'Boy oh boy, do we know how to win'

Southern Steel netballers (from left) Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Shannon Francois (partly...
Southern Steel netballers (from left) Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit, Shannon Francois (partly obscured) and Wendy Frew, along with Frew's son, Archie (5), lap up the atmosphere during a ticker-tape parade for the ANZ Premiership champion in Esk St, Invercargill, yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Wendy Frew told her Southern Steel team-mates they were in for a treat in Invercargill yesterday, and she did not disappoint them.

The Steel netball team, Southland Sharks basketball team and Southland cricket team all won national titles this year, which prompted the Invercargill City Council to throw a ticker-tape parade to celebrate.

Event organiser Kari Graber estimated between 2000 and 3000 Southlanders lined Dee and Esk Sts in Invercargill yesterday to show their appreciation to their sporting heroes.

It was the first ticker-tape parade held in Invercargill since a 2012 event to celebrate Southland's successful Olympians.

As a young netballer Frew was part of two street victory parades during the Southern Sting's 1998 to 2007 tenure.

The retiring Steel captain knew what she was in for; her team-mates, not so much.

There was genuine pride shown through the cheers from those attending, not to mention the mass of streamers sent the way of the athletes.

"It is just such a cool feeling. It is cool for the girls to experience it, and to see what it is all about.

"And also just to embrace the passion the Southland community shows," Frew said.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt worked the hundreds gathered at the Invercargill City Council building into a frenzy with his comments about the province's achievement.

"We may be a small city with only 3% of New Zealand's population living in the whole of Southland, but boy oh boy, do we know how to win," he said, followed by the biggest cheer of the day.

While the Steel's and Sharks' success in recent weeks prompted the parade, the Southland cricket players were delivered a moment they will forever remember when they too were honoured.

Southland ended a 26-year drought in March by winning the Hawke Cup.

"It is great to see Southland people out supporting Southland people. We are a pretty proud province and we punch above our weight," Southland cricket captain Shaun Fitzgibbon said.

Comments

WAY TO GO, SOUTHLAND!! From this SBHS Old Boy.