college logoAndrew Shepherd made his trip to the foothills on Sunday well worth his while, taking out the latest race on the Tinwald Cycling Club’s programme.

The club headed to Methven for Sunday’s racing, where Shepherd claimed victory and lifted the Peach Cup in the 45km handicap event.

Five riders found the front late in the race but were well aware that the chasing bunch was pushing hard and had them in their sights leading into the final kilometres.

But Shepherd had the best of the charge to the line to edge out second placegetter Ryan Spillane.

Dave Shurrock turned the clock back with a strong finish to secure the third place spoils, while Kerry Clough backed up his recent good form with a solid fourth place finish.

Brian Ellis put in a good day’s work to secure fifth place and Nick Grijns led the race’s chasing group home to round out the top six.

Scratch marker Oliver Davidson took fastest time honours, riding the course in 67.12 minutes, while co-markers Tony Ward and Brad Hudson claimed second and third time respectively.

The juniors and division two riders contested a 15km handicap event, where James Reid pulled out a great ride to take the win for the juniors.

He had to work hard in the sprint to the line to see off the challenge from the fast-finishing Sarah Gould, who finished second.

First time starter Lucy Reeve showed she will be one to watch in the future, taking out the final podium position, while Leah Reid, Lily Davidson, and Daniel Gould came in to round out the top six.

Back-marker Ethan Titheridge secured fastest time honours riding the distance in 26.00 minutes.

Meanwhile, Kenny Johnstone caught Hillary Singlewood in the last 100 metres to claim division two spoils.

This week the club will contest a 48km handicap event around the Wakanui Beach block.

© The Ashburton Guardian - 11 November 2019

Hannah Wakelin Dancing webHannah Wakelin is the choreographer for Twelfth Night, the latest show by the Big Little Theatre Company. Photo Tegan ClarkAshburton teenager Hannah Wakelin has been thrown a challenge for Big Little Theatre Company’s latest show.

The 18-year-old has had her work cut out for her as the choreographer for Twelfth Night, where she has been tasked with teaching 24 youngsters how to dance.

Director Jackie Heffernan said the show was Shakespeare with many twists.

It consequently had a mix of genres, and one of the curve balls she had wanted Hannah to contend with was teaching Elizabethan palm dancing to Celtic music.

“I think working with children who are not dancers, with music that lends itself to a jig and no more, has been a challenge,” Heffernan said.

Hannah said she went to YouTube to research palm dancing, which she found involved people dancing palm to palm and switching around their partners in large gatherings.

Hannah said as well as the palm dancing, there had been other scenarios to incorporate, including each actor having a silly dance to go with their character.

And despite Heffernan’s concept of the show being a tough call, Hannah said it had not been too bad at all, thanks to the enthusiasm of the actors.

“They are all enthusiastic, which helps so much.

“They are all really into it and open to learning a lot. A lot of them go home and practice and come back better the next time,” she said.

Hannah graduated in May following four years at Idyllwild Arts, a performing arts high school in California.

She now plans to not only continue her passion of dancing through choreography and teaching, but also study towards becoming a paediatrician, beginning with enrolling in health sciences at university next year.

Hannah said ultimately her paediatrician work could also tie in with dance, as it was a form of movement which had therapeutic benefits.

“I’m still going to keep dancing no matter what I do,” Hannah said.

Meanwhile, Heffernan said Twelfth Night rehearsals were going well, with the actors’ presentation of Shakespeare so far proving to be “world class”.

“It’s the very best of Shakespeare with a BLTC twist,” Heffernan said.

Heffernan is also being assisted by company patron Moyra Whiting, who is helping with singing and vocals in the show.

Twelfth Night will have a gala performance to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary.

It will run November 22 to 24 at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre.

By Susan Sandys © The Ashburton Guardian - 9 November 2019

penny stilgoe webPenny Stilgoe. Photo supplied.If you’re passionate about a subject then study never seems like hard work, says Ashburton College’s top Year 12 student Penny Stilgoe.

She achieved a healthy trophy haul at this year’s Year 12 prizegiving, not only taking the ANZ Bank Academic Achievement award but also top subject prizes for accounting, biology and chemistry.

“I work hard and it does take a lot of time but I really enjoy it, they’re subjects I’m passionate about,” she said.

Her favourite subject is agriculture and that’s where she sees her future, studying towards a degree in agricultural science at Lincoln University.

“There are heaps of opportunities there, they’re incredible.”

While she puts long hours into study, Penny has plenty of distractions. She’s a volunteer with the Willowby Fire Brigade and she’s chair of the district’s TeenAg group.

“It’s a bit of a balancing act with late nights definitely in there coming up to exams, but I’ve got incredible family support,” she said.

When the fire siren goes, Penny and her mother both respond, but if there’s an exam the next day and the call-out is at night, Penny said that might be a call she skips.

TeenAg is a group she keenly supports and takes part in as many of its events as possible, recently competing in a YFC skills day at Mt Somers Station.

She also holds down an after school job and over the summer holidays will be working full-time on a dairy farm.

Penny is no newcomer to awards, having taken top student prizes each year at college and winning a Year 9 scholarship, however, she won’t be going into Year 13 with her eye on the dux award at the year’s end.

“That would just put too much pressure on myself.

“I’ll be looking longer term, to university and my goal will be on scholarships,” she said.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 9 November 2019