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Football with an international theme came to Dunedin earlier this month. The Special Olympics Mini World Cup attracted 15 teams from local schools. Footballers from Sara Cohen School, Bayfield High School, Queen's High School, Logan Park High School, Kaikorai Valley College, Kavanagh College, Taieri College, South Otago High School and Lawrence Area School converged on the Edgar Centre for a five-a-side competition.
Footballsouth's Dave Martin-Chambers and Harley Rodeka joined forces with Special Olympics volunteers to co-ordinate the day. Support for the teams on and off the field came from John McGlashan College, Logan Park High School, Otago Girls' High School, Otago Boys' High School and Queen's High School football players. Feedback was enthusiastic.
Division two was won by the combined Denmark team of Liam Smith and Shane Patrick from Lawrence Area School and Alex Price, Lance van de Hilst and Thomas Dalwood from Taieri College, with support from Cody Brook and Rohan Ali from Otago Boys'.
The division one winner was the Logan Park Cameroon team of Coner Aitken, Baz Copeland, Keiran Allnatt, Logan Baker-Saunders, Alex Hurndell-Simpson and Jackson Riddle, supported by school peers Gabriel Griffin and Courtney Kilner.
Lawrence Area School, Roxburgh Area School, Dunstan High School, Cromwell College, Mt Aspiring College and Wakatipu High School pupils met in Cromwell for the annual indoor bowls ribbon day.
This year saw the biggest number of pupils competing alongside Special Olympics Central Otago athletes.
The ability level has greatly improved due to schools' coaching and training. Cromwell College pupil Larissa van der Hoeft has been training with her local indoor bowling club, and Roxburgh Area School pupils Lucas Youston and Wynona Dunn also showed how well they can bowl with support from their local bowling club.
This event was run in conjunction with the Cromwell Indoor Bowling Association, with president Dave Stewart inviting the pupils to join their local indoor bowling club. He especially commented on the talent of Shane Patrick from Lawrence Area School, who, with Monique van der Hoeft in support, won the pairs competition.
Blue Mountain College
Kate Crawford, a year 10 pupil from Blue Mountain College, has a big future in netball umpiring. Not only does she play in the Blue Mountain College A team, but Kate recently achieved the perfect score of 100% in her regional theory umpiring exam - the top mark in New Zealand. There were three stages which involved sitting exams and practical assessments at local, regional and New Zealand levels.
Kate follows in the footsteps of sister Alice, who is also a highly qualified netball umpire.
Columba College enjoyed success at the recent Otago secondary schools netball championships.
The senior A team overcame St Hilda's in the final to win the title for the third year in a row. In the junior grades, the year 10 team and the year 9 team were placed third.
The senior A netball team has had further success in Saturday netball.
The team won a playoff for promotion into premier A, beating senior side Phys Ed B. The team had its first game in the top grade a few weeks ago and found the going tough against the top team in Dunedin, but put in a very good performance.
Also at Columba, the year 9 and 10 sports academy pupils have been busy listening to different speakers and attending local gyms. They have been fortunate to have had Alison Shanks and Nathan Twaddle to speak to them about their own sporting results, stories and personal motivation. Laura Carruthers (year 12), has been selected for the New Zealand team to compete in the Australian schools cross-country championships in Canberra next month. Laura is coached by Jim Baird and has taken to competitive running and training since she started at Columba College as a boarder in year 9. Laura won the 2000m steeplechase at the South Island schools athletics in April and was part of the winning 4x400m relay team that broke the South Island record.
Kavanagh College's First XI boys hockey team has lost only one game this season and the B team remains unbeaten in its grade.
The First XV has had a great few weeks with a draw against one of the competition leaders, Gore High School, and comfortable wins against South Otago High School and Verdon College. Also, a last play, try-saving tackle set up a nail-biting win over Menzies College 23-22. In the lower grades, the years 9-10 team went through the inaugural Catholic schools quad tournament unbeaten.
Both the girls football and senior B boys basketball teams have had their first wins of the season, great reward for their efforts.
There was also success at national level with Shauna Pali and Tim Morrison part of a team of runners who competed in the recent New Zealand schools cross-country held in Ashburton. Against more than 100 competitors Shauna gained a placing of third and Tim a fifth.
South Otago High School
The South Otago High School under-14 rugby team is having a stellar season. It is unbeaten in the Otago under-14 division one competition. The squad is made up of 23 players, many of whom have come through the primary school weight-grade programmes with Otago. Most are year 9.The team was the top qualifier from the initial round robin, and is leading the revised division one competition. It has defeated both the traditional Otago powerhouses of King's and Otago Boys'. The three matches played againstKing's Panthers have been great clashes, with SOHS narrowly winning two and the other a 27-all draw. The team has also won both interschool matches, beating Gore High School 63-3 and Taieri College 98-0.
SOHS is fielding seven teams in total this season, with the girls First XV the three-time defending champion.
Queen's High School
In late June, 42 pupils and staff took part in a fun run/walk in support of International Olympic Day. Pupils were encouraged to dress in house colours and were awarded points for their houses for best dressed, most teachers and number of participants.
The run was won by Antoinette McIntosh and Merlissa Leslie. The Interact group led by Amanda Mackay combined a street clean up with the run.
The learning support pupils attended the Special Olympics mini world cup tournament at the Edgar Centre. Seven pupils and six volunteer pupils represented China and Japan at the tournament.
Mt Aspiring College
The Mt Aspiring College netball season is in full swing. Three teams travelled to Dunedin for the Otago secondary schools tournament, with the senior A team finishing eighth, the year 10 team seventh and the talented year 9 team winning the junior section.
Mt Aspiring College netball hosted Australian school Townsville Grammar recently. The school A team drew a large crowd and a fast flowing game ensured that the score was tight right to the last whistle - unfortunately for Mt Aspiring the final score was 27-26 to Townsville.
It gave Mt Aspiring players good practice for the South Island tournament next month.
July 7: Dunedin co-ed school sports, Dunedin.
July 13: AWD basketball, Edgar Centre.
July 15-16: South Island swimming, Moana Pool.
July 16-17: South Island synchro swimming, Moana Pool.
July 16-18: U17 netball regional tournament, Dunedin.
July 18-20: South Island girls rugby festival, Oamaru.
• These articles are compiled by the Otago Secondary Schools Sports Association Inc (OSSSA). Contacts: Des Smith, Otago regional sports director, PO Box 6303, Dunedin, ph 470-1337. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Website:www.osssa.org.nz