZSS Ultimate Championships held in Taupo this week.
Auckland Grammar won their final over Hutt Valley High School boys 12-10, while HVHS defeated Gisborne’s Lyttton High Scool 10-6 in their final in the tournament at Owen Delany Park on Monday and Tuesday.
AGS had earlier wins in the tournament against Wellington High School (13-3), New Plymouth Boys’ High School (12-5), Lytton High School (13-4), HVHS (13-9, first meeting), Green Bay High School 2 (13-0) and Westlake Boys’ High School (13-3).
HVHS defeated Lytton High School (7-6, first meeting), lost to Epsom Girls’ Grammar School (3-9), beat Takapuna Grammar Schoool (13-2), before beating Lytton again in the final.
The closeness of the Girls competition was a feature of the tournament. After the opening round, EGGS had beaten HVHS, who beat Lytton High School, who beat Epsom.
In the Open division Wellington High School (mixed teams with three New Zealand U20 Kahu girls in it - Abi Liddell, Amelia Mance and Sophie Mance) beat finalist Hutt Valley High School. Although this was not to have a bearing on the overall outcome.
NPBHS' result was very good given they are a new team of Year 13s based around their two New Zealand representative U20 Katipo Boys Graydon Scott and Luke Rabe, who only started playing last year.
Also of note at this note at this NZSS event was the opportunities for youth leadership being offered and taken up. Tane Rolfe, Emma Doile and Beth Thompson (members of the NZ U20 teams who are now at university) all came with teams as coaches. Anna Crosby (Kahu Captain) was there as a tournament volunteer and the tournament was organised and run by ex-Kahu player Julia Forde, who is 21 and this was her 5th NZSS Ultimate Championships as the tournament director.
For full results go here http://nzssuc.ultimatecentral.com/e/2018-nz-secondary-school-ultimate-championships/schedule
1st Auckland Grammar School
2nd Hutt Valley High School 1
3rd Hamilton Boys High School
4th Westlake Boys’ High School
5th New Plymouth Boys’ High School
6th Wellington High School
7th Onslow College
8th Takapuna High School
9th Lytton High School
10th Green Bay High School 1
11th Hutt Valley High School 2
12th Green Bay High School 2
Winner of the Spirit of the Game Award: Wellington High School
Most Valuable Player: Hamish Forde (Westlake Boys’ High School)
1st Hutt Valley High School
2nd Lytton High School
3rd Epsom Girls’ High School
4th Takapuna Grammar School
Winner of the Spirit of the Game Award: Hutt Valley High School
Most Valuable Player: Katja Neef (Takapuna Grammar School)
New Zealand U20 teams preparing for World Junior Championships
The World Junior Ultimate Championships are in Waterloo, Canada from 19-25 August. New Zealand will be represented in both the Under 20 Men's and Under 20 Women's divisions.
New Zealand will be part of 19 teams contesting the U20 Men's division in Canada, while 16 teams will participate in the U20 Women's division.
New Zealand also competed at the last WJUC event in 2016 in Poland where Katipo (NZ U20 Men) finished 13th out of 20 teams and Kahu (NZ U20 Women) finished 6th out of 20.
Girls and Boys who were named in the National Junior Teams who attended this week's tournament were:
Summer Tournament Week is on all this coming week, with 10,000 students involved. College Sport Media can't wait.
Here are some of the major national titles to be resolved below, with a number of regional events taking place as well.
Please contact CSM if you have any photos or stories you would like to share.
NZSS Baseball Senior Tournament
When: 22-24 March
NZSS 3x3 Basketball Championships
When: 19-23 March
NZSS Canoe Polo Championships
When: 16-18 March
NZSS Junior Boys Cricket
Where: Palmerston North
When: 19-23 March
NZSS Dragon Boat Championships
Where: Lake Hood, Ashburton
When: 23-24 March
NZSS Floorball Championships
When: 24-25 March
NZSS Futsal Championships
Where: Wellington and Lower Hutt
When: 19-23 March
NZSS Mountain Biking Championships
When: 28 March
Downhill, Cross Country, Team Relays
NZSS Rowing Championships (Aon Maadi Cup)
Where: Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel
When: 19-24 March (Sunday 25 March reserve day)
NZSS Softball Championships
Where: Lower Hutt
When: 19-23 March
Boys and Girls, Division 1
NZSS Tennis Championships
When: 19-23 March
Boys, Girls and Mixed.
NZSS Track Cycling Championships
When: 20-21 March
NZSS Triathlon Championships
When: 19-20 March
NZSS Ultimate Championships
When: 19-20 March
NZSS Volleyball Championships
Where: Palmerston North
When: 18-23 March
NZSS Waka Ama Championships
Where: Tikitapu - Blue Lake (Rotorua)
When: 19-23 March
Lucy Makaea won 20 medals at the recent Northern Regional Life Saving Championships and this week she is heading to the National Championships in Gisborne, starting on Thursday. She is part of the New Zealand squad and hoping to be selected for the team to go to the World Championships in Adelaide at the end of the year.
