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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 8 (November 2, 1936)

Panorama of the Playground — Australian Surf And Life-Saving Team To Visit New Zealand

page 57

Panorama of the Playground
Australian Surf And Life-Saving Team To Visit New Zealand.

Something in the nature of a real treat for New Zealanders is promised this summer; something of a sporting and—more important—educational nature. New Zealand is to be honoured by the visit of an Australian Surf-and-Life-Saving team. How many times have we sat in the gloom of a movie-theatre and thrilled at the masterly marching, marvellous physique and healthy appearance of the surf-teams parading on Bondi Beach? And soon the opportunity of seeing Australia's best surf-men in action will be given New Zealanders. We in New Zealand have a great heritage in our beaches and sometimes insufficient thought is given the self-sacrifice of time and pleasure of those who voluntarily patrol the surfing sections. But are the Australian surfers better than our own local product? The test will come at the New Zealand Surf and Life-Saving championships which will be held at Lyall Bay on February 13th and 14th.

The Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games movement has been termed “The International Brotherhood of Sport,” and supporters of the ideals of the Olympic gatherings have claimed that there is more likelihood of everlasting peace being attained through international sport than by any political pacts.

An amazing example of what attitude can be adopted towards the Olympic is given in “The Amateur Athlete,” the official publication of the American Amateur Athletic Union. Here is an extract from an article:—

“Germany, which came along so tremendously in the 1936 Olympics, already is preparing assiduously for the 1940 Games in Tokyo.

“Four special airships have been ordered to be constructed, so that athletes will be transported to far-off Japan in three days instead of three weeks.

“In addition, all firms with eight employees or more are establishing funds to send a number of workers to the Olympics in Japan. Germany expects to have 25,000 followers at the Games in Japan.

“Incidentally, the Games cost Germany 775,000,000 marks. Originally the Organising Committee had only asked for 18,000,000 marks. Even as to the original amount there was a divided opinion between the mass and specialist groups as to whether Germany should go ahead.

“Chancellor Hitler, however, asked for the figures on what a single battleship cost and was informed that the price was approximately 1,000 million marks. Whereupon he declared that the Olympics were worth more than a single battleship and should be done up in style. He reconciled both groups and the drive was on.

“The upshot has been an unbelievable athletic renaissance in Germany.”

Our Maori Race in Sport.

New Zealand can never hope to organise athletic exercises on the same grand scale as that which characterised the 11th Olympic Games, but there is one matter in which a little attention may bring forth bounteous results. I refer to the encouragement, the proper systematic encouragement of the Maori race in sport.

In Rugby football the prowess of the Maori players needs no stressing, but what has been done by our coloured brothers in Rugby fields could easily be eclipsed in other branches of sport.

A certain amount of organisation has been done by the swimming authorities, and the rise to the forefront of Billy
(Photo., E. W. Rich). One of the ever popular Christchurch excursion trains passing through Cora Lynn Station, South Island, New Zealand.

(Photo., E. W. Rich).
One of the ever popular Christchurch excursion trains passing through Cora Lynn Station, South Island, New Zealand.

Whareaiti and the juvenile star, Nawe Kira, should serve to impress on officials the real talent available. Maoris are at home in the water, and what a great advertisement it would be for the Dominion if New Zealand could send a fully representative team of Maori competitors to the Olympic Games in Japan in 1940.

Four years hence! Four years soon pass by and before we know it the Games will be here again. In the meantime there is room for organisation in sport.

What the swimming world can gain by encouraging the Maori competitors applies equally as forcibly to the track and field section. Maoris are blessed with that mysterious “something” that eludes most European athletes—balance and rhythm. Watch a Maori compete in the hop-step-and-jump and you will see the perfect example of timing and synchronisation. Even if he has never had ten minutes of instruction he will have an advantage over the other competitors. Many years ago I saw Maori athletes getting within a short distance of the New Zealand record for the hop-step-and-jump—and they were jumping without any assistance from spiked shoes!

Will New Zealand be Represented?

