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A remarkable display by Ashburton College’s band of shooters has led the school to a sixth consecutive national title.
It was confirmed last week the school smallbore rifle team have clinched the New Zealand Secondary Schools Shooting (NZSSS) competition title, and have done so in record-breaking fashion.
The AshColl team 1 quintet of Shania Harrison-Lee, Jack Jones, Charlotte McKenzie, Jack McIntosh and Emma Smith finished with an unparalleled tally of 1954.102, which event organisers said “would take some beating”.
“It’s really awesome, considering we broke our own record from three years ago,” team captain Harrison-Lee said.
“It’s cool that we’ve been able to replicate that, and hopefully the record can remain intact longer than a couple of years.”
The title-winning display bettered runners-up Palmerston North Girls’ High (1941.81) and bronze medallists Cambridge High School (1919.70).
Ashburton College’s team average across the targets was at a master grade level, which Target Shooting Mid Canterbury (TSMC) president Nina McKenzie described as exceptional for secondary students.
The competition is run over four rounds of shooting comprising of three lots of 10 shot matches, and a final double card round of one 20 shot match.
“This makes it a significant competition to work at, and means that teams must consistently produce quality results over a long period, in order to be successful,” McKenzie said.
“In a year that has been very disrupted, this group have worked consistently hard in the time available to them, and thoroughly deserve their successes.”
In the pressure-cooker final double card round, the Ashburton College 1 outfit produced a phenomenal average of 196.75/200, which sealed victory for the team after it entered the final round with a slender two point buffer.
There were notable individual exploits.
Harrison-Lee secured the master grade off the back of a total score of 495.32, and was the second overall individual behind Palmerston North’s Stephanie McNair.
Charlotte McKenzie won the B grade and was fourth overall, and Smith was third in the A Grade, and fifth overall.
Jones was unlucky not to finish on the podium, finishing fourth in the C grade with a total score of 478.18.
Year 9 pupil Madi Tourle was runner-up in the D grade with a score of 473.18 as she steered the College 2 team to a ninth overall finish, proving there is further talent coming through the school ranks.
By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 24 September 2020
One of the region’s brightest sporting talents has waved adios.
Mid Canterbury tennis whiz kid Diego Quispe-Kim and his family have made a permanent move to the North Island less than a week after clinching another tennis title in Ashburton.
The 14-year-old national age grade champion who has played for the Fairton club in Mid Canterbury in recent years is set to be reunited with his former coach Mark Belcher who is the head coach at New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park Tennis Club.
Belcher, who has had international playing and coaching stints over the years, coached a budding Quispe-Kim in Christchurch before the Taranaki man moved back home three years ago.
The Guardian spoke to his father Juan Quispe-Chavez a couple of hours before the family were set to relocate permanently to New Plymouth during the week.
Securing a job in the Taranaki region was previously the biggest hurdle for Quispe-Chavez however had since nailed down a job at Tegel.
“The main thing is Diego will get good support there.”
He said the move to the North Island would make it easier for his son to get onto the ITF circuit and nail down a world ranking.
“All the ITF tournaments are in the North Island.
“It’s a good age for Diego to start playing ITF and that’s why we made the decision to go there.”
The teen most recently clinched the open men’s event at the JTT Ashburton Sunday Classic six days ago.
The move north was not without a hint of sadness for the family as they farewelled some of the Mid Canterbury tennis community during the week.
“Diego was a bit sad and they were sad.
“Sometimes we have to make a step that is hard.
“We will try our best and see what happens.”
By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 19 September 2020
Countless trips up the road have paid dividends for Mid Canterbury’s Tania Rule.
The Ashburton bench official has secured a national bench qualification after a period of crunching numbers and jotting stats in Christchurch’s premier competition for the past few years.
Her officiating duties have led her to travel north up to three times a week for various games.
Daughter Sophie has also been playing in Christchurch over the past two years, which made the long haul netball transits even more justified.
“I’m always up there on a Saturday anyway,” Rule said.
The latest qualification allows her to officiate national netball tournaments alongside ANZ Premiership and Beko League games.
Although she had benched Beko games in the past, she was relishing the prospect of travelling to other tournaments beyond the Mainland.
“Was I nervous before my first Beko game? Hell yes.
“I turned up two and a half hours before it started.
“But I did it and it was a total buzz.”
Although Covid had dashed any hopes of further Beko experience, she has her sights set on other event landmarks.
“My main aim probably is to go to the New Zealand Secondary Schools”.
A major incentive for Rule in moving up the bench official pecking order was seeing unfamiliar players in action and working alongside new people.
“That’s when you get to see other schools and other clubs play,” she said.
“It’s quite nice to do a bench for clubs that you don’t know.”
She credited Mid Canterbury netball stalwart Gail Benseman, who has served as a bench official trainer, as her biggest influence throughout her officiating stint.
“She was the one who first started going to Christchurch and was the one who got it all started.
“Now she’s got a new batch of people coming through, so its like a cycle.”
The prospect of getting on the telly during big time netball coverage however counted for little in her drive towards her latest milestone.
“I don’t really care if I don’t get a televised game,” she said.
“It gives me a chance to go to further tournaments and get the exposure to those higher games.”
There are numerous duties for bench officials, including maintaining scoresheets, timekeeping and other player statistics.
However for Rule, it is very much a labour of love.
“It is another way of looking at a game that you’re interested in.”
By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 19 September 2020