ash4outward bound 1 696x509Ashburton Trust Event Centre junior technician Travis Stringer works on a lighting set- up shortly before his departure to Anakiwa and the three-week Outward Bound experience. Photo supplied.Ashburton Trust Event Centre junior technician Travis Stringer is stepping outside of his comfort zone and is swapping the backstage environment for the outdoors of the Marlborough Sounds on a three-week adventure and reflection course.

The 21-year-old began his Outward Bound experience at Anakiwa yesterday and hopes to return home with useful life skills and renewed self confidence.

His time away will include a daily 3km run that he is expected to complete in under 25 minutes, a solo camping experience where he will spend three days alone and be checked on daily, and a number of outdoor activities.

The course fee of close to $4500 has been met through a scholarship from the Jaycee Outward Bound fund administered by Advance Ashburton.

Travis said he was very grateful for the scholarship and was both nervous and very excited about the opportunity.

He would report back to his funders on his experiences.

Travis said his boss Roger Farr had first mentioned Outward Bound and after reading more about it he had decided to take the plunge.

“I am a naturally quiet and shy sort of guy, so I’m hoping the course will help build my confidence and help me achieve my full potential.”

He hoped to improve his decision-making, ability to work more efficiently and social skills.

“This is the biggest experience in my life so far, so I’m determined to enjoy it to the full.”

The first step to get on Outward Bound for Travis was to apply for funding, which was approved before Christmas by Advance Ashburton following an application and interview process.

More forms and checks followed and Outward Bound found a slot for him on the February course.

Over 21 days he will experience bush expeditions, water challenges, sea voyages and height activities with 13 other course participants and two instructors.

“It’s all going to be new for me and activities like abseiling and climbing will be quite confronting because I’m terrified of heights,” Travis said.

He had never ventured too far from home and was looking forward to the challenges, which would create life-long memories for him.

Reflection sessions are an important component of Outward Bound and Travis will keep a journal to consider the importance of his experiences and new situations and relate the lessons back to everyday life.

There will be little contact with the outside world and smoking, alcohol and cell phones are strictly not allowed.

By Mick Jensen © The Ashburton Courier - 4 February 2021

Karen Bennett Hockey Umpire 2021 webLongtime hockey umpire Karen Bennett is hanging up the whistle. Photo supplied.One of the country’s most esteemed hockey umpires has called time on her career.

Karen Bennett has decided to hang up her whistle, after eight years and 59 matches as an international match official.

The former Mid Cantabrian woman, who is now based in Banks Peninsula, is wanting to focus on her family after she had her first child last year.

Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) confirmed her retirement in a statement earlier this week.

Bennett’s first entry into umpiring was when she volunteered for her sister’s Mid Canterbury under-15 side in Ashburton.

The governing body paid tribute to Bennett’s career this week which included a pinnacle feat of being appointed to officiate at the 2014 World Cup tournament in the Netherlands.

“Karen is without doubt one of the most respected and cherished umpires in our hockey family,” HNZ technical manager Colin French said.

“I have always admired her energy and professionalism.

“She is a true team player, who is always willing to help both her peers and the wider umpiring community.”

French added that Bennett was a high achiever who never sought the limelight, always ensuring continuous learning and enjoyment were key pillars to her umpiring craft.

Mid Canterbury Hockey also acknowledged Bennett’s tenure on its Facebook page this week.

“Mid Canterbury Hockey would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Karen on an outstanding international career, and thank you for all the help and support you have given your ‘home’ team over the years.

“We wish you all the best for your future –without a whistle!”

© The Ashburton Guardian - 4 February 2021

Jade Brosnahan TEnnis 2021 web sideJade Brosnahan. Photo supplied.Ashleigh Leonard has returned to the Ashburton Trust Gala Cup mixed doubles winners’ stage, this time with younger brother Tyler.

The siblings secured the silverware at the Ashburton Trust Tennis Centre on Friday evening, beating fellow brother-sister pairing Connor and Jade Brosnahan 4-2 4-1 in the finals.

The four rivals were the only seeded entries of the seven teams in action on Friday, which saw the annual tourney played while the sun set.

Ashleigh (23) previously won the Gala Cup mixed doubles title three consecutive times as a teen, alongside father Pete, between 2011 and 2014.

She indicated how special a win would be with brother Tyler when she spoke to the Guardian in the lead-up.

Ironically, the team faced up to Pete in their first game.

The siblings however put on a clinic against their “old man”, who was paired up with Lucy Ellis, winning 4-0 4-0.

The Brosnahans had earned their spot in the big dance with a 4-0 5-4(3) victory over Ollie Bubb and Isabela Van Dooren, followed by a 4-2 4-1 toppling of Jess Aldridge and Ryan Watt in the semi-finals.

A couple of three set epics ensued on centre court.

Leonard and Ellis came from behind to beat Maggie Crosby and Go Tamura 3-5 5-4 (4) 11-9 in the opening leg of games.

Andrew Hunt and Emily Fahey were put through their paces throughout the evening.

The duo were edged 1-4 4-0 8-10 by Aldrige and Watt, before knocking over Bubb and Van Dooren 2-4 4-2 10-7 later in proceedings.

The Ashburton Trust Gala Cup singles and doubles events will be held March 6-7.

By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 4 February 2021