College Sport Media: 2017 was a busy year for you in surf life saving - tell us about some of the highlights from last year?
Lucy Makaea: 2017 was definitely a massive year for me, both in the pool rescue side of surf life saving as well as the beach side of surf life saving. My favourite highlights would have to start with at surf lifesaving nationals held at Christchurch in March 2017 where I came away with a total of seven medals - winning gold in both swimming-based events – U16 women's run swim run and the U16 women's surf race. Also taking out the under 16 women's Taplin team event too and to be selected into the New Zealand surf lifesaving youth squad. A big highlight for me was to go over to Australia to compete in the Queensland surf lifesaving pool rescue championships and coming away with five individual medals (1 gold,2 slivers and 2 bronze). Also going to the Australian surf lifesaving pool rescue championships coming away with a silver in the 100m manikin tow with fins.
The highlight I'm the proudest of is when I broke the U19 women's 100m manikin tow with fins record as a first year of being in the U19 women's category. My time was 1.03.44. Also coming away with 3 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes, was an amazing achievement.
CSM: What are your favoured events?
Lucy: My favourite events in pool rescue side of surf lifesaving is the 100-manikin tow with fins and 100-manikin carry with fins. My favourite beach events of surf lifesaving is definitely the surf swim, run swim run, board and iron women.
I compete in all events in beach and pool. I love both pool rescue and I love the beach. Just being at the beach with the sun surf and sand, you get to travel to beaches all over the country and I just love being in the ocean. I love the pool because the events are so fun and it’s strength of mine.
CSM: Please explain the 100m manikin tow with fins event?
Lucy: The 100m manikin tow with fins is a race that involves a swimmer wearing fins and has a surf lifesaving yellow rescue tube on them. You dive in with your tube and fins, you swim to the end of the 50m pool where someone will be holding an orange manikin that is half filled with water. You must clip in the manikin up in the yellow tube as if it was a patient, in between a 5m margin and turn around and tow the manikin to the end of the pool.
CSM: You had an injury setback late last year?
Lucy: I first got my upper calf muscle injury at the Waipu northern regional inter-club in October. I injured it by running into a pot hole in the ocean. It was really frustrating not being able to train and do what I loved. There were many visits to the physio and acupuncture. About two-three weeks later I went to the northern regional inter-club at Muriwai, thinking I have recovered enough but I blew my upper right calf muscle again. This time it was running out of the water and my right leg hit a pot hole and pulled the muscle again. This was devastating for me. I continued with physio, acupuncture, cupping and resting for six weeks. The worst feeling was knowing that I was falling behind my competitors everyday i wasn't training. Not being able to train was hard and i missed it so much. Even though i was injured, it brought back a motivation and drive to train hard and get back to where i was before the injury.
CSM: You are in the New Zealand Youth Life Saving Squad and have nationals coming up this week in Gisborne. What are your expectations at Nationals and is the incentive there to be picked for the New Zealand World Championship team for Adelaide at the end of this year?
Lucy: I'm one of 10 girls and 10 boys in the squad. I've been training hard for nationals. I hope to medal at nationals, U19 Women’s is a hard age group. There are so many great athletes in that category and being first year U19, you have to do the extras to keep up but definitely medalling at nationals would be absolutely amazing.
It would be an absolute honour to be able to represent New Zealand at the world championships but there are so many athletes/contenders that are up for one of six places on the team. So it will definitely be a hard pick for the coaches.
CSM: Tell us about your training for your sport?
Lucy: Most mornings I have swimming training, and in five-six afternoons a week I have surf training with the Piha competition squad at Takapuna beach. When training is cancelled I go for a run and do something else to keep active. Sunday is my rest day where I kick back, relax and allow my body to recover from the week. Sunday is important to keep clear and do little so I can recover before the next week of trainings.
CSM: You are also the swim champion at Avondale College. What are your favoured swimming events, and do you swim competitively outside of school and separate to surf lifesaving?
Lucy: My favourite events for swimming are the 100m butterfly, 200 freestyle and 400m freestyle. I have recently moved to a new swim club which has been a really good change for me. I swim competitively with Mt Eden swimming club with Don Mckenna as my coach. I originally started swimming for surf and then it developed into its own separate sport.
CSM: Is it just you at Avondale College competing to a high level in surf lifesaving and in swimming, or are there others from your school?
Lucy: Ikko shibuya is a high levelled national medallist swimmer at my school, who trains at the same swimming club as me.
CSM: What is your background in swimming and surf lifesaving?
