Pupils gear up for Pic­ton Cup pa­rade

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID JAMES

‘‘It’s great to in­clude schools that are out­side the town cen­tres. They were so happy to get the flag and are very proud of Team New Zealand and Joseph, of course.’’

A spe­cial wel­come for Pic­ton’s own Joseph Sul­li­van and his Amer­ica’s Cup-win­ning team­mates has been signed, ‘sailed’ and de­liv­ered.

Pri­mary school pupils across Marl­bor­ough have been scrib­bling mes­sages of sup­port and con­grat­u­la­tions on a large do­nated sail, ready to be handed over to the rowing stars when they ar­rive in Pic­ton next week.

Team New Zealand is plan­ning a pa­rade of the town on Oc­to­ber 12, ar­riv­ing on the 5.55pm ferry be­fore a po­lice es­cort through the streets.

Pic­ton is the only town in the top of the south to get a pa­rade, partly down to its past sup­port for 2012 Olympic gold medal­list Sul­li­van.

While Sul­li­van may have at­tended Queen Char­lotte Col­lege, in Pic­ton, pa­rade or­gan­is­ers said it was im­por­tant all schools in Marl­bor­ough were part of the cel­e­bra­tions.

The sail, do­nated by KJL Sails, had made its way from Pic­ton all the way to the Wairau Val­ley, west of Blen­heim, where pupils fought for what lit­tle white space there was left on the once clean sail.

Wairau Val­ley School was the last stop for the sail and ru­ral coun­cil­lor Cyn­thia Brooks said it was good to ‘‘share the love’’ around the schools.

‘‘It’s great to in­clude schools that are out­side the town cen­tres. They were so happy to get the flag and are very proud of Team New Zealand and Joseph, of course.’’

Pic­ton Smart and Con­nected mem­ber Chrissy Powles­land said the sail was so pop­u­lar KJL Sails had to do­nate a sec­ond one.

‘‘By de­fault, we’ve touched the hearts of 4000 kids in Marl­bor­ough with this sail,’’ Powles­land said.

‘‘We ran out of room on the first sail so Kevin Lux­ton and his team [at KJL Sails] do­nated a sec­ond flag to us. Which has been amaz­ing.’’

Powles­land had been in touch with Team NZ and said they wanted to mix and min­gle with their fans in Pic­ton.

‘‘They re­ally want it to be a town event.’’ Powles­land said the route was sim­ple, af­ter the team ar­rived on the ferry about 6am.

‘‘They will get a po­lice es­cort when they ar­rive at the po­lice sta­tion, and that’s where the pa­rade’s go­ing to start.

‘‘Then down High St, and down Lon­don Quay to fin­ish up on the fore­shore.’’

The three schools in Pic­ton - Queen Char­lotte Col­lege, Pic­ton Pri­mary and Waikawa Pri­mary – had planned a kapa haka and po¯whiri for the team. Young sailors from the Queen Char­lotte Yacht Club would hold the sails dur­ing the pa­rade, be­fore giv­ing them to Sul­li­van.

‘‘This is not just a Pic­ton event, it’s a Marl­bor­ough event,’’ Powles­land said. ‘‘And Team NZ is re­ally look­ing for­ward to see­ing all the kids who signed the sail for them.’’

PHOTO: DAVID JAMES/STUFF

Pupils from Wairau Val­ley School are ready for Thurs­day’s Amer­ica’s Cup pa­rade in Pic­ton. Cyn­thia Brooks, coun­cil­lor

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