There is a chance that field hockey at the Olympic Games will see New Zealand representation for the first time. To assist in securing funds for the sending of a team it is suggested that a small levy be made on each player in the Dominion. This step was adopted by amateur athletes in New Zealand many years ago and the shillings soon amount to pounds.

When the New Zealand cricketing authorities lost a considerable sum of money as the result of bad weather page 58 conditions during the tour of New Zealand by the English cricket team last summer, it was thought that the projected tour by an Indian team would more than recompense the Associations for the losses. However, State and private business have prevented the tour from being gone on with and a cricketing treat has been—temporarily, it is hoped—denied New Zealanders. But the visit of the English team to Australia in search of the “Ashes” will be of more than passing interest to New Zealanders because the Englishmen will tour these shores after completing their programme in Australia.

A New Zealand Pole-Vaulter.

One of New Zealand's most promising pole-vaulters, M. V. Blake, who won the National and New Zealand University Championships last season, has left New Zealand to link up with the Royal Air Force in England. Blake may come under the eye of Captain F. A. M. Webster, well-known athletic coach and father of Dick Webster, English champion pole-vaulter, in which case he will be fortunate. Captain Webster has a soft spot in his heart for New Zealanders and played a big part in the improvement made by Stan. Lay in throwing the javelin. Under Webster's tuition, and within a fortnight, Lay added twenty feet to his previous best javelin throwing figures!

A Hearty Welcome for Lovelock.

New Zealand will soon be entertaining Jack Lovelock, her first Olympic track and field victor. Lovelock has come a long way to say “Hello” to his folk—has, perhaps, competed in his last race—and is assured of a hearty welcome. There is a chance that he will return in the future to take up an important Government appointment having to do with the welfare of the physical condition of young New Zealanders. New Zealand has on many occasions been accused of failing to offer remunerative positions to her Rhodes Scholars on the completion of their studies, with the result that they have been compelled to accept positions abroad. In Lovelock's case it seems that something may be done to atone for past errors.

Overcrowded Tennis Clubs.

A problem to be faced with the introduction of the 40-hour, five-day week, is that of finding sufficient space to carry the number of people who desire to participate in outdoor sport. In particular does this apply to tennis. Take Wellington as an example. It is almost impossible to link up with a tennis club—there's no vacancies in the waiting lists and few vacant sections (except on the sides of the hills) where courts may be built. The Municipal courts at Miramar, many miles from the City, are crowded every week-end and would-be players willingly—more or less, but willing all the same—await their turn to get a game. The same applies in the winter to golf. With the introduction of Daylight Saving and now the 40-hour week, our political administrators have set a problem which will have to be faced—where are the citizens going to spend their leisure?

New Zealand has been well to the fore in the cables during recent months. What with Lovelock winning at the Olympic Games, Clouston occupying a prominent position—at one stage—in the Johannesburg air race, and Jean Batten setting new figures for the England to Australia air route these little islands have been in the limelight.

“Bai Jove, old thing, your cigarettes are weally top-hole, doncheknow.” Thus the young new chum in the plus-fours to his friend in the opposite corner of a first-class “smoker.” “Ya as, weally, honah bwight. Where chew say you bought them, deah boy?” “I didn't buy them. I roll them myself.” “Not weally? Then what's your tobacco, old chappie, if I may ask? I'd like so much to get some, donchew-know.” “No difficulty about that,” smiled his cobber. “Any tobacconist will supply you. Ask for a tin of River-head Gold. It's one of the toasted brands.” “Well, I've nevah smoked any cigarette tobacco that I like bettah.” “There isn't any better, Algy,” replied his friend. “But why toasted, old man?” “Toasting eliminates the nicotine, so you get a clean, fresh and fragrant smoke. Harmless, too. Also cheap. I can make ten full-sized cigarettes for 4d.” Just fancy! “Buy moah toasted brands, old sport?” “Yes, four, Desert Gold (another splendid toasted blend), and three for the pipe, Cavendish, Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), and Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead).”*