Lucy: I have been doing swimming since I was little but i didn't get into competitive swimming until I was 13. I started surf lifesaving when I was eight, some family friends told us to come and give it a shot since I loved the water so much and that's where it all started. I started competitive swimming because swimming was once my weakest disciple in the sport and now it's my strength in surf lifesaving.
CSM: A shout-out to your coaching and support?
Lucy: A big shout out to my surf coach Steven Ferguson for everything he has done for me pool side and beach side of surf lifesaving. He’s such an amazing coach pushing me to be the best I can be and the experience he has being a former surf athlete himself and being a 4 time Olympian has very useful in competing. Also to my swimming coach Don Mckenna who has trained me hard throughout the summer. He sets special trainings to benefit my surf lifesaving and is understanding when I can't make trainings because of surf lifesaving trainings and competitions. A massive shout out to my parents Gillian and Ray Makaea who have been supporting me from the start. They drive me from training to training, from one side of Auckland to the other, financially support me and are amazing parents. Huge thank you to them, I appreciate them so much and i wouldn't have been able to get this far in surf lifesaving without them.
CSM: Looking ahead, where would like to be heading with your sport when you leave school in 2019, and do you have plans yet for work, travel or study (or all three) in a year’s time?
Lucy: I’m still deciding but i would love to travel to Hawaii and Tahiti. Try to chase the sun would be a dream. I would like to study marine biology or oceanography because I'm passionate about the ocean and it's something I'm really interested in. I’m still going to be training full time for pool rescue and beach . Training in Australia for a couple of months and train with the best in the sport would be the main goal. I would like to enter the officiating side of surf and help out with the young athlete's competitions and giving back to the sport.
CSM: Thank you and good luck for the nationals and for the future!
2018 TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships, featuring 1500 athletes from U15s to Masters, from 15-18 March at Medway Beach, Gisborne.
With the school year about to get into full swing and a big year of sport coming up, here are six questions we’ve been mulling over recently.
How can South Island schools compete better at the National Top Four?
Southland Boys’ High School has suffered record defeats in their last two semi-finals at the National Top Four. A South Island school hasn’t made the final since 2012 and last won the title in 2006.
One of the most obvious differences between North Island and South Island teams has been the superior physicality of North Island sides. What can be done by the South Island to overcome this obstacle?
More pre-season and holiday fixtures against North Island sides?
Is the standard of competition so inferior in the South Island the leading schools need to establish a Super 8 or Central North Island model like many leading schools in the North Island have done?
What recruitment invectives can South Island schools provide to attract a better calibre of player and is this a fair and affordable method of success?
What can the New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby council do to help the South Island become more competitive?
Could Basketball become the next televised college sport?
Basketball only trails rugby, football and netball in terms of participation at the secondary school level, but is projected to outrank all those codes within the next 10 years. Basketball is the fastest growing sport among males under the age of 39 and the quickest growing sport in the Asian community.
Basketball is a game with universal appeal and its fast, simple and relatively inexpensive to play. The National Secondary Schools tournament has been streamed online for the past few years and produced genuinely thrilling matches. Could basketball broadcasting be extended? Production costs in a confined space are lower than that of rugby.
Basketball lends itself to ‘made for tTV’ events. Hire a court, reduce the length of the game and the shot clock and package a tournament in a three hour window, sounds easy doesn’t it?
Does McEvedy Shield need a change of format?
Wellington College won the famous Wellington athletics tourney by 90 points last year.
Rongotai College haven’t won the McEvedy Shield since 1989 and have finished last 20 times in the last 21 years. St Patrick’s College, Silverstream haven’t won since 2003 and have only triumphed twice since 1973.
Wellington has a considerably larger roll than the other schools so have always enjoyed a depth advantage. However their margin of victory has never been so lopsided. Is the onus on the other schools to get better and how can they achieve this?
Should McEvedy be expanded to include other schools, like it formerly did? Scots College have been clamouring to join for many years and their record at regional and secondary school athletics championships has been much better than Rongotai and Silverstream in recent times.
How will Isaiah Punivai fare at St Kentigern College?
Christ’s College captain and New Zealand Schools centre Isaiah Punivai will play for the St Kentigern College First XV this year. Punivai was the leading try scorer in the UC Championship in 2016 and a key figure in Christ’s first win over Christchurch Boys’ High School in 16 years in 2017.
Christ’s have been on an upward ascent recently and losing a player of Punivai’s stature is heartbreaking.
What will Punivai gain from his move? Will being around better players see Punivai improve or will he lose some edge with less responsibility?
Private schools poaching from private schools is a new precedent in the recruitment of players. Typically a player from a lower decile school will seek or be presented with an opportunity at a superiorly resourced school. What happens if private schools start actively recruiting off each other? How do state schools compete fairly in that environment?
What age is acceptable to sign an athlete for a full professional contract?
