Veronica Wall rowing webVeronica Wall in action on the water. Photo supplied.Former Ashburton rower Veronica Wall was named in the Rowing New Zealand Under 23 Squad on the weekend.

The outstanding performer and former Ashburton College student has been firmly in the sights of national selectors for a number of years now, and after a strong performance at the recent National Championships on Lake Ruataniwha, her selection should come as no surprise to anyone.

Late last year Rowing NZ announced it did not intend to send athletes to compete at international regattas this year, with the exception of the final Olympic Qualification Regatta and the Tokyo Olympic Games.

However it is still their intention to select and support age group squads, irrespective of the international travel hold.

The under 23 campaign has expanded to include a winter training squad which includes athletes who are no longer eligible for the age group, but are meeting targets which put them in contention for Paris 2024 Olympic selection.

A number of other rowers who are currently based in the US who have attended Rowing NZ development camps are being considered as well, post their end of year studies.

Wall was one of 11 female rowers selected in the squad, fresh off her efforts at the National Championships.

Competing for Southern Rowing, representing Ashburton, and also for the Rowing New Zealand team – Wall put all her class on the water to win the A Final of the women’s Under 22 single sculls with a six-second victory.

She combined with Kathryn Glen in the Under 22 double sculls, and picked up another success when they won their A Final as well.

Wall’s week closed with an appearance in the Women’s Premier Coxless Quad Sculls, when they finished third in a line-up of some of the most exciting female rowers in the country.

The squad will assemble for training at Lake Karapiro on April 7.

By Matt Markham © The Ashburton Guardian - 3 March 2021

AshColl trade course 2021 webStanding in front of the 1980s Toyota Starlet that is being sanded and primed ready for painting are (from left) Sophie Woods, Isi Ula and Jack Gibbons. Photo Maddison GourlayAshburton College’s automotive course is receiving praise from training industry providers for being an innovative course.

Four years of hard work from Kyle Backhouse-Smith, Daniel Thew, and Mike Pearce is paying off with industry training providers wanting to use their course as a model and roll it out nationally.

The Ashburton College automotive course had the highest national pass rate with the highest national pass with the training industry in its first year.

“Our training providers were stoked,” Backhouse-Smith said.

Thew said a trial year in 2020 was to see how the course would go and everyone in the two trial classes passed the course with great marks.

The successful trial was crucial in getting the course up and running, he said.

Year 13 student Sophie Woods participated in the course during its trial run last year and has moved on to the second year of the course this year.

“My favourite part of the course so far was learning about the CV joint,” Woods said.

“Pulling it apart and putting it back together again, learning how it works and how it all fits together.”

All of the theory of the course is done online through the training provider, planned by Backhouse-Smith and Thew.

The structure of the theory assessments forces students to ask for help, Backhouse-Smith said.

Students have to read resources before doing a timed assessment.

If they fail too many times they have to ring the industry training provider to let them back in, Backhouse-Smith said.

“It forces the students to ask for help if they are struggling,” Thew said.

“This system has been a key indentifier on where certain students are struggling, so appropriate support can be provided.”

Industry providers require the students to know how to service vehicles as part of their practical assessments, with safety aspects and changing tyres also required knowledge.

Staff vehicles were the first to be used in practical assessments, receiving oil changes, new cam belts as well as other general servicing.

The automotive course now has four cars, and they are currently working on a 1980s Toyota Starlet to get it ready for painting.

Backhouse-Smith and Thew are being sent to Hamilton on a professional development programme to use a new type of paint, the only people in the South Island that will have access to the paint, and will be passing their skills on to their students.

Work experience is an option for students that wanted to try out trades before they left school, Backhouse-Smith said, but the automotive course runs as a class structure, and stops students from being out of class the whole day and missing a full day of study.

“By keeping them in a class environment it keeps them on track and helps them engage more, and stops them disrupting others,” Backhouse-Smith said.

They then hope to get their students into a workplace environment in their last year of the course to give them connections and more experience, building on what the tutors have already taught them.

By Maddison Gourlay © The Ashburton Guardian - 2 March 2021

Fletcher Hobbs Ashburton College 2nd XI Cricket 2021 webFletcher Hobbs looks to flash one past point for the Ashburton College Combined 2nd XI on the weekend. Photo Doug BovettAshburton College 1st XI closed out their clash with the Christ’s College 1st XI on Saturday finishing on the wrong side of the ledger, losing to an outright win by an innings in Christchurch.

The match, which began the week before, finished on Saturday afternoon when AshColl were asked to bat for a second time, but were unable to reach the first innings score set by their hosts on the opening day of play.

After winning the toss, the locals took the ball, and despite some handy individual efforts they were unable to dominate their opposition, who worked through to 282-6 declared from 57 overs.

Angus Jemmett did the majority of the donkey work with the ball, delivering 18 overs and taking 3-52 in a solid spell.

Angus Spittall and Jack Middleton each grabbed a wicket.

With the bat the AshColl first innings showed some promise.

Devon Flannery (31) and Lachie Jemmett (36) both made valuable contributions but were unable to secure that big partnership which lifted the score total.

AshColl were eventually all out for 122.

Asked to bat again, things went from bad to worse for the young side, rolled by a smart Christ’s bowling line up for 91, with Lachie Jemmett again to the fore with 26 runs and Wil Jemmett also scoring highly with 20.

This weekend the side gets a great opportunity to get a result on the board when they take on North West Youth Cricket on the Ashburton College wicket, although they’ll be praying to the weather gods that things are on their side when the skies clear.

Meanwhile, it was a tough day at the office for the Ashburton College Combined 2nd XI too.

Playing at home against the Sydenham Youth 2nd XI they suffered a six-wicket loss, but wouldn’t have been completely disappointed with their effort.

Batting first they posted 191 with Fletcher Hobbs continuing his great run of form scoring 90 – the third week in a row he’s passed the 50 mark.

Sydenham made light work of the run chase however, reaching the target with just four batsmen back in the shed.

By Matt Markham © The Ashburton Guardian - 2 March 2021