Fourteen year old Finn Johnson of Wainui yesterday won the open men’s division of this year’s first Gisborne Boardriders Event. Johnson who proudly surfed for Stock Route Mafia syndicate used speed in testing conditions, a combination of searing forehand carves and vertical backhand fin throws to take the win. Johnson is a talented surfer but seemed an underdog being the youngest surfer in the Open division and surfing against seasoned men, women and girls, some of whom hold, or have held national titles in the past. Johnson won every heat on his way to victory today. Josh Colbert (SRM) was looking the stand out surfer in earlier rounds but was unable to find the waves in the final to match Johnson
This Saturday, Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti took over Gisborne Skate Park for our annual Actvsk8 skate and scooter competition. Swarms of local kids and whanau enjoyed a sunny afternoon of informal competition, spot prizes, a BBQ and live music. Big thanks to our sponsors Kingpin Eastcoast and Gisborne District Council.
The future is bright for cycling in Tairawhiti, with the majority of primary students in the region expected to have access to ‘Bikes in Schools’ facilities by school commencing in 2018. Bikes in Schools is a nationwide initiative to bring bikes, tracks and training to schools in order to increase fitness and cycle safety among tamariki. Furthermore, the program has been shown to increase students’ confidence, resilience and engagement at school.
Bikes in Schools first came to Gisborne when they built the regional pilot at Kaiti School, and the facilities have been a huge hit with students and whanau. Regular bike riding is now part of the curriculum at Kaiti School, and it’s so popular that it’s being used to reward good behaviour. Within three weeks of the track being opened, the school went from having 40 children who couldn’t ride a bike to zero.
After the immediate success of Kaiti’s build, planning commenced on the financing and construction of stages two and three of the regional school cycling development. Due to generous funding by Gisborne District Council, NZCT, Eastland Community Trust, Eastland and Central Community Trust and BikeOn, the CONNEXT Trust was established to oversee the delivery of 15 bikes in schools facilities in the region, over a 14-month period. Sport Gisborne Tairawhiti will project manage and deliver the tracks on behalf of the CONNEXT Trust, and the in-school cycle training will be be provided by Cycle Gisborne.
By 2018, 64% of Tairawhiti primary school students will have access to tracks, bikes and training. The following schools will have ‘Bikes in Schools’ facilities by 2018:
- Te Wharau
- Tolaga Bay
- Te Hapara
- Wainui Beach
- St. Mary’s
One title wasn’t enough for Tairawhiti’s Saffi Vette last week at Piha, where she fought her way to the top of both the under-16 and under-18 women’s divisions. On finals day, competitors had to contend with a large, maxing swell reforming on the renowned Piha Bar which was a test of both fitness and nerve.
Saffi has been putting in the hard yards recently, not only clocking up a great number of hours in the surf but also in the form of cardio training with Gisborne-based former Olympian Michelle Rennie. In addition, Saffi has been training and patrolling with Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club, gaining the water knowledge and confidence required to negotiate challenging ocean conditions.
That hard worked allowed the 15 year old perform when pressure was on and conditions got tough.
All women who have surfed throughout New Zealand in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and beyond are invited to travel to New Plymouth this March for a reunion hosted by New Plymouth boardriders. The weekend will contain a mix of surfing and socialising, and is a great chance to catch up with old friends.
The U15 Softball North Island Champs kicked off today, with teams from all corners of the North Island descending on Waikirikiri Park for four days of grueling competition. The opening match saw Tairawhiti square off against Manawatu, and after an impressive haka the Tairawhiti side loked polished and calculated. The final score of the match was 11-2, and puts Tairawhiti in a good position going into their remaining round-robin matches.
There will be games played all day for four days at the domain, and the spectating will be exciting.