Watch out Jacko Gill - here comes Spencer Kirk.
The Aquinas College student has won the right to compete in both shot put and discus at the national secondary schools' athletics event for athletes with disabilities.
Spencer - who falls within the intellectual disability category - finished second in discus and third in shot put at the North Island athletics event.
While he may show prowess in shot put, it is not his favourite event - he much prefers discus and swimming.
Spencer started discus, shot put and swimming while at primary school and still swims twice a week at Baywave. Shot put and discus he practices at college.
He was a recent competitor in both freestyle and backstroke at the Bay of Plenty secondary schools' swimming competition. He was the only competitor with a disability, and received rousing support from a receptive audience.
Spencer's mother, Maree Kirk, says being active in the sporting arena is very important for his general feeling of being involved.
It is good to acknowledge that athletes with disabilities can also be considered budding elite sportspeople, she says.
Meanwhile ... in the Aquinas College sport column last week, the success of the college's Year 7 and 8 girls' cricket team was applauded. While the team included young players, it was the college's first XI girls' cricket team that had done so well.
Congratulations to Jacinta Coleman who was named most promising women's player at the Bay of Plenty Cricket awards.
The football season started over the weekend and our girls played well. The first XI had a bye but the second XI had a good game against Mount College first XI, ending with a 2-2 draw.
We had several teams competing in the Round the Mount relay on Monday.
In the senior girls' division, Isabella Kirk, Casey Blackwell, Stella Marshall and Jessica Bitcheno were in the winning team, Amy Robinson, Bria Merritt, Poppy Thomason and Vivien Conway came second, and Madison Fredheim, Laura Perry, Ala Lockett and Sam Fredheim came third.
The junior girls also did very well, with Kirsty Burrows, Tayla Forward, Naomi Stewart and Rose Baker taking out first place, and Olivia Hines, Erin Conway, Keely Grantham and Samantha Bitcheno coming second.
First week back last week, and we are knee deep in winter sports already!
Swimming: On the last week of term one I took five students away with me to the Bay of Plenty secondary schools swimming champs. What an amazing day! Sapphire Tapsell placed second in 50m junior girls backstroke and 3rd in junior 50m freestyle. Kathryn Bennett came third in the intermediate girls 50m butterfly and third in backstroke and April Forgesson also did well, placing fifth in junior girls 50m butterfly.
Rugby: The boys both had away games last weekend and some tough competition. Our first XV lost to John Paul College and have a bit of work to do before this weekend's game against Taupo Nui A Tia. Our under-15s played hard and stole the game from Bethlehem College winning 48-16.
Our girls had their first game of the season last night and love it. Great to see all that training is paying off.
Football: Football has started with a bang. Our first boys played Tauranga Boys. They were missing a few key midfielders and ended up losing the game. Our second XI played amazingly well against the Mount and won 10-0. Our third XI also played really well, beating Waipuna 8-3.
The girls' first XI faced their toughest opponents Trident High School and lost 7-3 but played a very strong game. Our second XI girls also played really well but lost to Tauranga Girls College. Overall it was a great weekend for football and we look forward to this weekend.
Shooting: The boys have started the season well at the Te Aroha shoot. Max Hales has won the C grade competition while Tony Beaver won the B grade. Great work boys.
Hamish Smith and Liam Smith competed in the Australian surf lifesaving champs, with Hamish winning gold as part of the under-19 men's beach sprint relay team. He previously won gold in the same event at the New Zealand nationals in both the under-19 and open men's age group. Hamish also made the finals in the board race relay while Liam made the final in the under-17 belt race team and came fifth overall.
In volleyball, congratulations to Sophie Te Whaiti and Molly Anning who made the under-17 NZ squad. Molly has been selected in the final 12 who will compete in Christchurch over Queen's Birthday weekend and then to Australia in July for two tournaments. Congratulations also to Beniece Douch and Sally Davenport who have been selected for the under-19 NZ squad and, if selected in the final squad, to Thailand later in the year.
In the BC tennis championships, Analise Wang won the Year 7-8 girls, Henry Nam the Year 7-8 boys, Tyla Gartner the under-14 girls, Anina Van Der Walt the senior girls and Jun Nam the senior boys championships.
