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Karaka’s “Mayor” a secret weapon for Golden Oldies cricket

Karaka’s “Mayor” a secret weapon for Golden Oldies cricket team

13 March 2018

Karaka commercial composter Roger Wark (Warkie) is swapping his shovel for a cricket bat and gearing up to take on the world at the 2018 Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration next month.

The cricket enthusiast and president of local Golden Oldies team, the Karaka Stallions, will be joining around 5,000 mature sports players from New Zealand and around the globe at the iconic international sporting event.

While they’re taking the competition down a notch by playing in the Social division, the Stallions have an ace up their sleeve and are plotting to send their best batter on the pitch.

“We’ve got the Mayor of Karaka joining us for this game, he’s a 73-year-old cricket player and a renowned batsman,” Mr Wark says.

“That’s because he doesn’t bowl - he can’t throw the ball.”

In fact, Mr Wark says these days batting is preferred over the more rigorous tasks of bowling or manning the outfield.

“We all bat but we don’t all bowl and fielding is the hardest thing to do because you’re out standing around for 40 overs - but we’re taking 15 players because we expect a few breakdowns,” he says.

“There’s no beers on the field, but after the match we’re renowned for our red wine drinking. We’re up a notch from the competition,” he says.

Organised by Vintage Sport and Leisure with the support of city promotion agency ChristchurchNZ, this year’s celebration marks the first time in history multiple Golden Oldies sporting events have been held in the same city and Mr Wark says it’s going be a cracker of a party.

“Golden Oldies are always a great opportunity to enjoy a game and catch up with old friends from all over the world,” he says.

ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Attraction Linda Falwasser says Christchurch is the perfect destination to host the 2018 Golden Oldies sports celebration.

“As city hosts, we are thrilled to be welcoming one of Christchurch’s largest ever sporting events to our city and encourage the whole community to get involved, check out the games and enjoy the experience,” she says.

The Karaka Stallions are looking forward to catching up with old trans-Tasman friends and allies, an Australian cricket team hailing from NSW’s south coast called The Gentlemen of Nowra Eleven.

“We played against The Gentlemen at our very first Goldies Oldies festival almost 20 years ago and have been on many a tour together since,” Mr Wark says.

“It was a friendship formed on the field and cemented in the bar and we’re looking forward to catching up again in Christchurch.”


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