24 Mar 2017

Tough as boots

From Country Life, 9:29 pm on 24 March 2017

At the recent NZ Rural Games in Palmerston North, events including olive-stone spitting and egg throwing and catching, along with speed tree climbing, speed shearing and gumboot throwing.

The third annual Hilux New Zealand Rural Games (held in mid-March) "showcased the rural sports that built our nation" says event founder Steve Hollander.

For the past two years, the games have been hosted by Queenstown, but were moved to Manawatu this year because of its strong rural provincial base.

Competitions, many with a trans-Tasman element,  included olive-stone spitting and egg throwing and catching, along with more serious events like speed tree climbing, speed shearing, woodchopping and fencing.

Dame Valerie Adams took out the gumboot championship, but she doubts she'll be attending the World Gumboot Throwing event in Estonia.

At a gala event on the Friday night, world champion and Golden Shears-winning shearer Roland Smith was named NZ Rural Sportsman of the Year and four-time world champion speed tree climber Chrissy Spence took out NZ Rural Sportswoman of the Year.

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