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Matthew CloughMatthew Clough. Photo supplied.After returning from the 2018 World Multisport Championships with two silver medals around his neck, Matthew Clough is aiming to go one better in 2019, twice.

Clough headed to Spain earlier this week to get ready to race in the event’s aquathlon on April 30 and cross triathlon on May 2, and with it being the final year the 18-year-old is eligible to race as an under-20, he’s got high hopes.

Finishing second in both last year means he’s motivated and driven to go for gold this year, although he knows that anything can happen come race day.

“It all comes down to that one day and that one race,” Clough said.

“Everyone over there wants to win, it’s just a matter of who wants it more on the day.”

And Clough knows what he’s talking about. It’s the fourth time he’s boarded a plane bound for the World Multisport Championships, but his build-up to the 2019 event has been a lot different to any of the others.

He’s no longer living at home with mum and dad in Ashburton. Having finished his schooling at Ashburton College at the end of last year, Clough now resides in Dunedin where he’s studying towards a B.Com. It’s a three year degree, but he’s hoping to add further study on to the end of it.

Balancing study and classes with training and student life isn’t easy, but Clough quickly found his groove and has been enjoying getting out and about on both bike and foot in a much different training environment than what he’d grown up with.

“I’m missing out on student life a bit, but I don’t mind with the bigger picture in mind,” Clough said.

He knows how important his study is and with that in mind, said the races in Spain will be his last for the year. For the rest of 2019 he wants to focus on his studies, but will keep up his training because he’s planning on starting 2020 with his second shot at the Coast to Coast.

Clough first tackled the Coast to Coast two-day event in 2018 and was the first schoolboy home, and second overall, and it’s the two-day event he’s eyeing up again in 2020.

That’s a few months off yet though, and for now his sights are firmly set where they should be – on the job at hand in Spain.

An aquathlon consists of a 1km swim followed by a 5km run, while the cross triathlon is effectively an off-road triathlon made up of a 1km swim, a 30km bike ride and an 8km off-road run.

The main difference racing in Spain offered was that the swim leg will take place in a river, where the water temperature is currently around 15 degrees Celsius, Clough said.

Racing will take place in the north-west of Spain, near Portugal, in Pontevedra, and although it’s a long way from home there will be plenty of people cheering Clough on from the sidelines.

He has his parents, his sisters, and his grandparents in Spain to support him in what could be his final shot at the world multisport championship title.

Clough said he has no idea what the future holds for him. He’s a multisporter who’s tried a few different racing formats over the years – earlier this month he raced in the New Zealand Xterra Championships in Rotorua where he came third.

Whether it’s triathlons, aquathlons, cross tris, ironmans or longer endurance events like the Coast to Coast, Clough doesn’t know which path his future will take. He said he likes trying new things, so where his name will pop up in years to come is anyone’s guess.

Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 25 April 2019

Charlotte MckenzieLining up a shot at the Coronation Target Shooting Club at the weekend is Charlotte McKenzie. Photo Heather MackenzieIt may have been early season, but the scoring didn’t reflect it when entrants lined up for a shot at the Target Shooting Mid Canterbury Open Championship title at the weekend.

It was the opening weekend on the South Island calendar for open championships, and Target Shooting Mid Canterbury’s was the first to go on the line on Friday night and Saturday, with competitors from as far away as Nelson and Invercargill converging on the Coronation Target Shooting Club range for the event.

The master grade competition was lit up with five 200s scored, and 13 100s across the entire field, with a young Ashburton shooter coming out on top. Shania Harrison-Lee from the Phoenix Target Shooting Club, in her first master grade outing, produced two 200s and won with a score of 399.33.

In second was Rachel McLaren from the Wood Club in Nelson who also got a 200 on her way to 398.25 while Coronation’s Steve McArthur was third on 396.26, with two 200s.

A grade was won by Graham Hunter (Collegiate Club, Invercargill) on 392.20 at his second home of Coronation, while B grade was won by Paul Holland (Richmond Club, Nelson) with 393.19 from Coronation’s own Colin Taylor with 388.14. Coronation’s Bill Rankin was third with 385.12.

C grade was won by Holly Gibbons (Wakefield, Nelson) with 282.9, with Phoenix’s Andrew McKenzie second with 278.6 and Brendan Cleave (Gore) third on 277.6. D grade was won by Coronation’s Charlotte McKenzie with an excellent score of 288.11.

After all grades were shot the top 10 qualifiers came together for a competition, with Harrison-Lee also taking out the M, A and B grade top 10 with 200.14, while the C and D top 10 was won by Gibbons with 193.04.