Sport is a career choice, but a short-lived one meaning the clamour for leading high school talent among professional organizations is intense. At what age should a young athlete be signed to a fully-fledged deal?
The recent dispute over Etene Nanai-Seturo involving the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Warriors highlights the flaws of signing athletes too young.
Nanai-Seturo committed to a five year deal with the Warriors when he was 15 years old, but after making the New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby team last year had a change of heart and was forced to haggle his way out of a league contract through mediation to play Sevens rugby for New Zealand.
Some pro leagues restrict the competing age to 18. Should an athleteonly be signed when they reach that age? Is this a restraint of trade?
Which schools will rise up and win maiden NZSS titles in 2018?
Everyone loves an underdog. Unexpected victories, upsets over favoured teams on the way to championship wins and instances of maiden titles encapsulate what’s great about New Zealand secondary school sport.
Three such wins last in popular sports were Howick College winning their maiden NZSS netball title, Trident High School winning their first ever Senior Girls volleyball title and Hamilton Boys’ High School taking home the National Boys Football title (on the same weekend their rugby team lost to Hastings’ BHS in the Top 4 rugby final).
On the subject of netball, can a non-Auckland school win the NZSS netball tournament this year, and if so who will it be? Auckland schools have dominated the trophy each year since 2012 with MAGS winning a four-peat, Saint Kentigern College lifting it off them and Howick winning if off St Kent’s last year.
Wellington and Central sides are currently the leading representative teams. Manukura are very strong, while St Mary’s College are perennial contenders without breaking through. Both these schools are powerhouses elsewhere too, such as rugby, rugby 7s and basketball!
This year’s tournament in October is in Timaru, so it would be a fitting that a South Island school broke a decade-long duck (Villa Maria College in 2008) of winning the netball.
The Coast to Coast multisport event is one of the most demanding events on the New Zealand sporting calendar.
For a trio of Palmerston North Boys’ High School athletes it was all in a weekend’s work.
The team of Madi Hartley-Brown (cycling), Louis Morell (running) and Wade Bennett (kayaking) combined to traverse the 243 km and win the Coast to Coast Schools division, finishing eighth overall out of 53 in the three-person teams race.
All three were quickly back into the swing of things last week, either competing in the school’s annual Crest to Crest challenge (a week-long multisport challenge from the base of the Whakapapa ski field to the school’s crest in Palmerston North), hiking through the Tongariro National Park as part of their year 13 camp or back training for bigger events to come.
College Sport Media caught up with the trio on their return to the classroom this week.
Louis explained that they had spent much of their summer breaks preparing for the Coast to Coast. “Madi and Wade competed last year and signed up again, while I joined them late last year. We each trained separately throughout the holidays and came together to compete.”
The team met their expectations. “Palmerston North finished second of the boys schools teams last year so we were aiming to win this year, so we achieved our goal,” said Louis.
Louis and Madi were in action on day one. Louis’ run leg included a gruelling 33 km mountain run to the famous Klondyke Corner, after Madi started the event off with a short 2.2 km run and a 55 km cycle leg. “We had an early night and fuelled up to recover,” said Louis.
Madi said the experience of competing last year helped this time around. “Having been there last year, I knew what I was in for and knowing how it all works helped.”
Madi is an accomplished cyclist in his own right.
Last year then then year 12 won both the U20 road race and U20 points race at the NZSS Road Cycling Championships, and he is off to Tasmania from 23-25 March for the 2018 Oceania Road Championships.
At the Coast to Coast Madi had bike legs on both days. “The first ride on the first morning wasn’t so bad, but I had to do a 2.2 km run from the beach to start with that took it out of my legs a little bit.”
“The first ride of the second day was only short, but the last ride was tough because of headwinds and a 40 km dead straight road coming in Christchurch.”
“I’m training for the Oceania Championships at the end of March, so busy preparing for that, with Dylan Simpson from PNBHS in the team as well.”
Part of Madi’s training is cycling to and from school each day. “I live about 40 km south of school, so about three times a week I ride into school and ride home again in the afternoons. I do other training as well, building up to the Oceania Championships.”
Kayaker Wade acted as support crew on the first day, before an eventful 67 km kayaking leg across the central South Island on day two.
“I ended up doing the paddle in 4 hours and 49 minutes – but that was due to cracking my boat about 10 minutes in. So I had get out every 15 km and get in and empty the water out of it before carrying on!”
Other than that, conditions were good for the kayak leg other than some fog in the morning and a few tricky sections on the river.
Wade also plays canoe polo for the school and for a local club, but this was his biggest challenge. He hopes to do more of it in the future.
The trio thanked their support staff that helped them compete at the Coast to Coast event. Wade’s father for driving down and acting as support staff during the weekend, teacher Dan Parrott and John Livingston, the man who first approached PNBHS and got the students into multisport and into the Coast to Coast.
