63yo uni campus cop still the push-up champion

The campus cop gets older, the students stay the same age — but the result never changes.

At the age of 63, Senior Constable John Woodhouse, Dunedin’s campus police officer, has once again wiped the floor with another group of Otago first-years in his annual push-up competition.

Once a year during O Week he hosts a push-up competition between himself and the new first-year residents of University College.

He has run this friendly competition for the past six years, and has to this day remained the undefeated champion.

However, every year he gets older, but the students stay the same age.

Senior Constable John Woodhouse, of Dunedin, completing his 80th push-up in a competition with...
Senior Constable John Woodhouse, of Dunedin, completing his 80th push-up in a competition with first-year University of Otago students at University College yesterday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Snr Const Woodhouse said it was only a matter of time before one of the first years knocked him off the podium. However, this year was not that time.

Snr Const Woodhouse defended his title as the reigning champion of push-ups, and mustered up an impressive score of 80, but admitted at points he thought this might be the year he finally lost.

"I’ll tell you what, I was a wee bit nervous, but I was happy when I got to 70; I knew then I was going to win."

First of the losers was first-year student Lachie McGeever, 17, who came closest to Snr Const Woodhouse with an impressive number of 63, but admitted it was a bit touch and go on the last push-up.

"I didn’t know if I would make it on the last push-up, but I’ll be keeping it up."

Push-ups were done with their feet on an ottoman and bare knuckles on the carpet. However, the students of today got off lightly compared with previous year’s events, which occurred on the concrete outside — a few too many bleeding knuckles led to that method being scrapped.

Snr Const Woodhouse said the competition was a good opportunity to show students there was a campus constable and that he was easily approached.

"It’s really just a tradition that I’ve employed over the years to introduce myself to the students.

"This year I was really concerned when the numbers started creeping up, but I got there in the end — old grandfather time might be catching up on me, but in the meantime, I’m not going to give them an easy run of it."