Another Bishop in Black Sox

But rugby’s his fu­ture

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Te Kahui Bishop has the pedi­gree and is feel­ing the pres­sure.

The ta­lented soft­baller was named in the Ju­nior Black Sox squad af­ter the re­cent un­der-19 na­tion­als.

He did it the long way round, play­ing for Waikato at the na­tion­als as a pick-up player.

His per­for­mances, as Waikato fin­ished third, two places higher than Wellington, caught the eye and he was rapt to get the nod.

‘‘I was happy and ex­cited; it’s my first time get­ting picked for New Zealand and some­thing I’ve wanted since I was lit­tle.

‘‘ I knew [ Ju­nior Black Sox] coach Thomas Makea was look­ing at me, but it was still a good feel­ing to hear your name called out.’’

The name Bishop is syn­ony­mous with soft­ball, es­pe­cially at the high­est level.

Les, Dave, Te Wera and now Te Kahui have all come to na­tional at­ten­tion, and there could be more to fol­low.

Te Kahui said that dur­ing a game a few years ago there were five Bish­ops on the field for Porirua City United.

Does he feel any pres­sure with a sur­name like that?

‘‘ I guess when you go to tour­na­ments or tri­als, peo­ple recog­nise the name. So yeah, there is a bit of ex­pec­ta­tion, but you just have to get out there and do what you have to.’’

The cen­tre fielder is hav­ing an ex­cel­lent sea­son for his Porirua City United pre­mier 1 men’s side. They are on the cusp of the play­offs in the Wellington and in­ter­city leagues.

While clubs like PonekeKil­birnie and Dodgers are seen as the favourites, Bishop said Porirua would hap­pily take dark horse sta­tus into the fi­nals.

A trip to Canada for the ju­nior world cham­pi­onships in June and July would be a valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence, Bishop said, but he could be lost to the sport even­tu­ally.

His other sports pas­sion is rugby and next year he will play for North­ern United, with an eye on a rugby ca­reer.

‘‘For me, soft­ball is all about pas­sion. I grew up play­ing the game and it’s what I love.

‘‘But there’s no money in it, so I need to look at other things.’’

The for­mer Mana Col­lege stu­dent said Wellington soft­ball was very strong at the mo­ment and he was con­fi­dent one of the clubs would push hard for the na­tional club cham­pi­onships in Lower Hutt next month.

Photo: KRIS DANDO

Fam­ily game: Te Kahui Bishop is the lat­est in his fam­ily to earn

na­tional hon­ours.

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