England on Sunday was a great place to be for sport with both the men's Wimbledon final and the Cricket World Cup final on at the same time and in the afternoon rather than losing sleep back in New Zealand.

The only problem was the constant use of the remote switching between two enthralling contests. Although both results did not go the way I would have liked the action unfolding was both thrilling and exhausting.

Prior to the finals I had missed much of the earlier rounds as I was travelling often in remote areas of Scotland where reception was often limited although back at my brother's base I was able to catch up on replays after my brother had reviewed the day's cycling in the Tour de France.

One piece of recorded action was a highlights package from the World University Games in Naples Italy.


The first piece of action on screen featured former Whanganui Collegiate athlete Max Attwell in the decathlon. Attwell should be delighted with his personal best score of 7420 points that brought him a highly creditable 4th place fully justifying his selection. Attwell has made steady progress in this demanding event with a series of personal bests in major competitions. The event was won by USA-based Aaron Booth who also set a best and edges ever closer to 8000 points.

The New Zealand Athletics team leader is former Whanganui athlete Scott Newman who still holds both the Collegiate 110m hurdle and high jump records, the latter an impressive 2m set back in 1987.

I had hoped to feature more of the university games, but their website has been far from easy to access for results although I am pleased to see the women's 4 x100m team take bronze, a very real boost to the developing relay programme.

I have been kept up to date on Whanganui athletes via text messages and email. Amongst the emails was some excellent news regarding the New Zealand Schools Cross Country team to the Australian Championships in Wollongong in late August.

New Zealand Schools have for over a decade been sending a team to the Australian Championships and over that decade several Whanganui athletes have had the opportunity to wear the black singlet.

The top 12 athletes in the senior boys and senior girls earn the right to travel and selectors can add athletes when those invited turn down the opportunity. In making additions the selectors consider that athletes compete in two age grades (under 18 and under 20) and try to ensure there is balance in these grades.

Whanganui Collegiate Year 11 athlete George Lambert finished 13th in the senior boys race with an outstanding effort following injury that curtailed much of his early build up. Lambert has received the good news that he has been added to the team winning a well deserved first New Zealand selection.

I heard the good news from his sister Sarah who had already been selected. Sarah also told me that she has been named as team captain and that her teammate Andres Hernandez has been named as boy's captain.


At time of writing I am not sure whether Rebecca Baker has accepted her invitation to be part of the team. Baker was in the team last year and was an automatic selection this year following her 8th position in Timaru at the New Zealand Schools Championships in June. I have attempted to confirm whether her hockey commitments have allowed her to travel for her second international experience and whether she can repeat her highly successful debut last year on the Sunshine Coast.

It is pleasing that Whanganui is again so well represented in the New Zealand Schools team with Whanganui Collegiate providing both team captains and the aforementioned George Lambert and the well-performed Liam Back. I hope Baker (Whanganui High School) is also travelling to provide a record five team members (over 20 per cent of the full team).

I look forward to catching up with some former athletes at Josh van Dalen's wedding this weekend in Madrid before the long flight home. I did meet former captain Georgie Blackwood who was part of the Collegiate team that represented New Zealand in Slovakia in 2010. She is still playing hockey at a high level in the UK and was anticipating a 5km run this week.