ashcoll ballBall gown nominees Riley Claydon-Wade and Morgan Lilley with Ashburton College ball committee members Malakai Swindley, Joe Danielson, Sophie Vessey, Jazz Tupe, Gemma Holland, Prue Marcon and project co-ordinator Louise Duke. Photo suppliedSix students from Ashburton College will enjoy the Cinderella experience at tomorrow’s school ball thanks to the support of the Once Upon a Time project.

The project, launched earlier this year by Kirsty McGlynn and Louise Duke, will provide the dresses and shoes for the belles of the ball, while local business support will ensure hair and make-up is top notch.

Tickets for the event, costing $85 each, are also covered by generous donations.

The idea of donating unwanted ball gowns for others to use came from Kirsty McGlynn, who rediscovered gowns belonging to her daughters when cleaning out a cupboard.

The call to donate was put out earlier this year and an impressive 100 gowns were given, along with around 50 pairs of shoes.

The six girls taking advantage of the generosity have been nominated by fellow students and teachers at Ashburton College.

Louise Duke said buying dresses and shoes and paying for hair and make-up was expensive for parents and could be prohibitive for some.

Generous donors had chipped in with everything that was needed for a fabulous night at the ball.

“We want to make the girls feel like Cinderella on the night,” she said.

Mrs Duke said the Once Upon a Time project could be rolled out in the future and could also involve gown swaps with schools in other centres.

Planning for the Ashburton College ball started at the beginning of the school year and the event has been driven by a dedicated ball committee.

Around 450 students from Years 12 and 13 are expected to attend the glitzy, glamorous event at Ashburton Trust Event Centre.

By Mick Jensen © The Ashburton Courier - 29 June 2017

BasketballAshburton College’s Josh Lowe gets his fingers to the ball ahead of Middleton Grange’s Ben Carlile-Smith as their game tips off at the Oxford Street Stadium. Ashcoll’s Mitchel Prendergast (6) and referee Phil Hill look on. Photo Jamie Pitt-MackayAshburton College senior basketball teams produced a winning night at the Oxford Street stadium this week, the boys getting the better of Middleton Grange 82-71 while the girls easily accounted for Kaiapoi High School 72-34.

The boys were behind 35-31 at half-time but a big effort in the third quarter paid dividends and they went into the final period leading 59-50.

The visitors had no intention of giving up though and pushed Ashcoll hard until the end in what was an intense, evenly-contested affair.

Middleton Grange tried to keep Ashcoll’s playmaker Fletcher Arnold under wraps, but that freed up his team-mates to stack up the points. Arnold made 16, as did Josh Lowe and Gareth Hunt, while Mitchel Prendergast finished on 11 and Nick Fechney top-scored with 17.

Coach Pip Johnston said it was a physical and even battle but his side refused to be rattled.

“As a team, they just keep impressing me every week. There’s always someone stepping up, so it was a good team win and should give them confidence.”

The win puts Ashcoll in fifth place in the secondary school Thompson Trophy competition, with two games remaining before quarterfinals. The side travels to Christchurch next week to play Christchurch Boys’ High School and then hosts St Bede’s after the school holidays in August.

Week seven of the Whelan Trophy competition saw the Ashburton College senior girls take on competition newcomers Kaiapoi in the early game at Oxford Street.

College started strongly on defense, led by Year 13 guard Hannah Jerao, pressuring Kaiapoi’s wings into some early turnovers. These were converted at the offensive end of the court, giving Ashcoll a handy 34-18 lead at the half. College kept the pressure on in the second half of the match, holding New Zealand U17 player Helen Matthews to just six points for the game and finishing comfortably with a 72-34 final score line.

College’s outside shooters were in form throughout the game, with guard Sammy Arnold top scoring with 16 points, which included four of the teams eight three pointers.

College’s own New Zealand representatives, Sophie Adams and Ashlee Strawbridge worked well in the paint, knocking in 14 and 12 points respectively.

By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 29 June 2017

SuperNetAshColl 29-22 victory against Rangi Ruru Girls’ School at the EA Networks Centre on Wednesday. Photo Jaime Pitt-MacKayAfter dominating the early passages, the Ashburton College netball team cruised to 29-22 victory against Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in the SuperNet competition at the EA Networks Centre on Wednesday evening.

“I was really happy, I thought we played confidently and we kept control of the game throughout,” said coach Angela Mitchell.

The Ash Coll side jumped out of the gates, scoring five unanswered goals and generally dominated the first quarter, ending it with an 11-3 lead.

“We know what it is like having to turn up, get out of the van and hit the court,” said Mitchell.

“It took them a quarter to get going and we made the most of that.”

Rangi Ruru took the initiative in the second quarter, closing Ash Coll’s lead to four points with a half-time score of 16-12.

“Defensively they really challenged what we did in the first quarter, and I just don’t think we reacted to that change quickly enough,” she said.

“Something we continue to work on is how we react to different situations and different styles of defence.”

Mitchell said she was pleased with how her team controlled the speed in the second half of the match, always keeping Rangi Ruru at arm’s length until the final whistle.

One of the many standout performers for the College side was goal shoot Grace Wilson, who tormented the Rangi defenders all night long.

“We’ve tried in the past week or so to look in to Grace early and she is a really great target for us, and she has been finding great space for herself,” said Mitchell.

“She dominated, asked for the ball and did a great job, it was great shooting.”

Mitchell said she was most proud however of the team performance in general.

“It is great to be able to put nine girls out there in different combinations and you know they will all at least play half a game,” she said.

“We do have a well-rounded team this year and that is exciting for us as we head in to the South Island tournament.”

Being the first home SuperNet game in Mitchell’s time coaching the College side, she said having the crowd support was great.

“We are really appreciative of Mid Canterbury Netball allowing us to host the game in Ashburton, it was great for the College staff and the girls’ families to be able to watch SuperNet here,” she said.

By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 23 June 2017