Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 1 (April 1, 1937)

Panorama of the Playground — Sport In General

page 62

Panorama of the Playground
Sport In General

Afew years ago it was considered a very strange spectacle to see a woman riding a bicycle in Wellington—in fact, many “rubbernecks” narrowly escaped from being run down by motor-cars while gazing at the unusual sight. But those days are gone and, to-day, there are hundreds of the fair sex in Wellington who pedal the broad (and steep) highways. Is it the result of the fad which was sprung on the world by Hollywood stars, or is it a natural development of Atalanta in search of health and beauty? Another almost extinct form of exercise is also being resurrected in the Capital City. This is equestrianism. Residents of Newtown, a suburb of Wellington, have long since grown out of the habit of gazing around at the fair damsels as they passed on horseback. Some of the riders are obviously having their first lessons, but days later they may be seen rising and falling in time to the rhythmic trot, trot of their mounts.

Australian Schoolboys on Tour.

Recently returned to Australia, the King's School Rugby team reported having had a memorable visit to England, where sixteen matches were played against English public schools. The scheme was an ambitious one— to take a school Rugby team on tour— but the success exceeded wildest anticipations. Of interest to New Zealanders was that the tourists lost only two matches—to Radley and Marlborough Colleges. Captain F. A. M. Webster, noted English athletic coach who assisted S. A. Lay in his preparation before winning the English javelin throwing championship, is associated with Bedford School, which drew 3-all, while one of the masters of Marlborough College is Wilfred Kalaugher, a New Zealand Rhodes scholar. In making a report on the tour, Mr. R. A. O. Martin, manager of the team, stated that English and Australian boys are almost identical physically and have the same outlook on sport—playing for the sake of the game.

New Zealand Life-Saving Championships.

Bad weather this summer—if it was really our summer—marred many sporting fixtures in New Zealand, but for real hard luck the palm must be handed to the New Zealand Life-Saving Championships, held at Lyall Bay. Elaborate arrangements had been made to give the public a treat long to be remembered. But the Old Man who controls the weather decided that it was time Wellington had a southerly storm. How it blew, and how it rained! But neither rain nor wind could keep the enthusiasts away, and a fine attendance of the public saw something extraordinary in water work. Australia was represented by a team of champions who monopolised the placings, but as they were not eligible to hold the titles, the first New Zealander to finish was awarded the title. One particularly popular win was that of Dick Pelham, former Rugby football representative with the Maori team in France and England. Pelham won the Individual Championship. He proved himself to be New Zealand's finest surfer. A veteran swimmer Pelham is yet a young man in years, and blessed with mercurial enthusiasm, his good nature has made him a popular figure in swimming baths and on football fields.

The Olympic Oath.

The ceremony of athletes taking the Olympic oath is becoming part of the proceedings at many national sports gatherings in New Zealand. With
(Photo. James Reid, Hamilton.) A “J” class locomotive (No. 261) used on the Frankton-Rotorua express during the “nineties. The staff, left to right, are, W. Crowley (Train Examiner); B. Carter (Cleaner); J. Kneally (Fireman); and G. Thompson (Driver).

(Photo. James Reid, Hamilton.)
A “J” class locomotive (No. 261) used on the Frankton-Rotorua express during the “nineties. The staff, left to right, are, W. Crowley (Train Examiner); B. Carter (Cleaner); J. Kneally (Fireman); and G. Thompson (Driver).

uplifted right arm one athlete mounts a dais and recites the oath: “We swear that we will take part in the Olympic Games in loyal competition, respecting the regulations which govern them and desirous of participating in them for the honour of our country and for the glory of sport.” Truly a fine vow to take, but it is a moot point if such an imposing oath should be permitted for any but the most important of international sporting gatherings—the Olympic Games.

World's Greatest Walkers.

