Olympic medallist keeping party promise
PETER LAMPP AND GEORGE HEAGNEY
It seems Manawatu Olympic bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven is going to carry out his promise of holding his 21st party to which the whole nation is invited.
After the keirin cyclist won bronze in London last month, he said he would have a belated 21st, with an open invitation.
He has now sent out the invites for the party at his mum and dad's estate in the mighty Manawatu, between Palmerston North and Feilding, the weekend before Christmas.
While the entire country is invited, security is expected to be present.
■ The Wellington Phoenix could have a big support crew for their pre-season match against YoungHeart Manawatu in Palmerston North at the end of the month.
The Phoenix supporters club Yellow Fever is organising a bus trip to watch the match and has said it will be a fun-filled day with a few surprises.
People can email email@example.com for a seat and fans will be hoping for a better day than when the Phoenix were last in Palmerston North where they lost 1-0 to Sydney FC on a windy day at FMG Stadium.
■ New Zealand cricket fans will be hoping Manawatu all-rounder Jacob Oram continues his good form from the Sri Lanka Premier League to the Twenty20 world championship which starts in two weeks. His Uva Next team won the final against Nagenahira Nagas by 19 runs on Friday and Oram was named in the tournament team.
Only a late replacement for Wellington's James Franklin, who was called into the New Zealand test team, Oram led the league with 11 wickets at 3.82 runs per over and eight runs per wicket, so hopefully he can get the Black Caps to the pointy end of the world cup.
■ Manawatu had a few players on show in the Heartland Championship match between Wanganui and Horowhenua-Kapiti in Whanganui on Saturday.
After a season playing in Perth, former Feilding High School student Saul Chase played for Wanganui as a player of origin.
Originally from Marton, 19-year-old Chase, who is the son of Wanganui stalwart Kelvin and a former member of the Manawatu Turbos academy, played on the wing during Wanganui's 28-10 win over Horowhenua-Kapiti.
Te Kawau loose forward Hayden Stratford (Horowhenua-Kapiti) and Feilding Old Boys-Oroua prop Gene Ropoama (Wanganui) are already Heartland loan players.
■ We caught up with motor racing drivers Ant Pedersen and Chris Pither at the V8 SuperTourers endurance round at Taupo at the weekend. And how accommodating these young professionals are, so appreciative of any publicity. Pedersen has completed his studies at Massey University and when not racing is an accountant in Hamilton.
He is also contesting the Porsche series in Australia.
Palmerston North lad Pither is running his own V8 utes team in Australia and this week will be testing with an Australian V8 Supercars team for the endurance series there.
■ Auckland rugby might be going through its problems, but money doesn't seem to be one of them.
They charged only $10 for an adult's general admission ticket for the game against Manawatu and kids go into Eden Park for free. Perhaps they just need crowd numbers.
Meanwhile, it's hard to get away from Graham Henry. His eyes keep following you from that life-sized cardboard cutout in The Plaza bookshop.
- © Fairfax NZ News