Tayla Clement competed in the New Zealand Paralympics open swimming championships and won two golds in the 50m and 100m freestyle and silver in the 200m individual medley. Also in swimming, Ciara Derecourt competed in the Bay secondary schools championships and won the girls' 12-13 age 100m. Arthur Holanda came third in the boys 14-15 100m freestyle.
The College has achieved some good placing in recent Bay schools events.
In golf, the BC team made up of Mitchell Fairweather, Patrick Davenport and Madison Gartner came second in team nett. Mitchell Fairweather came in first in the individual nett.
In equestrian, the team of Kate Shilston, Damantha Morrison, Simone Duggan and Paige Boggis came first. The intermediate girls' team of McKenzie Ball, Freyja Fuller, Jodi Furmage and Mikaela Basson also came first in the Mount relay race.
In the New Zealand track and field champs held in Waitakere, Matthew Connolly gained bronze in the under-18 400m, silver in the under-18 4x100m relay and gold in the under-18 4x400m relay. Luke Davison gained silver in the under-21 high jump and a bronze in the under-21 pole vault. In the Western Bay inter-school triathlon, Dominic Lines Smith came second in the under-13 boys' race.
Winter codes are beginning their season and both the boys' hockey and football teams started with a draw.
Football conceded a goal at the very end of the game to draw 5-5 with Tauranga Boys' second XI in an exciting game of two distinct halves where the elements dictated play. Tom Rutherford was the player of the day.
Boys' hockey managed a 0-0 draw against a club side, while the girls hockey team had a convincing 5-0 win over Trident High School. In rugby, the second XV had an encouraging win against Tauranga BC fourth XV, while the under-15 and under-14 teams went down. - Kelsey Randrup (Bethlehem College sports captain).
Term two winter sports kicked off last weekend with our four rugby teams all posting wins. The first XV scored 65 unanswered points and the under-15s 55. The second XV had a close game against Aquinas, winning 12-5 in the last few minutes of the game and the under-14s had a high scoring match, winning 46-22 against Tauranga Boys 14 B.
The football teams also had a good start with the girls' first XI drawing against Tauranga Girls College mixed second XI team and the boys had a 3-0 win. Netball and hockey starts this week.
Round the Mount relay, hosted and run by Tauranga Girls, was the feature this week with the Mount senior mixed team winning - Sam Durrant, Ashley Cochrane, Tayla Linke and Liam Thomas. The senior boys finished second behind Tauranga Boys, with the Mount runners Sam Durrant, Ross Cowdrey, Tim Neate and Nathan Walker.
In the intermediate girls division our teams finished second and third, with runners Eden Craig, Tayla Linke, Bailee Eastlake, Katie Smith, Kate Miller, Bailee Eastlake, Kaydi O'Connor-Stratton and Alice Walmsley.
In kayak slalom Kaydi O'Connor Stratton competed in the secondary school nationals in Murchison and came away with two individual first places and a second and medalled in three team placings. Kaydi was named best overall under-16 female in the secondary schools.
Congratulations to our newest NZ volleyball team member Tyla Welch in the under-17 team. Making national squads and trialling are Claudia Colenso, Tyla Welch, Franqui Leach (girls' under-19) and Nate Moore, Reece Matier, Jackson Ellis and Paora Tipene (NZ under-17).
With the start of winter sports our first teams have started their programmes, with the rugby first XV losing 25-7 to Auckland Grammar School.
With only two training sessions under Tauranga's belt it was going to be a tough ask to get a win over one of the premier sides of college rugby, Auckland Grammar. Conditions were perfect, but the sandy field was going to be an obstacle that Tauranga would have to overcome.
The game plan was to set a good platform and spin it to the backs. This proved to be ineffective as Grammar had outstanding drift defence. The boys put in a lot of effort with Dan Hollinshead scoring the only points, a try and conversion. Standout player was Connor Silvester who turned a few heads with his turnovers and excellent running with the ball.
The second game for the firsts was a 26-12 loss to Hamilton Boys' High School first XV. Conditions were constantly changing but one part remained constant - the wind. In the first half Tauranga were under the pump with Hamilton keeping Tauranga in their own territory for the majority of the half. This took a lot of energy out of the Hamilton team, which allowed Tauranga to jump at the opportunity to score a try against a tired team. Christian Kelly used his hot stepping on the larger Hamilton players.
