Monday, 25 May 2015

Rotorua's Rich Sporting Past

Sports a regular pastime of Rotorua folk.

The following are newspaper reports of what our local sporting people were up to...

 All articles are copied from Papers Past

This one from the Bay of Plenty Times, 17 August 1920

Rotorua's 7 rugby players on the Bay of Plenty team were
Reke Rogers, Woods, Keepa, Royal, Walker, Scott and Jones. It seems first names were not required back then.

If any of our readers can identify these men, please add your comments to the blog below.

The Bay of Plenty Rugby Union was established in 1911. It has a very proud rugby tradition and heritage. Over the years it has produced many New Zealand representatives in the All Blacks, NZ Maori, NZ 7’s, NZ Women’s Rugby 15’s & 7’s; as well as representative Coaches and support staff at Provincial and International level.
From : Bay of Plenty Rugby Union

The Rotorua Amateur Athletics Club 1931- later includes Cycling and in 1947 the Harriers joined in. In 1981 the name was amended to "Rotorua Athletic Club Inc. and in 1991  renamed "Lake City Athletic Club Inc." which it remains today.

A full history of the club can be read on their website Lake City Athletic Club Inc.

                                       Here in this article it talks about the Fancy Dress Ball in honour of the Annual Rotorua Basketball Association Tournament. 

"The Rotorua Basketball Association was formed in the early 1920’s by Mr Edward Guy and his wife Edna Guy. Edward Guy was a prominent member of the community and was editor of the local Rotorua Post newspapers. Closely associated with him was Mrs Jean Lodge MBE who was for many years Secretary, player and our delegate to the New Zealand Basketball Association as it was then known"   From : Netball Rotorua Centre.                        

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Book Review : 100 Maori Sports Heroes by Joseph Romanos

Rotorua's Sports Tradition began in the 1880s 

Did you know just how far back our sporting heritage goes? I didn't until I picked up a book about Maori Rugby "Beneath the Maori moon: an illustrated history of Maori rugby" by Malcolm Mulholland.  Rotorua's Warbrick family featured in NZ's first ever national rugby side in 1884. 

In "100 Maori Sports Heroes" Joe Warbrick is remembered for his prowess on the rugby field. 

 "Joe was born in Rotorua to an English father, Arthur Warbrick, and his wife Ngakarauna Paerau, a Maori Princess of Ngati Rangitihi. Joe was one of five children, and also had seven half-brothers and sisters from his father's second marriage to Harina. He was sent away to the Native School in Parnell where he studied (and played rugby) until 1878, after this he spent some time in Wellington and played for them in 1879, by 1882 he was back in Auckland playing for North Shore.  Later he played for the New Zealand tour of Australia in 1884... he did not stay in one place for long however and played for many other teams throughout New Zealand.  

Sadly Joe Warbrick died when the Waimangu Geyser erupted on 30 August 1903, his brothers Arthur and Frederick also played on the 1888 Natives tour also died young, but their legacy remains to this day.

Read his story and reflect on his legacy, along with his team mates, to Maori Rugby in New Zealand.  Also covered in this book are the following Rotorua people : Wayne Shelford, Ruia Morrison, Peter Martin, Simon Wi Rutene, Tilly Vercoe, Michael Walker, Philip Orchard, Millie Khan, Steve McDowall, Dean Bell, Bill Gray and Dick Pelham.

Available to read from the Maori Collection on the 2nd Floor at 796.092z ROM


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Rotorua a Mecca for sports

Rotorua : a history of sport and sportsmen and sportswomen.

Rotorua Photo news Sept 21, 1963 p37. Photographer : Michael Burton

When Netball was still called Basketball, Rotorua hosted this tournament, which went on to become the Kurangaituku Tournament. This one was held at Kuirau Park when the nine courts were still there.

Still held annually at the Malfroy Netball Centre.  
From : Evenfinda Website, 2010 Kurangaituku Tournament
Along with a strong women's sports history there were many other opportunities to enjoy the outdoors for all ages.

 The following pages are from the Rotorua Photo News, 21 September 1963.

Photographs by Michael Burton.

This "Fly & Plug Casting" championships was held in Government Gardens, not sure what was there to be caught!
North Island Schoolboys' Soccer Championships, held at Rotorua Boys High School. August 1963.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Discover Your Sports Heroes

Rotorua's Famous Sports People

Rotorua people are really into sports as is shown in the number of sporting clubs we have here :
Swimming, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Bowls (Indoor & Outdoor), Cricket, Equestrian, Fishing, Gymnastics, Hockey, Jogging & Walking, Marching, Martial Arts, Netball, Petanque, Rugby, Rugby League and Touch Rugby, Squash, Tennis, Water Skiing... to name just a few!

So it's only natural that we have some top sports athletes such as Dame Susan Devoy, Dame Naomi James, Valerie Adams, Steven Adams, Jim Love, Danny Lee, Buck Shelford, Simon Wi Rutene...
most, if not all, of these people no longer live in Rotorua but we still claim them as ours!

Wayne (Buck) Shelford was "Born and bred in Rotorua with a typical Kiwi upbringing, along with his brothers Brett, Dean and Darrall, the latter two whom went on to play for Combined Services including Bay of Plenty, respectively. Shelford's father Nathan, had played league and rugby as a young man, and was a champion woodchopper, his mother Mavis was a former South Otago representative netballer.  

Shelford started his rugby days as a first-five in Western Heights Primary School team where he made the Bay of Plenty representative side."   Excerpt from "Buck Shelford: the man, the story, the truth" by John Matheson  To read more about this well known rugby star, this book is available from the Maori Collection on the 2nd floor of Rotorua District Library.

Susan Devoy (Dame) born in Rotorua to Tui and John Devoy, a sister for Brendan, Michael, Paul, Mark, Julian and Gerard... the first girl in a family of six young boys!

"Squash was a big part of the Devoy household well before I came on the scene. They all played - Mum, Dad, (and all 6 boys)... It was Brendan who started things off by getting involved in squash almost as soon as former national coach Colin Brownlee opened his squash courts in Rotorua in the 1950s.... 'I suppose I first picked up a squash racket as a way to kill time'"  Excerpt from "Susan Devoy: out on top" by Robyn Scott-Vincent.

Susan went on to become Number one in the World rankings continuously from 1983 to 1992 when she retired, New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year 1985, 1987, 1988.  To read more of Susan's story her book is available to borrow from the New Zealand History/Travel section on the 2nd Floor.