Meanwhile, the Greymouth High School team of Martin McDonald, Ben Williams and Max Rubbo – competing in the open men’s grade - finished three spots ahead of PNBHS in fifth overall.
The Christchurch Boys’ High School team of Euan Coates, Oskar Victor and Lewys Frances finished 11 minutes back in 10th overall, while the Rangiora High School trio of Ben Spark, Dominic Cleary and Jake Churchill were 21st.
The Greymouth High School girls team finished 33rd overall and won the girls school three-person race.
Matthew Clough of Ashburton College finished second overall in the two-day race, while Tiaan McKinnel of Roxburgh Area School was 11th overall.
The 2018 Winter Olympics start in PyeongChang , South Korea at the end of this week. New Zealand will be represented by a 21-strong team, including three current school-aged athletes and a couple more just out of school.
Meet the Kiwi teenaged athletes below and follow them in action over the next fortnight.
Where from: Queenstown (Wakatipu High School)
Disciplines: Slalom, Giant Slalom
About: The 16-year-old will be New Zealand’s youngest ever Winter Olympian, beating her teammate Nico Porteous (below) for that honour. Has made rapid progress in her debut season of FIS racing and is currently ranked 67th in the world for women’s Giant Slalom from 3,500 competitors. The USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin, Overall World Cup leader, is the only other athlete in FIS history who has progressed as fast as Alice in her first year as a FIS athlete. In 2017 she won the U16 Giant Slalom, finished second in Slalom in Slovenia, and was also the winner of the US U16 National Championship Giant Slalom.
When in action:
Women’s Giant Slalom First Run Sunday 12 February 2.10pm
Women’s Giant Slalom Second Run Sunday 12 February 5.40pm
Women’s Slalom First Run Wednesday 14 February 2.10pm
Women’s Slalom Second Run Wednesday 14 February 5.40pm
Where from: Wanaka (Mount Aspiring College)
Disciplines: Snowboard Slopestyle, Snowboard Big Air
About: 2016 World Championships silver, slopestyle. 2016 World Cup gold, slopestyle. Snow Sports NZ Snowboarder of the Year 2017 and Overall Athlete of the Year 2017 Won slopestyle gold in the Czech Republic last March. Two weeks earlier, the 16-year-old won silver at the Big Air world championships.
Women’s Slopestyle Qualifying Sunday 11 February 5.25pm
Women’s Slopestyle Final Monday 12 February 1.55pm
Women’s Big Air Qualifying Monday 19 February 1.25pm
Women’s Big Air Final Friday 23 February 1.25pm
Where from: Christchurch
Discipline: Freeski Halfpipe
About: Will be aged 16 years and 78 days old on the first day of the games. The youngest person in the world to land a triple cork 1440. Nico impressed the home crowds at Cardrona Alpine Resort this season with a win at the Continental Cup Halfpipe. He was also on top form at the 2017 Winter Games NZ where he qualified in second place for the Halfpipe World Cup and finished in sixth in the finals. Finished eighth in the Halfpipe World Cup event staged in Bokwang Phoenix Park, which was the official test event ahead of the Winter Olympics.
Men’s Halfpipe Qualifying Tuesday 20 February 4.55pm
Men’s Halfpipe Final Thursday 22 February 3.25pm
Where from: Wanaka (Mount Aspiring College 2017)
Discipline: Freeski Slopestyle
About: Was New Zealand’s flag bearer at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games, winning a silver medal in halfpipe and a bronze medal in slopestyle. He was subsequently named as a finalist for the Emerging Talent award at the 2017 Halberg Awards. Also participates in a variety of other sports including including running, surfing, mountain biking and adventure racing.
Men’s Slopestyle Skiing Sunday 18 February 5.10pm
Where from: Queenstown
Disciplines: Snowboard Slopestyle, Snowboard Big Air
About: A Youth Winter Olympian in Lillehammer 2016. He finished fourth in slopesyle and fifth in halfpipe. Born in the heat of Brisbane, he moved to Queenstown aged eight and took to the snow. Won a silver medal in the big air World Cup event in China in November, landing a backside triple cork. Eighth in the 2017 slopestyle world championships.
Men’s Slopestyle Qualifying Saturday 10 Febuary 1.55pm
Men’s Slopestyle Final Sunday 11 February 1.55pm
Men’s Big Air Qualifying Wednesday 21 February 1.35pm
Men’s Big Air Final Saturday 24 February 1.55pm
Where from: Based in the USA
Discipline: Snowboard Halfpipe
About: Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games, sixth in halfpipe and 13th in slopestyle. Based in Vail, Rakai is half Kiwi, half American and competes for New Zealand. He spent time living in Switzerland as a child and it was there he first learnt to snowboard, at the age of 7.
