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Wool industry young guns on show at Southern Shears

February 13, 2014

Wool industry young guns on show at Southern Shears

Some of the brightest young hopes in New Zealand shearing and wool handling will take a starring role on the first day of the Southern Shears in Gore tomorrow.

Two teams, representing the best from a Modern Apprentice training project, will take part in the first Tectra Wool Harvesting Apprentice National Championship, which will culminate the first day otherwise comprising the annual competition’s woolhandling events.

Representing the North Island will be the Lower North Island team of shearers Keanu Sutton, of Dannevirke, and Jayden Hiroti-Green, of Raetihi, and woolhandlersCarmen Smith, of Pongaroa, and Stevee-Rae Alexander, of Whanganui, while the South Island will be represented by the Upper South Island team of shearers Jock Barrett and Ethan Pankhurst, both based at Rakaia, and woolhandlers Kerrie-Lee Duff, of Kurow, and Vance Brown, of Christchurch.

The teams won their way into the match with victory in inter-region contests at their respective island workshops last year, where instruction was given by such shearing luminaries as World champion shearers David Fagan and Tom Wilson and woolhandlers Joel Henare and Tina Rimene.

It’s the first of two inter-island matches between the two teams, the second taking place at the 30th anniversary New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti at the end of next month.

The Tectra project started with 12 trainees in 2000, and has grown to oversee more than 400, in on the job training and work with contractors around the country, and in-shed tutorial run by the organisation’s training managers and other top shearers and woolhandlers.

Tectra has developed a strong industry relationship through providing the skills training and development along with first class pastoral care which has been noted as a cornerstone of the programme by industry fathers.

Tectra has been instrumental in keeping young industry participants focused on maintaining a good work life balance and an awareness of the additional skills required to make a success of being in the wool harvesting industry. Many have already had the opportunity to work and compete overseas.

Meanwhile, the Southern Shears’ three woolhandling titles will also be decided on the opening day. Shearing on the second and final day on Saturday are five grade finals, the South Island Shear of the Year, an inter-island shearing match involving the country’s top shearers, and a shearing match between New Zealand and Wales, in which Rowland Smith, of Hastings, and Tony Coster, of Rakaia, will be hjoping to go 3-0 up in their Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series with Welsh visitors Gareth Daniel, of Machynlleth, and Richard Jones, of Corwen.

ENDS

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