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stem scholarship Diana Barbu webDiana Barbu with Andrew Falloon. Photo supplied.Applications open on Wednesday for this year’s $1500 Andrew Falloon MP STEM scholarship.

Last year’s recipient was Ashburton College student Diana Barbu (above).

It is for students who have attended secondary school in the Rangitata electorate, and are interested in taking on a STEM subject at tertiary level, that is science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

“By itself my scholarship won’t solve the problem of skills shortages, but I hope that it will encourage more people to look at training in the areas we need to keep our economy moving,” Falloon said.

“Nearly every day I hear from employers the difficulty in finding locals with specialised training in STEM subjects.”

Falloon had sold almost $900 worth of raffle tickets at local A&P shows, and topped up the remainder of the scholarship himself.

Fellow judges will be Nigel Davenport from Aoraki Development, and Bevan Rickerby, the economic development manager at the Ashburton District Council.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 10 September 2019

College Netball Mia Pearson Samantha Holden Hayley Tallentire webAshburton College netballers (from left) Mia Pearson, Samantha Holden and Hayley Tallentire were named in the talented players squad after their fourth place finish at the South Island Secondary Schools’ tournament. Photo supplied.Ashburton College’s netballers headed to the South Island secondary school championships with their eyes set on finishing in the top half of the draw.

But they did far better than a top 16 finish, instead coming home from Nelson with a fourth placing to their names, three players in the tournament’s talented players group, and a spot at nationals booked.

Just what they’d achieved was still sinking in for the talented young school side, but coach Kaye Kennedy said they were absolutely over the moon.

The team headed to the tournament in Nelson just a week after winning the Mid Canterbury Netball premier one grade final against Celtic A, full of self belief but at the same time knowing that they’d be up against it.

“We did talk about creating history and before we went away we talked a lot about the legacy of Ashburton College, and we are part of that legacy now, so it was exciting considering that our goal was top 14 – we well and truly exceeded that,” Kennedy said.

The result was even better when you considered that in this season’s weekly Canterbury secondary schools’ SuperNet competition Ashburton College finished eighth, and the fact that last year they came 15th at South Islands.

“You just never know a South Islands, because every year the teams change when they lose Year 13s and they get new players in, but if you win those first two games on that first day it sets you up pretty well,” Kennedy said.

“So we did that, but neither of the games were easy, and then it was just a matter of keeping on winning.”

Up until the last day, they did just that, but no game was smooth sailing.

“We were down in a couple of games but the girls just managed to keep things together when we were down.

“They just really fought back and we just talked about grinding it out, and they did.”

Ashburton College was the only team to have three players named in the tournament’s 20-strong talented players’ group – Hayley Tallentire, Mia Pearson and Samantha Holden – while two Mid Canterbury umpires, Lydia Wilson and Willow Diedricks, both made the talented umpires group.

Tallentire, Ashburton College’s goal-shoot, had an incredible tournament particularly on the days where they played outside in the rain, Kennedy said.

There was only one game during the week where she shot under 80 per cent, and in two games she shot at 94 per cent.

Meanwhile, down the other end of the court, Pearson and Holden were forming a formidable defensive duo and Kennedy said they were simply outstanding all week.

Ashburton College’s outstanding run came to an end in the semi-finals at the hands of Christchurch Girls’ High School (CGHS) 34-21, and then lost the third play-off to Villa Maria 39-30.

“We just ran out of oomph a bit on that last day, particularly against Christchurch Girls’ High School, outside in the pouring rain.

“They had a really strong mid-court and we had tired legs and we just stopped doing lots of the early preparation work off the ball,” Kennedy said.

“But it was never a thought that we actually couldn’t do it.”

And they’d now take that self belief back to Nelson next month, where this time it’d be a national crown on the line.

The national secondary schools’ championships will be held in Nelson from October 8-10, and would involve the top five teams from the South Island tournament – CGHS, Villa Maria, Ashburton College and fifth placed St Margarets from Canterbury, and Dunedin’s St Hilda’s.

Ashburton College last played at the nationals in 2017 after a team pulled out and they were called up as the next best finishers, and before that they’d last qualified in 2002, 2001, 1999, 1995 and 1993.

Their best finish from those years was a sixth place finish in 1999.

By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 9 September 2019

Mixed Sports Games webAshburton College’s senior basketball teams both finished their respective Schick Premiership AA secondary schools’ zone four tournaments on a high on Saturday.The Ashburton College senior A girls won their final game of the tournament in Nelson against Papanui High School 68-43 to finish 13th overall, having beaten St Margarets College 61-57 to go through to the 13th spot play-off.

The boys meanwhile played off for 15th spot against Timaru Boys’ High School and came out on top 88-73.

Earlier in the ninth to 16th spot play-offs they’d lost narrowly to Christchurch Boys’ High School on Friday 79-76, before going down 98-65 to St Thomas of Canterbury College on Saturday morning.

The basketball tournaments were the last of the 2019 secondary schools’ tournament week involving Ashburton College sides to wrap up.

Most of the secondary school hockey tournaments around the country finished up on Friday, with Ashburton College’s girls’ first XI finishing fifth in the Jenny McDonald Cup tournament in Cromwell, beating Tairi College 1-0 in the fifth place play-off.

Ashburton College’s boys’ first XI also won their last game, beating Waimea College in the play-off for ninth spot at the Johnson Cup tournament in Invercargill, while their second XI finished sixth in the Coaches Cup tournament on home turf in Ashburton.

They lost their fifth place play-off against St Peters College from Gore 4-0, while a penalty shootout was needed to decide the tournament’s final after Nayland College and Lincoln High School were all even at 2-all at full time.

Lincoln went on to win the shoot out 4-3 to claim the Coaches Cup.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 8 September 2019