Plenty of hoopla for big trip
Oscar Baird-Gosling's first trip outside New Zealand is going to be something special - the world golf croquet under-21 tournament in Egypt.
The 20-year-old was selected after attending a national camp with other contenders and will spend eight days in Cairo in mid April.
Baird-Gosling said he was pleased to be selected as it was the last year he was eligible for the under-21s.
"I am really looking forward to it. It is pretty cool and it will be my first time overseas," said Baird-Gosling, who was introduced to the sport at Timaru Boys High School.
While at TBHS he, George Melrose, Benjamin Stewart and Karl Adams won the national secondary school crown.
"I started playing with friends and then went on to join a club," he said.
In between his studies in visual arts at Aoraki Polytechnic and working part-time at Pak'n'Save, Baird-Gosling tries to get on the green as much as possible at the Aorangi Croquet Club.
"I should be here more - it is a time thing."
Baird-Gosling said what attracted him to the game was how tactical it could be.
"There are lots of different kinds of shots and you are allowed to bash people away."
That includes the jump shot.
"It's not cheating but if you can do it you get a real advantage."
The talented player said he also played football but gave it away as he enjoyed croquet more. Baird-Gosling hopes to have some time to look around.
"I am interested in Egyptian history, so it be great to get a look around."
In the meantime he is busy fundraising for his trip which is set to cost around $4000.
Somewhat surprisingly, South Canterbury is a hotbed of young croquet talent.
In 2009 former Waitaki Boys' High School student Duncan Dixon won the inaugural under-21 world championship in Egypt.
Dixon, who has also represented South Canterbury, was part of the New Zealand croquet youth squad, which included Timaru's Jared Keeman and made it through to the third round.
- The Timaru Herald