Sports Day marks 110th year

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Ethan Finlay ( 11 ) from Omakau finishes his chop in an underhand woodchopping event at the Tuatapere Sports Day on New years day.

WET weather did not stop the annual Tuatapere Sports Day from being held on New Year’s Day, which is now in its 110th year.

Starting at about noon, the schedule included cycling, high jump, children’s races, shot put, Highland dancing, a family relay and lots of running.

Plenty of speed:Hunter Gough, of Invercargill, shows a good turn of speed during a cycle race.

Timber sports were also an important part of the event, as it was the last day of the Southern Axemen’s Christmas Circuit, which began on December 27.

Tuatapere Axemen’s Athletic Society president Peter Templeton, who was the announcer for the event, and said the highlight for him was the double-handed sawing.

He said there were about 40 axemen, 30 athletes and 10 cyclists who took part in the events, and he enjoyed watching the children’s races and seeing them have fun.

“It’s one of the big events in Tuatapere. If it wasn’t any good it wouldn’t have been going for such a long time.”

Jock & Julian Mc Rae from Invercargill watching intently to see who wins a cycle race at the Tuatapere Sports Day on New Years day .

While there were fewer people who attended the event than usual, the bad weather was to blame, he said.

But rain was not a reason to cancel, which had only happened twice in the event’s history, Mr Templeton said.

“That’s pretty good for 110 years… we can’t cancel because of the weather.”

Photos: Dave Loudon Photography

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