Shear­ing sug­gested for Olympics

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

When think­ing of sheep shear­ing, the words elite sport don’t im­me­di­ately come to most peo­ple’s mind.

New Zealand’s Fed­er­ated Farm­ers is hop­ing this will one day change with the push for shear­ing to be­come the next big Olympic sport.

Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Meat and Fi­bre chair­woman Jean­nette Maxwell said shear­ing was a sport that de­served in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion and had po­ten­tial to be­come a demon­stra­tion sport at the Com­mon­wealth Games, or even, the Olympics.

‘‘I can tes­tify to the phys­i­cal ef­fort shear­ing takes. Peo­ple like Ivan Scott, Ker­riJo Te Huia and our world cham­pi­onships team are ath­letes who take it to an­other level.’’

Maxwell said com­pet­i­tive shear­ers clipped up to 700 sheep over an eight- hour pe­riod, in a feat that had been likened to run­ning two marathons back-to-back.

Ear­lier this month, Ir­ish­man Ivan Scott sheared 749 lambs in eight hours to beat the pre­vi­ous solo lamb shear­ing world record, while New Zealan­der Kerri-jo Te Huia sheared 507 lambs in the same time to claim the women’s world record.

The idea was first sug­gested by Sports Shear Aus­tralia in 2008 but the Aus­tralian Sports Com­mis­sion re­jected it in 2009.

The shear­ing world cham­pi­onships will be held in Master­ton in March.

SOLID GOLD SPORT: Ivan Scott dur­ing his record-break­ing shear­ing ef­fort.

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