Early during the second half coach Jason Spice made the call to bring on some super subs - five of them. This injected a lot of pace and energy to the game leading to George Honey's try underneath the posts. The next 25 minutes was scoreless with the final score 26-12 to Hamilton. Standout player of the day was Mungo Mason with his outstanding ruck play and fierce attitude towards tackling.
In football our first XI lost 3-1 to Claudelands Rovers. This was a tough fixture for the boys and although we lost there were far more positives than negatives. The boys dug their heels in and fought for 90 minutes. For the most part we were able to repel the strength of Claudelands and counterpunch with fluidity.
Despite a new formation, Thomas Taylor provided security in the middle of the park, as did Matt Kilpatrick at left back.
Congratulations to Matt Hansen, Cameron Hayes and Mungo Mason who have been selected for the New Zealand secondary schools waterpolo trials.
Football boys' first XI: The boys team travelled to Aquinas College last Saturday to kick off the season. After a strong pre season game winning 3-1 against Matamata, the boys were keen to continue the winning streak. A set up by Keiran Smorfit put Aaron Robinson in front of goal which he capitalised on to make it 1-0 early. The second half started as the first had finished with Aquinas having to contain the pressure, with Hamish McDonald breaking through their defence to score, putting us up 2-0.
However the game turned with Katikati on the back foot. A superb strike from the Aquinas captain sent the game into overdrive. Luckily the boys were able to hold onto the lead and a hard fought 2-1 win.
Girls' first XI: Katikati took on Otumoetai College in the first game of the season and were happy to pick up a point. The girls played outstandingly in the first half, with goals from Emma Roberts, Brianna Bonner and Emma Shanley-McDonald, with strong defence only letting past one goal for a 3-1 lead.
Second half fatigue caught the girls and we held firm but Otumoetai scored another two goals leaving us with a 3-3 draw.
Well done to Gina Swanney who received player of the day, and the rest of the girls as they played amazingly for the first game together.
Hockey first XI: We played Tauranga Boys College Juniors with only 10 players and won 4- 0. Our outstanding players of the night were Bart Wassink, who scored a hat-trick and goalie Reid Samson, who stopped some great shots on goal. Nick Jones and Mitchell Tidman played brilliantly in their first games ever. The girls' first XI hockey team played their first game of the season against Te Puke second XI on Monday night. With only enough people to field a team the girls played a tough game and fought hard and with about ten minutes to go, a lovely goal was scored by Alice Drake. Due to the great saves from Katie-Louise Alywin, we managed to keep ahead and come out with a 1-0 win.
All winter sports teams are just about all ready to go and start their winter campaigns.
Congratulations to those athletes who are getting themselves involved with a winter sport.
The first XV played Rosehill at home in perfect conditions with a great home crowd supporting. A couple of great tries were scored Tukuroa Ngawhika-Macmillan and captain Mark Nicholls. Mark had an outstanding game.
The rugby under-14s took on Tauranga Boys and had a 32-7 win, scoring six tries. Prop Blake Ireland scored three tries, supported well by Dylan McNeely.
The football first XI boys travelled to Whakatane and played Trident. With a halftime lead of 1-0 the second half proved more difficult for the team finishing with a 4-2 loss.
Our younger developing girls' first XI played Katikati and were happy with a 3-all draw.
Congratulations to Kieran Ngatai who was placed second in the under-13 age group at the BMX nationals in Rotorua.
Our school mountainbiking team competed at the nationals in Levin. Zac Smith was the best performer finishing 17th in the under-14 cross-country, 11th in the hill climb and 12th in the downhill event. Matt Lawton achieved the school's best result with a sixth in the under-15 downhill.
Zak Merton has been selected as the sole New Zealand youth representative to the All Japan Friendship sailing regatta in Tokyo in May. Zak has been selected to sail a Laser 4.7 at the regatta after an extremely successful season sailing his Starling where he won the North Island championships and was placed 6th out of 140 sailors in the nationals, winning the coveted Chris Timms Trophy for the highest placed under 16-year-old.
Julian Bradley has accepted a short term contract to play for the Netherlands under-19 cricket team and will be travelling there immediately.
We wish him well at this elite level of sport.