Men’s Halfpipe Qualifying Tuesday 13 February 4.55pm
Men’s Halfpipe Final Wednesday 14 February 2.25pm
Did you know?
Two more secondary school-aged athletes will be representing New Zealand at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in April, with the selection of gymnasts Stella Ashcroft and Stella Ebert.
15-year-old women’s artistic athlete Stella Ashcroft from Christchurch School of Gymnastics has been selected to the team for her strengths in vault and beam.
Though going into her first senior year Stella is no stranger to podiums. 2016 saw her take bronze at the Pacific Rim Championships, before collecting a gold, silver, and a team bronze at the Junior Commonwealth Championships.
Last year Stella medalled at the Houston Invitational in the US, Australian Championships and Classic competitions and at the NZ Championships. Stella’s first competition as senior will be at the World Cup in Melbourne this month.
15-year-old Rhythmic gymnastics athlete Stella Ebert is also selected to the team. Stella’s junior career has gone from strength to strength, with the young athlete making finals in all her 2016 international competitions. She won three bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Championships and placed first overall in all her domestic competitions.
Last year was Stella’s first taste of senior competition and she placed first in all domestic senior competitions she attended.
The pair are the youngest athletes selected to the New Zealand team so far.
Ashcroft and Ebert add to the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics team to make a total of 7 athletes in the gymnastics contingent.
The naming takes the total number of selected athletes to 92.
Gold Coast 2018 will be Stella’s first Commonwealth Games and first senior international competition. Stella’s hometown is Auckland where she trains at Xtreme Rhythmix under coaches Marnie Sterner and Erica Thorby.
The last two years saw Stella take first place overall in all of her domestic competitions, including competing senior whilst junior in 2017. 8th place at the Pacific Rim Championships (USA) and Emeralds Cup (Greece) and three bronze medals at the Junior Commonwealth Championships. Stella is the current New Zealand Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion.
When Stella is not training or competing, she enjoys photography, baking healthy snacks and watching her favourite YouTubers.
Gold Coast 2018 will be Stella’s first Commonwealth Games. Born and bred Cantabrian, she trains at the Christchurch School of Gymnastics under coaches Terry and Tamara Walker.
The last two years saw Stella take a gold, silver and bronze at the Junior Commonwealth Championships, a bronze at the Pacific Rim Championships and more than a dozen other medals at competitions in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Stella is the current NZ Junior Women’s Artistic Champion going into her first senior year.
When she is not doing gymnastics, Stella enjoys drawing, baking and surfing.
Table tennis players Hui Ling Vong (Onslow College, Wellington) and Nathan Xu (Saint Kentigern College, Auckland) have been selected in the New Zealand team for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
The pair have been selected after both winning their respective divisions at the 2017 ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) Oceania Youth Olympic Games Qualification Tournament. Both won major awards at the respective College Sport Auckland and Wellington end of year awards recently.
Having turned 14 in November, Nathan Xu is likely to be one of the youngest competitors at the Buenos Aires 2018.
The Aucklander began playing table tennis at just four years old and, despite his age, is currently the third ranked men’s player in New Zealand.
“Seeing the ball fly over the net to win a game after countless hours of practising and trying to master that shot is simply the best feeling ever,” said Nathan.
“Table tennis is a really complex sport which requires the player to constantly adapt. The way every shot is different and the fact that you have to react to those changes swiftly is what makes table tennis beautiful.”
He will come up against the best youth players in the world at the Youth Olympic Games.
“I’d like to use this once in a lifetime opportunity to gain experience and knowledge and to improve as an athlete.”
17 year old Hui Ling Vong says the sense of competition is what drives her to perform.
“The excitement, the pressure and the feeling of hard earned success is great, that’s what makes me love table tennis,” she said.
“I’d like to bring more recognition to the sport within New Zealand. I hope more people, especially youngsters, will get into the game and enjoy it and learn as much as I have.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the pair.
“These athletes are excelling in their field at a very young age. They've worked hard to be selected and will gain an immense amount of experience from the Youth Olympic Games."
Table Tennis New Zealand Executive Director John Lea says Hui Ling and Nathan are extremely dedicated athletes.
“Nathan’s biggest assets are his speed and a keen willingness to learn. He is ambitious and is undaunted in meeting challenges against more experienced players, helping him to gather experience at a rate that belies his age,” he said.
“Hui-Ling has shown a great ability to learn and grow from the experiences she has been presented with. She prepares diligently for the big occasions, with results that demonstrate a rapidly improving ability.”
John Lea believes the Youth Olympic Games will be hugely beneficial to the pair.
“This is the opportunity for both players to prove to themselves and their supporters that they deserve to be playing on the international stage while they gain the quality table time that is needed to become a world-class player.”
