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Curling: South Island Secondary Schools Tournament 2022

By Richard McNaught | Posted: Tuesday August 23, 2022

Congratulations to Kavanagh’s Senior Girls Curling Team for winning the South Island Secondary Schools Girls Curling Competition held at the Dunedin Ice Stadium last weekend.

This follows their top placing in the Girl’s division of the Dunedin Secondary Schools weekly competition played over the last nine weeks.

In the South Island Competition the girls earned their first placing convincingly, winning all six of their pool games which meant they automatically gained their gold medals without having to play a final.

That’s not to say it was an easy win. The competition teams were skilled, and the Kavanagh team of Bella Stewart, Ellie McKenzie and Sarah Oram were led by their skip Olivia Oram through some nail biting ends where it often came down to the last throw of the game to decide the winner.

This close competition was frequently nerve-racking to watch for the supporters as the girls played tactically and skilfully to secure their wins.

For the un-initiated, curling is a sport in which players slide “stones” on a sheet of ice towards a target area at the other end.

A very old game, originating in Scotland in the 1500s, it is now played throughout the world and in 1998 was officially added as an Olympic sport. Otago has produced many Olympic Curlers.

Here in Dunedin, the school competition is organised by the Otago Secondary Schools Sports Association. This year the World Curling Association came on board and subsidised the entry fees for teams resulting in a cost of only $15 per player. This included access to the Dunedin Ice Stadium and the contracting of two coaches to help players improve their skill level.

This season Kavanagh had one senior and one junior team. However, both teams believe more students should be enjoying this physically and mentally demanding game.

In the true spirit of the sport, our four gold medallists have offered to pass on their knowledge and experience to any students who would like to play for Kavanagh next season.

If you are interested in playing and would like to try it out, let Mr McNaught know, and he will organise for you to have some ice time with the girls.

In the meantime, we wish our four champions all the best for the upcoming National Secondary Schools Competition to be held in Naseby in the first weekend of October.

We also wish them well in their individual pursuits for selection in the New Zealand Youth Olympics Team. Selectors will be watching them as they play in the U21 nationals to be held in Dunedin in three weeks’ time.