Spud con­test shap­ing up to be very com­pet­i­tive

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DAVID HULME

Mata­mata school­boy Kee­gan Wise is look­ing to give his more sea­soned com­pe­ti­tion a run for their money in this year’s Ro­tary Mata­mata Spud in a Bucket chal­lenge and he is aim­ing for the top.

‘‘I want to beat (two-time de­fend­ing cham­pion) Peter Thissen,’’ the 15- year- old Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dent said in the lead-up to this year’s weigh-in.

Wise has won the ju­nior sec­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion for the past two years and was fourth over­all with last year’s ef­fort of more than 4kg.

This year, his spud grown to dwarf him

.‘‘I hope there are heaps of pota­toes un­der­neath and it is not all top,’’ the young chal­lenger said.

‘‘I have been look­ing af­ter it and wa­ter­ing it ev­ery few days but not too much – a lot of the work went into pre­par­ing to plant.’’

The weigh-in for the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion, now in its ninth year, will be held at Rail­side by the Green on Tues­day, March 3 from 5.15pm.

De­fend­ing two-time cham­pion Peter Thissen is look­ing to win for an un­prece­dented third time but it looks like he will face stiff com­pe­ti­tion.

Ro­tary Mata­mata pres­i­dent Owen Farmilo said it was very pleas­ing to have young­sters in­volved in the event.

‘‘ Orig­i­nally the con­test be­gan as an in­ter- ser­vice clubs’ event be­tween Ro­tary, Li­ons and Ki­wa­nis but hav­ing opened it up to young peo­ple and lo­cal busi­nesses has

has re­ally breathed new life into the event,’’ Farmilo said.

‘‘We are thrilled that school chil­dren want to take part and learn the tech­niques for grow­ing veg­eta­bles, al­beit in a rather quirky man­ner.’’

Along with mem­bers of the three ser­vice clubs, this year’s event has at­tracted en­tries from a num­ber of lo­cal busi­nesses in­clud­ing ASB Bank, West­pac and Sin­cer­ity Dryclean­ers.

More than 120 buck­ets were sold for this year’s event, with com­peti­tors plant­ing their seed potato dur­ing Labour Week­end.

Pro­ceeds from

the an­nual char­i­ta­ble com­pe­ti­tion will go to a num­ber of projects sup­ported by Ro­tary Mata­mata.

And now with un­der a week of grow­ing time left, Wise does not have long to wait to see whether youth and en­thu­si­asm has top­pled ex­pe­ri­ence and age.


CHAL­LENGE: Mata­mata school­boy Kee­gan Wise is hop­ing to chal­lenge the top prizes in this year’s Ro­tary Mata­mata Spud in a Bucket com­pe­ti­tion.

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