The duo will compete in the individual events and will also compete as a doubles pair in the International Team Event.
The reserve athletes (non travelling) for the event are Yang Lun Zhao (men’s division) and Jiayi Zhou (women's division).
The Youth Olympic Games run from 6–18 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The athletes for the 2018 AFL New Zealand Academy have been announced by National Youth and Talent Identification Manager Mick Coultard. Academy athletes will participate in skill development, athletic testing and measurement, game play and personal development over an 8 week period.
AFL New Zealand Youth Girls
Name - Region - School
Abby Verrenkarp - Auckland - Pukekohe High School
Abigail Cotton - Auckland - Kingsway School
Archie-Leigh Russell - Auckland - Howick College
Brianna Groube - Auckland - Pakuranga College
Buell Verkade - Auckland - Whangaparaoa College
Caitlin Hannah - Auckland - Albany Junior High School
Ceyan Tungane Drollet - Auckland - Howick College
Chelsea Young - Auckland - Pukekohe High School
Emma Collins - Auckland - Massey High School
Jaimee Wyatt - Auckland -Westlake Girls High School
Janie Rose - Auckland - Ruhterford College
Jasmine Paki - Auckland - Epsom Girls Grammar School
Killarney Morey - Auckland - Epsom Girls Grammar School
Kylie McGahan - Auckland - Westlake Girls High School
Maia Sciarone - Auckland - Westlake Girls
O'Shea Macmillan - Northland - Whangarei Girls High School
Samantha Shrimpton - Auckland - Birkenhead College
Sydney Gill - Wellington - Onslow College
Valentina Serrano - Auckland - Baradene College
AFL New Zealand Youth Boys
Name - Region - School
Aaron McCrum - Auckland - Pukekohe High School
AC Reinecke - Auckland - Albany Junior High School
Aidan Christians - Wellington - Scots College
AJ Abdelaal - Canterbury - St Thomas of Canterbury College
Alexander Kempt - Wellington - St Pats Silver Stream
Angus Hammett - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Angus Leckie - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Bailee Laurenson - Wellington - Wellington College
Ben Roff - Wellington - Scots College
Beren Goodwin - Wellington - Raphael House
Blake Williamson - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Bom Verkade - Auckland - Whangaparaoa College
Bradley Moloney - Auckland - Rosehill College
Braithan Anderson - Auckland - Pakuranga College
Braydon Dragicevich - Auckland - Rosehill College
Brodie Richardson - Auckland - Stonefields
Bronson Kake - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Caleb MacPherson - Canterbury - Papanui High School
Cameron Kerr - Wellington - Palmerston North Boys High School
Campbell Cleall - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Christian Collins - Auckland - Marcellin College
Connor Diack - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Connor Hotton - Canterbury - St Thomas of Canterbury College
Conrad Pender - Wellington - Scots College
Devin Pullyblank - Canterbury - Shirley Boys High School
Douglas McJorrow - Wellington - Scots College
Dylan Hook - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Elliott Prendergast - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Ethan Halton - Auckland - Rosehill College
Felix Clark - Auckland - Western Springs College
Finn Moffat - Canterbury - St Bedes College
George Hopkins - Wellington - Wellington College
George Methven - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Hari Below - Wellington - Heretaunga College
Harry Smith - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Henry Grant - Auckland - Northcote College
Isaac Hilliam - Wellington - Tawa College
Jack Abraham - Auckland - Whangaparaoa college
Jack Heijn - Auckland - Whangaparaoa College
Jack Lay - Wellington - Kapiti
Jack Mead - Auckland - Onewhero Area School
Jacob Lee - Auckland - Albany Junior High School
Jacob Nyman - Canterbury - St Thomas of Canterbury College
Jacob Wright - Canterbury - St Bedes College
James Scott - Auckland - Northcote College
Jayden Mcintyre - Canterbury - Rolleston College
Jaydn Robson - Wellington - Aotea college
Jaymee Wooddin - Canterbury - Papanui High School
Jevaan Croft - Auckland - Alfriston College
Joe Andrews - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Joel Hetherington - Auckland - Kingsway Senior Campus
Jonah Christians - Wellington - Scots College
Jonathan Anderson - Wellington - Karori Normal
Joseph Cole - Wellington - Aotea College
Joseph lui - Auckland - Manurewa High School
Josh Heijn - Auckland - Whangaparaoa College
Josh Smith-Bain - Auckland - Rosmini College
Josh Wiltshire - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Keaghan Chadwick - Wellington - Tawa College
Kieran Charlton - Canterbury - St Thomas of Canterbury College
Kole Harmer - Canterbury - St Thomas of Canterbury College
Kynan Stowers-Smith - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Layton Cahill - Canterbury - Shirley Boys High School
Leo Fosita - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Levi Boyd - Auckland - Rutherford College
Liam Bainbridge - Canterbury - Papanui High School
Liam Mayes - Auckland - Rosmini College
Liam Neilson - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Luke Challies - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Luke de Roo - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Luke Lentner - Auckland - Rosehill College
