Netball Tactix Kate Lloyd webAshburton’s Kate Lloyd is off to ply her trade in London. Photo supplied.A few weeks ago, Ashburton netballer Kate Lloyd's immediate playing future was a bit uncertain.

Without a contract for the 2020 ANZ Premiership, Lloyd was preparing to throw herself head-first into her studies and find a job, but then she received a call that changed everything.

The London Pulse wanted Lloyd to join them for the United Kingdom’s 2020 Superleague season, and after giving it a bit of thought and talking it over with her family, the 22-year-old decided it was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down.

So Lloyd, a 190cm tall defender who last year played for the Mainland Tactix, will fly to the UK after Christmas ready to join the London Pulse for what she hopes will be a season of growth.

She’s a mixture of excitement and nerves at the moment, but knows she’s made the right decision.

London came calling at just the right time. Having missed out on an ANZ Premiership playing contract, and having just turned down a training partner contract with the Tactix, Lloyd had been weighing up her options.

“When I didn’t get a contract this year I just wanted to have a summer where I could recharge my batteries and get a bit of money behind me,” Lloyd said.

That plan’s now gone out the window. She won’t even get a full summer, leaving just as the Kiwi summer is getting into full swing and heading to the depths of an English winter, but she couldn’t be happier.

Like a lot of Kiwis her age, she saw herself going on an OE at some stage. Now, she can do it knowing there’s a job waiting for her, doing exactly what she loves to do, and it will take her all around England, Scotland and Wales.

Playing for the Pulse is a paid gig and she’ll be able to earn a bit of extra money on the side by doing some coaching. It’s money she hopes to put toward a bit of travel around Europe at the end of the season.

“I’ve always wanted to go and travel and this has probably given me the kick up the bum to do it,” Lloyd said.

What will follow her season with the Pulse, Lloyd doesn’t know. But, even after she finishes the last of this year’s exams over the next week or two, she’ll still have five papers left to complete in her sport and recreation degree at Lincoln University.

Study will be put on hold while she’s in the UK though, allowing her to focus fully on the job at hand – helping the Pulse make to the top in the UK Superleague.

It’s a competition made up of 10 teams from across England, Wales and Scotland, which began in 2005, and the defending champions heading into the 2020 season are the Manchester Thunder.

The London Pulse club was only formed in 2017 and this year’s squad features a Kiwi in Lloyd, a Jamaican in Adean Thomas, and a South African-born shooter who has joined the Pulse after two seasons with the Surrey Storm – Sigi Burger.

Lloyd will be joined in the defensive end by England Futures star Halimat Adio, young Roses star Zara Everitt and ex-Saracens Mavericks player Lindsay Keable.

It’s a team full of tall timber, so Lloyd knows she’ll have to work to get starts, but she’s always up for a challenge.

The London Pulse will play their first pre-season game on January 12, and start their season proper away to the Strathclyde Sirens on February 22, with their first home game – at Copper Box Arena – being against the Celtic Dragons in round three.

By Erin Tasker © The Ashburton Guardian - 26 October 2019

140319 JPM 0041 Jacinda Ardern web 11111New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo supplied.Ashburton College principal Ross Preece and his staff are building a wish list that will provide the blueprint for design work on their rebuilt school.

The Ministry of Education has committed to spending $60 million to replace the college’s 50 plus year old buildings and while he accepts they won’t get everything on the list, the 50 page education brief will make it very clear the kind of school the college wants, Preece said.

“It outlines our hopes and dreams for the type of buildings we want. It’s a vision in the form of a document on the exact nature of the school we’re requesting, the things that are important to us.”

Included were things such as a chess board of some kind that would provide the new campus with a central point, a variety of flexible teaching spaces, a strong focus on the future, teaching spaces that opened to the outdoors and solar heating options.

The document would be given to the ministry’s architects and it would shape the master plan, he said.

“It’s still a work in progress but we’ll be presenting it for sign off at the final board meeting of the year on November 27.”

The master plan is scheduled to be completed by July next year.

“One of the significant things this will decide will be where the new school is located within the greater campus. I’ll be guided by the experts on that – it’s a very foolish principal who thinks he is an expert,” he said.

The college was fortunate in having plenty of open space and that meant building could start on vacant land along Walnut Avenue, Middle Road or Belt Road but the location of the buildings would be driven by the experts, Preece said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the rebuild during a visit to the college in March. Initially it will have classroom space for 1350 students but when the project is completed it will have 76 classrooms and the ability to cater for a roll of 1600.

The new school is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 26 October 2019

241019 JPM 0060 Red House College webThe red house executive proudly show off the house competition trophy after winning this year’s competition. Photo Jaime Pitt-MacKayAshburton College’s future leaders have staked their claims for next year while this year’s head boy and girls said their farewells at Ashburton College’s final full school assembly for the year yesterday.

The fiercely competitive house competition was taken out by red house, who put around a 26-point gap on second placed orange house.

The assembly began with principal Ross Preece inviting current head boy and head girl William Wallace and Mollie Gibson forward to share some parting ‘pearls of wisdom’.

Both head students thanked the each other, the student executive and the school staff for their support through what was a busy year.

Following that a large number of blues were presented to students for achievements ranged from music to football and e-sports.

Nine students were recognised with colours, awards given to students have either won a national championship, or have represented New Zealand on the international stage.

Following that, eight students were given two minutes to stake their claims the head boy and head girl roles for 2020.

Three girls and five boys made their speeches, with the final results from a vote and a panel interview deciding who will fill the roles.

Ashburton College year group prize givings begin next week.

By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 24 October 2019