Batting better than fishing

Palmerston North's George Worker is best known for his cricketing exploits.

But when the Manawatu Standard called on Friday, the new Central Districts batsman, who is leaving Canterbury to return to his roots, was fresh off a fishing boat in Bluff.

Worker was in the deep south visiting his three dairy-farming brothers and new niece. The sub-zero temperatures and choppy ocean stopped them catching any big ones.

■ The MidCentral Vipers rugby league team won't play any national premiership games in Palmerston North this season.

Word is that there are no grounds available in Palmerston North at the standard they need at this time of year. Taranaki has two competition games and a pre-season match, while Wanganui has one. Manawatu has 10 members of the squad and Taranaki 10, while Hawke's Bay don't even get a look-in for a home game with five players.

■ Palmerston North table tennis player Natalie Paterson has plenty of years to get to the Commonwealth Games. Paterson was shortlisted for the Glasgow Games, which start this week, but missed out as the selectors went for a more experienced team, including veteran Li Chunli. Chunli is 52, so Paterson, 21, has decades to catch up.

■ Young Manawatu footballer Karin Ingram will be with some of New Zealand's top sporting talent at the end of the month.

The St Peter's College student, who went to the under-17 World Cup in Costa Rica in March, is one of 10 selected for the Powerade Breakthrough Academy. Athletes get one-on-one mentoring from top national sportspeople and industry experts, including All Blacks players and NBA star basketballer Steven Adams.

■ To publicise our netball stars of the future, we decided to name the Manawatu under-19 players who won the national title at Dunedin last week.

They were: Kiwa Shelford-Salt, Anania Kerehoma-Cook, Renee Te Riini, Emma-May Murray-Fifita, Lilee Stephenson (Manukura); Keturah Manihera (Switch); Hannah Rowe, Megan Webb, Jessica Searle (PNGHS), and Olivia Tilyard (Hawke's Bay).

■ The Massey Maidens rugby team were thumped 88-0 on Saturday, but still came away with the win.

The Maidens lost to heavyweights Kia Toa, who had New Zealand sevens player Crystal Mayes running riot in the backline. But because Kias didn't have a front row, they had to default, but still played a friendly.

■ Palmerston North cycling coach Mike McRedmond even had a bus give way to him in Spain last week.

He's in Girona, about 100 kilometres from Barcelona, to coach Feilding's Jesse Sergent in his lead-up to the Commonwealth Games. With temperatures reaching 38 degrees McRedmond has been been riding the motorbike, pacing Sergent on the wrong side of the road. "There is plenty of traffic but it is amazingly courteous," he said.

■ Feilding equestrian guru Andrew Scott is off to coach the Indian team at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September.

The offer came through Eventing NZ and he will be off to India soon for 10 days where their horses are in quarantine at an army camp in Meerut. India is expected to be a medal chance. Scott once coached the Brazil team to gold at the 1995 Pan American Games.

Manawatu Standard