13 Aug 2012

Shearing won't be an Olympic sport - Fagan

6:45 am on 13 August 2012

The man who headed the New Zealand shearing sports organisation for the past nine years says it's unrealistic to expect that shearing could ever be recognised as an Olympic or Commonwealth Games event.

John Fagan, a former Golden Shears champion who stepped down as chairman of Shearing Sports New Zealand last week, says competitive shearing and wool handling is very strong in this country and gets good support from the sport and recreation funding body Sparc.

But he says shearing doesn't have the international profile to make it as an Olympic sport.

Mr Fagan says realistically shearing is a minor sport within an industry, and although it is done in a lot of countries, it's not at the same level as in New Zealand.

He says there are competitions in countries like South Africa, Britain, Norway and Australia but New Zealand has the most by far.

"I get often asked why we're so good at what we do," Mr Fagan says. "It's just a simple matter of we shear so many, we shear about 30% of the Australian flock as well, and a lot of our New Zealand transient shearers go over there for the seasons and come back here."