The Spike or Victoria College Review 1942
War has reduced the membership of most sports clubs at V.U.C. Some students have been called up, others excluded sport in favour of all-out cramming for degrees, or home defence activities. The eclipse of Tournament has resulted in a lack of competitive incentive in clubs such as the Athletic and Tennis Clubs. Security regulations have directly caused the Rowing Club and the Defence Rifle Club to cease functioning. The decision of Tournament Committee no to award N.Z.U. Blues—a measure designed to prevent any lowering of standards—has had the unfair result that many sportsmen have not obtained the recognition to which their performances entitled them.
The more cheerful side of the picture shows great enthusiasm among the weakened clubs, especially the winter sports clubs. In the second term Men's and Women's Hockey teams and a Basketball team trevelled to Auckland to participate in a revised version of the annual inter-university hockey tournament. Discussions have been heard concerning the suggested appointment of an Honorary Physician to the Students' Association. Miss Helen McDonald of the Y.W.C.A. has conducted weekly day and evening gymnasium classes which have been attended by about 30 women students.
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A successful innovation has been the co-ed weekly practices of the two Hockey Clubs under the able and enthusiastic coaching of Mr B. B. Hands. The Men's Hockey Club fielded teams in the Senior and Third Grades in the Wellington Championships. In spite of losing several members the Senior team, under the captaincy of E. Raine, ex-Otago player, met with moderate success. In the first Representative match of the season, J. Kiddle and I. Ting played in the Wellington team which defeated Army. The Thirds team has struggled along with several promising young players, some of them new to the game. The team which travelled to Auckland for thepage 31
Winter sports tournament was defeated.
The Women's Hockey Club, fielding teams in the Senior B and Junior Grades, had one of the best seasons for some years. The Senior team was runner-up in its grade championship and had five members gain representative honours—Misses Davidson, D. Pegler, M. Marwick, Russell, and D. Filmer.
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The Basketball team this year consisted, with one exception, of young players new to Senior basketball. Under Miss P. Higgin's coaching they managed to give good account of themselves, and after dominating the game were unlucky to be held to a draw against A.U.C. at the Winter tournament.
The Harrier Club this year celebrated its tenth anniversary with an afternoon tea and teams' race. Many past and present members of the Club were present, as well as the Club's many friends who continue to support and popularise the Club by donating afternoon teas and holding invitation runs. The Sherwood Cup was won this year by David Hefford, with Frank O'Flynn finishing first for the third year in succession. The club entered a team in the Dome Cup race.
Table tennis continues to be played but enthusiasm is not organised and club nights have been irregular. This club has not maintained the promise of its first season three years ago, but perhaps the use of the Gymnasium by Home Defence Units may be partly responsible.
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Reduced from eight teams to three, the Football Club has just managed to carry on. During the season forty-six men played for the First XV and the other teams experienced similar difficulties in fielding a side.
As might have been expected the Seniors were good but inconsistent. Three young forwards in Harris, Caldwell and Grayburn showed much promise, and among the older players, Murphy, Johnson and McLennan were always sound, Murphy capping a great season's play by winning a permanent place in the Reps. At no time during the season did the team meet a back-line equal to the Te Punga —Patrick—Skelley—Swinburn combination, and if Tossman and Hadfield had been regularly available as wingers many more games would have been won. Patrick received Rep. honours and Skelley and Swinburn can only be deemed to have been unlucky. It is a tragedy that players of this calibre should be deprived of their N.Z. Blues.
The second fifteen was a chopping block for the Seniors, but nevertheless performed well. Bennett, Baines and King showed up in the forwards, and Fleming, Richmond and Williams impressed in the backs.
Thanks to the captain, Igglesden, the Thirds battled on manfully and scored some good wins. Igglesden was well supported by Milburn and Todd in the forwards, and Roberts, Paki and Cooper were members of a serviceable back-line in which Macalister proved to be a class five-eighths in the making.
A tribute is due to the outstanding work of the Club Captain, Henry Moore, without whose enthusiasm, skill and tireless efforts the Football Club would probably not have been able to function.
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Petrol rationing, travel restrictions, and the exigencies of Service have prevented the Tramping Club from exploring much new territory, and Sunday trips figure more frequently in the Club's syllabus. The major trips of the year were the attempted winter ascent of Mt. Arete—when the members of the party experienced the second of Wellington's two major earthquakes somewhere near the summit—and a Hutt Forks-Quoin-Alpha traverse.
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Last season the Boxing Club was not active, but one member, M. W. Wishart, would have been unlucky—on his performances at an outside gymnasium—not to win his weight championship if Tournament had been held.
The Swimming Club held weekly meetings whose success was due largely to the support of a contingent from Weir House, A B Grade polo team was the only team to beat the championship winners, despite losing members during the long vacation. In J. Shanahan, winner of the Points Cup and Men's Championship, the Club had an outstanding swimmer who was beaten only by a touch in the Wellington Championships by the New Zealand champion. Enthusiasm was less marked among women club members but a number of promising freshers attended meetings. The Club's two representatives in the Peek Shield harbour race completed the course but were unsuccessful in regaining possession of the Shield, which the Club last held six years ago.
In place of the annual inter-faculty sports the Athletic Club last season held an evening handicap meeting at Kelburn Park, on Tuesday, March 31st. The decision not to hold Tournament, together with the loss of numerous club members, no doubt accounts for the slackening of support for this Club, and training was spasmodic and unenthusiastic. The Club announces that it has appointed a Publicity Officer, so next season we may hope to see the Club "boosted" into its old popularity. Perhaps the moment has arrived for women athletes to be admitted to the Club?
Commencing with a Freshers' Tournament on March 7th, the Tennis Club had a pleasant season of "social" tennis. With no places in Tournament teams to be won, ladder competition was leisurely and uninspired.
All championship events except the Men's Singles were, however, completed with the following results:—
Women's Singles: Nancy Turner.
Women's Doubles: Gladys Rainbow and Pauline Monkman.
Mixed Doubles: Nancy Turner and J. Crawford.
Men's Doubles: J. Crawford and N. Foley.
The Cricket Club fielded teams in the Senior, Second and Fourth grades of the local championships, and had an undistinguished season. Attendance at practices dwindled as the season wore on, and the club's early successes were not maintained. However, to preserve three out of the five pre-war teams is in itself an achievement and the Club has no reason for dissatisfaction.