Years ago New Zealand possessed some of the world's greatest walkers. Men of the calibre of Joe Scott, whose remarkable career was fully reviewed in the “Railways Magazine,” F. H. Creamer, “Dorrie” Leslie, Olympic Games starter, and Dave Wilson, all held world's records, some of which have not yet been broken. Walking suffered a bad lapse until recent years when a moderate revival took place. Without doubt the walking of G. S. Cabot, W. Lankey, A. Hill and I. Driscoll has done much to restore the heeland-toe sport to popular favour. Driscoll recently made an attempt on the world's record for two miles, but the weather conditions were against him, and he failed by a small margin. “Dorrie” Leslie was the judge, and could not speak too highly of Dris-coll's style. It is unfortunate that the sprint walk has been deleted from the Olympic programme, as Driscoll is definitely in world's class. Given competition against class men, Driscoll is capable of breaking 6 mins. 25 ⅘ secs, which is the world's record. The record was formerly held by F. H. Creamer, who walked 6 mins. 27 ⅖ secs, at Auckland in 1897. Dave Wilson led for the first half-mile, the lap times were 82 ⅕ secs, and 97 ⅘ secs. These page break page break
(Rly. Publicity photo.) The “Arawa” combined passenger and goods rail-car in service on the Wairarapa line, North Island.

(Rly. Publicity photo.)
The “Arawa” combined passenger and goods rail-car in service on the Wairarapa line, North Island.

times were also world's records, but a curious mistake crept into the record book. At that time New Zealand amateur athletes were under the control of Australia and a cable was sent to headquarters informing the authorities that “Creamer had walked one mile in 6 mins. 27 ⅖ secs. Sectional times quarter 82 ⅕ half 3 minutes. Applying record.” The record was approved and Creamer instead of Wilson figured in the record books. Creamer was entitled to the one mile record, but Wilson was the man who had made the 440 yards and 880 yards record. Stranger still, the error was not rectified in American record books until more than thirty years later, when a reprint from an Auckland paper of 1897 was forwarded to T. S. Andrews, publisher, who immediately corrected the error. One reason for the error going so long without correction is that there is no official recognition given the distances under one mile, although in earlier days such walks were common.

The Carsons and Sport.

W. N. Carson, the Auckland scoring machine who batted his way into the New Zealand cricket team to tour England, comes from a family well-known in New Zealand. His mother is one of the Scoullars, of furniture fame. An elder brother, Arthur, went to Canada a few years ago and at Ontario took a prominent interest in the formation and encouragement of Rugby Union football. Associated with several other New Zealanders he had the satisfaction of seeing the game well on the road to gaining popular favour.

Sledging on Wellington Hills.

Ski-ing is rapidly becoming a sport well-patronised in New Zealand, but for the younger generation, lads and lassies not yet in their ‘teens, there is a substitute to be found almost outside the front door. Sledging down the hills in Wellington has been a most popular diversion this summer. The long grass on the slopes of the hills near the Ewart Home (Wellington) has been worn threadbare by the youngsters who count it for nothing to haul a heavy sledge to the top of a steep climb in order that they might have that exhilarating breathless slide down. How the patients at the Ewart Home must envy those youngsters as they watch them enjoy their young lives!

Selectors and Criticism.

Considerable criticism has been meted out to the selectors of the New Zealand cricket team to tour England. It was anticipated and it duly arrived. When any team is chosen, for any sport, some good ones must be left behind, and selectors who prefer to ignore current form and chose a player possessed of the ability but “riding a tough luck trail” are not to be condemned.

When the “All Black” footballers of 1905 sailed they were considered a “very ordinary lot.” They returned as heroes and, to-day, are almost legendary figures. Footballers are gauged nowadays by the standard set by the men who were almost disowned when they left New Zealand on that memorable tour in 1905.

Printed by Ferguson & Osborn, Limited, Wellington. Whole sale Distributors: Messrs. Gordon and Gotch (Australasia) Limited, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Cyril Flett Memorial Trophy.

A trophy in memory of Cyril Flett is to be competed for by cyclists in New Zealand. Flett, who passed away a little more than twelve months ago, never won a New Zealand cycling championship, but in the days following the War he was one of the band of enthusiasts who firmly established amateur cycling in New Zealand. He competed in all the main centres and practically every small town, too. Many a subsequent champion received first instructions in track or road racing from Flett. The memorial trophy is being subscribed for by cyclists throughout New Zealand.

The First Royal Train In New Zealand.

Our cover design this month was prepared from a painting by Mr. W. W. Stewart, of Auckland, and features New Zealand's first Royal train conveying the Duke of Edinburgh from Lyttelton to Christchurch, on the 23rd of April, 1869. The Duke and party (including H.E. the Governor) were met at Lyttelton by His Honour the Superintendent of Canterbury and members of the Provincial Council, the Royal train leaving Lyttelton at 11 a.m. and arriving at Christ church at 11.19 a.m. The train was drawn by No. 4 engine, tastefully decorated with flowers and evergreens, its driver being Mr. J. Dickenson.