Jonathon Reuben attended Ashburton College (Orange House, North School) from 1983-1986 and earned college sports blues for both basketball and softball. He was the youngest player in the Mid-Canterbury seniors men’s softball team that won the national 3rd division in 1987 and went on to play for Canterbury under 23 and various Christchurch premier softball clubs.
In 1994 Jonathon embarked on his big OE to Europe where he was fortunate enough to continue his softball for the London Meteors Fastpitch Club who played extensively throughout Europe. The London Meteors team was a mix of English, ex-pat Kiwis, Americans and Australians and in 1996 became the first UK team to win the European Club Championship held in the Czech Republic. Due to his ancestral entry into the UK and qualifying for residency, Jonathon qualified for the Great Britain Softball team and was fast-tracked to captain the national squad to the European Championship in Antwerp, Belgium (2001) where the team came a respectable 3rd and qualified for their first ever World Championship in Christchurch in 2004.
Jonathon continued to play softball after returning to New Zealand in 2002 and won a Canterbury premiership with Richmond in 2003-2004. He still plays softball today for the Classic Tigers team (Christchurch) who recently attended the 2018 Pan Pacific Masters Tournament in the Gold Coast, Australia and won a silver medal.
Ashburton College brought a lot of positive memories for him, in particular, inter-school sports days. He was fortunate enough to have Mark “Chalky” Gleason as both his basketball and softball coach, who dedicated a huge amount of his time outside of school hours and was someone the players admired and respected. A number of Ashburton College Alumni have exceeded in softball and he mentioned it was always nice to play in the Canterbury competitions or national tournaments with familiar faces.
When asked, a couple of Ashburton College memories sprung to mind, one was an away game against Timaru Boys High where the team were tied 2-2 heading into the end of the game. Jonathon pitched that day - which he conceded was never was of his strongest attributes – but managed to keep them tied down. He also hit a home-run with Craig Dudley on base to win the game 4-2 against a strong opposing team. The second memory was playing an away game against Burnside High School on a “skin” diamond which was a first for most visiting teams. He didn’t realise at the time, but they were completely outclassed by a Burnside High team that was stacked with Canterbury age grade reps who he then went onto play softball with in later years.
Jonathon said he had been very fortunate with softball taking him all over the world and the everlasting friendships made. He expressed that he was forever grateful for the opportunities provided by Ashburton College and coaches such as Mark Gleason.
Jonathon Reuben is currently working in Christchurch in IT, as a Retail Systems Manager for Foodstuffs.