Luke Mayo - Auckland - Western Springs College
Luke Williams - Auckland - Pakuranga College
Manny Snooks - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Mark Komene-Stowers - Northland - Te Kāpehu Whetū
Max Walker - Otago - John McGlashan College
Maxwell Milne - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Milo Crispin - Wellington - Wellington College
Mitchell Hughan - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Nino Changiz - Auckland - Pukekohe High School
Oliver Bugden - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Oliver Griffin - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Oliver Parsons - Auckland - Westlake Boys High School
Quinn Pocock - Auckland - Western Springs College
Rico Tuhua - Wellington - Upper Hutt College
Ronan Morling - Auckland - Rosehill College
Ryan Awatere - Wellington - Aotea College
Sam Anderson - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Sam Turner - Canterbury - St Bedes College
Samuel Warton - Auckland - Kristin School
Samuel Thomas - Auckland - Long Bay College
Sebastyan Jack - Auckland - Rutherford College
Shaun Russ - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Shayden Jones-Codlin - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Spencer Jones - Auckland - Long Bay College
Stuart Tunley - Auckland - Southern Cross Campus
Taonga Stanish-Murphy - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Tipene Ball - Auckland - Western Springs College
Troy Fyfe - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
Tyler Diack - Otago - Otago Boys High School
Will Roff - Wellington - St Patricks College
William Anderson - Wellington - Wellington College
Xavier Bryham - Auckland - Orewa College
Xavier Mexted - Northland - Whangarei Boys High School
The National Secondary Schools touch championships concluded at Bruce Pulman Park in Auckland on the weekend with regular combatants Rotorua and Hamilton Boys’ High School battling each other for the boys title and St. Kentigern College looking to end Hamilton Girls’ regin as champions in the female decider.
The stage was set for two thrilling climaxes when Paeroa College beat Howick College 9-8 in the mixed final. Howick crossed the line with 90 seconds remaining, but was denied a touchdown. Howick then lost a player to the sin bin for pulling at the singlet and Hendrix Beazley triggered wild celebrations for the Thames Valley outfit when he touched down 25 seconds shy of fulltime.
Reports of the boys and girls finals and tournament teams below:
Boys Final: Rotorua Boys’ High School: 4 v Hamilton Boys’ High School: 3
Two dramatic touchdowns in the final minute of the first-half were pivotal in Rotorua’s 4-3 triumph.
Down 3-1, with 58 seconds remaining until the interval, Rotorua closed the gap to 3-2 when Kalem Strickland fired a bullet pass to captain Jayden Sargent to dive over.
Hamilton responded by attacking ominously and Raiki Willison lunged towards the line on the hooter, but was caught in a desperate touch by Kawiti Rauwhero who then claimed the ball and rapidly released Silver Shuster who dashed the length of the field to tie the scores.
The second-spell saw both defences tighten and few chances afforded. Rotorua claimed a lead they never lost when Tereti Makarauri spiraled a long ball out to an unmarked Tome Poona with seven minutes left.
Earlier Hamilton attained a controversial lead when Cameron Todd ran from dummy-half and touched down.
Kobian Richardson had initially propelled Hamilton ahead after the opening drive left Rotorua undermanned on the right edge of their defense.
An extravagant dummy by by Jordan Tukana-Hudson created Rotorua’s first touchdown. The deception would have even fooled the man with no name!
Hamilton and Rotorua have won 12 of the 24 National Championships and this final was an illustration why. It was a typically gripping and high-quality tussle.
Girls Final: St Kentigern College: 4 v Hamilton Girls’ High School: 3
St Kentigern College rallied from a 2-3 deficit to dethrone the defending champions.
That first-half was a tense affair with both teams exchanging a try each. Tanith Pilkington crossed in the first set of six for St Kent’s and Regan Stephens responded for Hamilton.
The momentum turned Hamilton’s way after the break when New Zealand representative Jazmin Hotham seized the initiative and engineered two touchdowns for her side. Firstly she galloped away from the defence in a fine solo effort and then she distributed from dummy-half to create Stephens’ second.
Down 3-2, St Kent’s levelled with five minutes left when Lilly Ellis finished an overlap on the wing.
Jaymie Kolose was named girls tournament MVP and she saved her best moment to last, ferreting out of dummy-half and creating a second and winning touchdown for Ellis.
Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/touchnz/
Day 1 photos: www.facebook.com/pg/touchnz/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1566332403401974
Day 2 photos: www.facebook.com/pg/touchnz/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1567444166624131
Day 3 photos: https://www.facebook.com/pg/touchnz/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1568480609853820
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