© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

Brewed for Sport: Vol 3

Maia Williamson

Sport in New Zealand never stops coming. It was hard to pick what exciting things to chat about, but this weeks lineup was stacked.

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Graphic Created by Maia Williamson

Day One: Crusaders Playoffs Hopes Stay Alive

I have been far too harsh on the Saders so early. Few weeks ago, I claimed they were a write off. But a surprise 27-29 win on home turf against the Blues has kept our chances alive. We need Friday’s win against Moana Pasifika to go our way (editor’s note: we got it done), as well as a win for the Rebels over the Drua. With this glistening hope still around, I wanted to know how patriotic my HBC co-hosts were, so I posed the question “Would you put $500 of your own dollars on the Crusaders to make the playoffs?” They both said it was a risk they weren’t willing to take. Is this fair? Only time will tell.

Day Two: Julian David is a Freak

When he was 14, Canterbury local Julian David fell out of a tree and broke his wrist. Now, we’ve all been here before right? The injury angst, you just want to get out and about, climb a wall or something. So, he did just that. Up on the walls he climbed to cure his boredness, only to find out he had quite the knack for it. One thing led to another, Julian David is now a 19 year old speed wall climber Junior World Champion. Impressed? Just wait. He is heading to the Olympics later this year to compete. It seems hard to believe! His PR for a 15m vertical wall sprint is 5.6 seconds, the world record being 4.798. Julian being so young means he’s got years and years to perfect the skill. Follow along Julian’s journey in Paris later this year. 

Day Three: Celtics Are Getting a Chip

The Celtics had one of the easiest playoff runs I’ve seen in a few years. Finished our ECF with a 4-0 sweep on Tuesday thanks to a clutch trey money bucket ball from D White - winning the game 105-102. Dallas Mavs won their playoff series 4-1, so the final is set. Currently, Celtics are on a heater - 7 straight playoff wins, 6-0 on the road and 3-0 in elimination games. I don’t think we can be stopped, but maybe I’m biased. The Hot Brew Crew all went out on a limb and put $50 on our predictions. Sam guessed Mavs in 5, Aidan said Mavs in 6, and I said Celtics in 5. Can’t wait to win $150!

Day Four: Lexi Thomson Retires From Golf

15 time LPGA tour winner Lexi Thomson has retired from full-time golf at age 29. What an epic career she has had, first qualifying for the 2007 US Women’s Open at Pine Needles at just 12 years old, and winning her first LPGA tour at age 16. Because she has been in professional golf for so long, her mental health started to take a toll. Lexi said it “can be lonely” and that “a lot of people don’t realize what we go through as a professional athlete.” It was becoming more and more difficult for Lexi to show up and show out for everyone all the time. “We’re doing what we love. We’re trying the best every single day… We’re humans. Words hurt. It’s hard to overcome sometimes.” Lexi is looking forward to branching out and enjoying other things, which is what she deserves. Lexi’s bravery to step away from the sport that she loves is a great lesson to us all. Your health is more important than a sport could ever be, and if it is overwhelming you, it’s important to look after yourself. Being vulnerable and talking about these things is especially essential. If you’re struggling and need somebody to talk to, go to depression.org.nz or call the helpline on 1737. Look after yourself and your health!

Day Five: Rome is Burning!

Last year, David Pilikington, a former Fonterra executive released a 134 page report suggesting that NZ rugby needed to make some changes. He said their model was “no longer fit for purpose in the modern era.”  (Kind of valid, yes or no?) Two proposals were put forward  in response. NZ rugby put forward a proposal to implement some of the review recommendations. Counter to that, a bulk of the franchises (Cantabs included) put Proposal 2 forward, suggesting that the new board has 3 of it’s 9 directors with some previous provincial board experience, because they understand grassroots and have some clue on financial and governance skills.

A meeting on Thursday 30th May saw Proposal 2 win with flying colors… and s**t has hit the fan. It’s igniting a ‘civil war’ in NZ rugby. Rob Nichol, head of players association, has threatened to walk along, and in turn have a bulk of players do so too. He believes that provinces are trying to land grab control of NZ rugby. However, Canterbury rugby chairmen Peter Winchester claims that the provinces want to help rugby unite! 

There doesn’t seem to be a truce in sight for NZ Rugby at the moment. Some even say this is the most significant thing to happen the sport in NZ since the game turned pro late 1955. It’s going to be very interesting to see how this all unfolds.