The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July 1, 1938.)
Panorama of the Playground — Losses To New Zealand Sport
The popularity of the Air Force in New Zealand is having an interesting-effect on New Zealand sport. Virile young men, representing the cream of the nation are linking up with the Service and will sooner or later go to England to complete their training. With their departure will go some of the most promising sportsmen in the Dominion.
J.’ D. Carmichael, one of New Zealand's outstanding sprinters, Colin Cameron, the most promising miler I have seen since Jack Lovelock, and Johnny Hamilton, a hurdler rapidly nearing the top-flight, have left for England in recent months, and more are to follow. M. V. Blake, New Zealand pole vault champion a few seasons ago, has been in England for eighteen months and has already won the pole vaulting championship of the Royal Air Force. Of Cameron I have high expectations-if he finds time to train for the one mile. A product of Timaru, as yet not a tactician, Cameron appealed to me as a fine prospect when I saw him training last season, and it will not surprise me if he takes up Lovelock's mantle before another three years have passed.
In Christchurch the Air Force Rugby team is a force to be reckoned with in the senior competition. Coached by New Zealand and Wellington representative, J. A. Mackay,’ the team of young aviators is moulding into a formidable combination. Few of these players will be left in New Zealand by the time the next season comes. Our loss will be England's gain.
Boom in Boxing.
After several shaky starts the boom in boxing seems at last to have arrived. At the present time there are more visiting boxers in New Zealand than there have been for many years, and with the rapid advancement made by our own boxers the standard of boxing is high. Filipino boxers have ever appealed to New Zealanders, who remember the fistic ability of Jamito and Young Gildo. The arrival of another Filipino, Dommy Ganzon, was timely. In his first two matches-for a win and a loss-he impressed by clever boxing and an ability to hit with terrific force. He is the right weight to test out New Zealand's novo-professionals.
Clarrie Marshall, George Allen and Jack Davis, are three of this season's professional boxers who seem destined to go a long way in the ring sport.
Hockey in New Zealand.
By the time this article appears in print New Zealanders will have seen the Indian and British Women's Hockey teams in action. Although the Indian team comprises men from one State, and is merely a club and not a national representation, the early indications were that the standard would be up to the high one set by the other two teams sent from India. Hockey is a sport at. which Indians excel and in Olympic hockey competition India has never suffered defeat-nor have her teams been hard-pressed.
With this knowledge in view it might be possible to get a comparison of New Zealand's chances in Olympic hockey competition. Should New Zealand teams, with little or no team practice, hold the present team of Indians to close matches, or defeat it, there is reason to anticipate New Zealand hockey players doing well at the Games. Hockey-as is the case in other team sports-is a game where combination plays a big part, and whenever New Zealand hockey teams have played in Australia they have done so with credit. Should New Zealand decide to have hockey representation at the Olympic Games in 1940 I would suggest that a preliminary selection be made next season, and that the “possibles” be brought together for match play. At the worst it seems to me that New Zealanders could take second place to India-there does not seem to be a nation capable of extending the players from that country.
Hockey for women is not included in the Olympic programme, but in the limited opportunities the women players of New Zealand have had against visiting teams the local standard has been high. It is the ambition of the New Zealand Women's Hockey Association to have representation in the International Hockey Tournament. Last year this tournament was held in America, and the showing made by the Australian team proved that New Zealand has the right type of players to put our hockey skill on the roll.
Mixed Teams on Tour.
Reference to the fact that there is no hockey for women on the Olympic programme brings up the discussion recently held by the New Zealand Amateur Athletic Association over the question of sending mixed teams abroad. In the past New Zealand has sent six women to Olympic Games and from a competitive point of view there have been no complaints. The difficulty of managing mixed teams-when no manager has been sent in special charge of the feminine section-has been obvious, but at the Empire Games, when Mrs. E. G. Sutherland was sent as a chaper-one-the first occasion the Olympic and Empire Games Association has been financially responsible for a chaperone- the difficulties were not caused by the feminine members. The difficulties, it is understood, were caused by the relatives who were not officially attached to the team.
Women competitors in swimming and track and field sport are the means of attracting large attendances, and rightly claim the equal right of selection in New Zealand teams. During the progress of the Empire Games it became obvious that the principal attraction at that great gathering was Miss Decima Norman. In a slightly smaller degree, Miss Shona Oliphant was the outstanding personality at the New Zealand track and field championship meeting last season. Should such an outstanding competitor be denied representative honours it would be a penalty not deserved by the excellent type of feminine athletes New Zealand possesses. The page 62 remedy would seem to be the appointment of a capable chaperone-manageress who would have charge of the feminine section of the team.
The “Pocket Battleship” in Dock.
Popular New Zealand Rugby representative, B. S. (“Joey”) Sadler, who earned the name of the “Pocket Battleship” for his gallant play while abroad with the All Blacks of 1935, has had several operations in an effort to repair the injured leg he sustained while playing a club match shortly before the trial matches last season. A delicate operation, necessitating the cutting and rejoining of nerves in the leg, was performed in May, and Sadler's legion of friends hopes that a complete recovery will be effected. Rumour hath it that Sadler is to join the Air Force.
N.Z. Centennial Exhibition Sports.
Preliminary plans have already been made for the staging of monster sports attractions in conjunction with the N.Z. Centennial Exhibition. Committees have been formed to arrange dates so that there will not be any clashing of fixtures and valuable spade work has been put in to ensure the success of the sporting side of the celebrations.
Visiting athletes and swimmers are certain to be featured, and there is a possibility that a combined Oxford-Cambridge Rugby team will also be visiting New Zealand. The Californian Rugby Football Board has contacted the New Zealand Rugby Union and has suggested that a team from California visit New Zealand in 1940. Unfortunately, the standard of Rugby is not high in California and such a visit might not be a success.
Big Future for Wrestling.
Confirmation of the proposed visit to New Zealand of Dean Detton, former holder of the world wrestling title, has been received. With Detton assured, Steele returning to New Zealand, and the winner of the Ngurski-Londos world title match being contacted with an offer of £7000 for a title match in New Zealand the indications are that New Zealanders are going to see wrestling of an exceptionally high standard. Original plans called for a title match with Lofty Blomfield, New Zealand champion, as one of the principals, but with the talent available it will not occasion any surprise if the Dominion of New Zealand Wrestling Union orders an elimination tourney, with the winner to meet the champion.
Cricket and the Game.
When an Englishman says that a thing “is not cricket,” he epitomises something that cannot be expressed in columns of space.
“It's not cricket,” has become part of every true Englishman's creed in life, but … the good old game of cricket is in danger of falling from its high place.
On his third visit to New Zealand, Barry Coulfield arrived by the “Akaroa” on 16th June to take up the position as instructor in charge of the Mount Cook Ski School during the coming winter sports season. He is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts in the art of ski-ing and has done much to raise the standard of that art in New Zealand.
The headmaster of Wellington College (England) speaking on School Speech Day stated that cricket was not an ideal game because too many participants spent the greater part of the day sitting in the pavilion watching other players scoring runs, and then went on the field to disgrace themselves by missing an easy catch!
Many cricketers will agree that the headmaster has summed up the game in a few words, but has overlooked the team spirit which makes or mars a cricket eleven.
“Play up, play up, and play the game!“-that's as British as the Empire and it's cricket.