On Sunday attention turned to the inaugural Phoenix Target Shooting Club Open Championships, and once again it was a mighty battle in the master grade, with McArthur coming out on top in that one with a score of 299.90, beating out Harrison-Lee who finished with a score of 297.20.

In A grade Katherine Butt (Richmond Club, Nelson) took a well-deserved win with with a total of 296.20, narrowly beating Phoenix president TJ Stewart who finished with 100.7 for 296.14, with Tony Black from the Balclutha Club in third with 296.14.

Holland took out the B grade again with a sound 294.13, again beating out Taylor (293.18), with Peter Boerlage (West Eyreton) third with 291.14.

C grade was won by Samantha Whitcombe (Paparua, Christchurch) with 286.10 and D grade was won again by Coronation’s Charlotte McKenzie, with the first-time entrant scoring 293.07.

Another promising local youngster, Maddison Tourle from Phoenix, also had great day and finished with a great result of 258.05.

The open top 10 was taken out by Coronation’s Sandy Bennett with 199.11 and the B, C, D top 10 was taken by Faron Holland (Richmond) with 195.10.

The overall top shot for the entire weekend was Harrison-Lee (Phoenix) who, at only 16 was an exciting prospect in the sport, while the top B, C, D shooter for the weekend was Paul Holland from Nelson, while 13-year-old Coronation shooter Charlotte McKenzie was the runner-up, a big honour which cemented her as one to watch.

Target Shooting Mid Canterbury president Nina McKenzie said the weekend was a huge success and it was great to see the team work among members of the Mid Canterbury target shooting family to make sure both events ran smoothly.

She said it was great that so many people came from so far away to take part.

Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 24 April 2019

Peter CoppingPeter CoppingAll I can say about this guy is, in his sixty-something years, he has certainly got around (and definitely in a good way!) I remember Peter from my own College days, as a fantastic athlete and highly intelligent young man – the consumate ‘all-rounder’ really. I recently managed to track him down in Cyprus where he has been working. Accompanied by his lovely wife of 10 years, Elena, a Russian by birth where she and Peter lived for eight years, until late 2016.

Peter attended Ashburton College from 1968 until 1972. Peter was a prefect in his 7th form year though, in his opinion, this wasn’t the highlight of his years at College. He feels this must go to the success of his running career. Peter still holds the 440 yards running record and that is because the very next year, the race was changed to metres and so his record can never be broken! In his final year he became an AFS student and travelled to Iowa, USA where he spent 12 months.

When questioned about the teachers who influenced Peter, several sprang to mind. Miss Gash, his Mathematics teacher, not for unlocking the secrets of Algebra, Calculus and Geometry but more to do with making him realise he had no future in ANY profession involving Maths! He also mentioned Mr Sutherland who was a great teacher and mentor but, at the same time, striking Peter as rather ‘scary’. Mr and Mrs McKenzie were described by Peter as both being ‘legions’.

Peter and his younger brother Tony both had part-time jobs at Noahs Hotel in Christchurch while they studied at Canterbury University. Peter’s was as a wine waiter, knowing nothing about wine at that time. He obviously hid this lack of knowledge from management and some patrons as he was playing sommelier one evening when Rod Stewart and his wife of the time were dining at Noahs. He must have done something right as he scored a $10 tip from Rod!

On graduating from Uni with a law degree and MBA, Peter attained a job as a solicitor with top Ashburton law firm Nicoll, Sinclair and Cooney where he spent three years. From there he became an Investment Banker in various parts of the world and later developed his own business in Golf Resort development and Management sector in Australia, Japan, Russia, Egypt, Europe and currently Cyprus. He has felt extremely fortunate in these roles and loves his work. Peter describes himself as a “keen but ordinary golfer”.

A couple of his interests include cooking and sampling good wine and the occasional single malt.

Peter, and his first wife Anne while living in Australia, had two wonderful sons, Christopher (28) who lives in Melbourne and Jamie who resides in Sydney (26). They catch up regularly in various parts of the world.

Peter and Elena love to travel and recently toured Scotland in the depths of a Highland winter! At least keeping warm would’ve been made a little easier with a little dram of the amber liquid now and then!

Life in sunny Cyprus is going really well and currently there are no plans to return to New Zealand anytime soon though Peter and Elena visit Peter’s mother Esme who still resides in Ashburton plus brother Tony and family who live most of their time in Hokitika.

Asked how his memories of Ashburton College shaped the adult Peter, he confesses that most of these have been “lost in the mists of time” but he has very fond memories of his years at the College and he’s absolutely rapt to hear of the planned College rebuild.

By Shirley Falloon (nee Melrose) © AshColl Alumni - 23 April 2019