Spud contest shaping up to be very competitive
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.
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.