Talk of your town

Last updated 11:13 11/08/2014
BMX
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JUST RIGHT: BMXers on the Tauranga BMX track that Wil Peck designed.

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A look at what will be making headlines around the Waikato through the eyes of its community newspaper editors. 

Push to have BMX makeover on track for summer

- Teresa Hattan, Matamata Chronicle

After three years in poor condition, Matamata's BMX track might soon be a facility the town can be proud of.

Sport Waikato area co-ordinator Lou Beer said upgrades to the facility are in the pipelines and it is hoped these will be completed by the summer school holidays.

The track will be restored by scooping out the current surface of the track, tweaking the existing structure and resurfacing it with lime.

But Beer now needs BMX riders to show their support for the track by attending a public meeting next Monday, August 18 at 5.30pm at the council offices on Tainui St.

She also needs at least six interested people to put their hand up to form a committee which will be supported by Sport Waikato. If the BMX club could boast at least 20 members to start with, Beer said she would feel pretty confident of council funding to complete the upgrade.

"The council has said to me for them to allocate the funds, which is approximately $20,000, they really need to see that there is community commitment to the club and the facility is wanted, will be used and looked after," she said.

One of the major requirements for this project was a knowledgeable track designer, so the council has commissioned Tauranga-based BMX track designer Wil Peck to draw up plans for the local track's re-design.

Peck has 30 years riding experience and has competed in national and world BMX events. He also has experience in designing BMX tracks. The rider said there was an art to making a good track.

"The Matamata track is built the wrong way around. The takeoff and landings are around the wrong way and the heights are wrong," he said.

The track could not be safely ridden in either direction currently, he said.

School celebrates 100 years

- Petrice Tarrant, South Waikato News

Okoroire makes headlines this week with the town's only school celebrating 100 years since first opening its doors. The centenary, planned for October, is set to be a hit with people from all over the country showing interest in returning.

Meanwhile in Tokoroa the creation of a one stop health shop out of the CBD has had an even bigger impact on retail sales than initially predicted.

At least five business owners on different streets agreed they suffered a 20 per cent drop in sales when all four medical centres and one pharmacy made the shift up town to a dedicated site at Tokoroa Hospital.

Our sport champions

- Steve Edwards, Piako Post

Te Aroha runner Kerry White never stops, even when she's on holiday.

White is back home in Te Aroha, on holiday from the United States, where she landed a university scholarship based on her athletic success.

While back home she competed in the 5km North Island Cross-Country Championships, finishing fourth in field of 50.

She also was second in the 5km Waikato Cross Country Championship.

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The 20-year-old is a former Te Aroha College student and Te Aroha Athletic Club member.

White specialises in the 800m track event and has a four-year scholarship with the University of Wyoming based in the city of Laramie, which she began in January.

She heads back to the USA on Wednesday.

Morrinsville's Steven Christie is representing New Zealand this week in both the Oceania and Australian taekwondo championships in Australia.

The 15-year-old will be competing from Wednesday to Saturday in the under 51kg class and has been training for seven hours a week.

He recently attended a four-day taekwondo intensive training course at Massey University Sport and Rugby Institute in Palmerston North, training with other taekwondo reps from around New Zealand.

A month out, the Morrinsville Country Music Club 2014 Spectacular Show is a total sellout.

Organiser Marilyn Holmes said the evening show and afternoon show on September 6 is sold out.

The show features the Topp Twins, John Grenell and the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band.

Wetlands warrior

- Julie Kaio, North Waikato News

This week we celebrate the success of an environmental project in Island Block where a well-known local farmer has gone that extra mile to protect precious wetlands.

Reporter Frances Ferguson chats to a hip hop talent on tour in Las Vegas with some of the world's best groovers, and an interview with Huntly College staff provides some insight into the school's Gateway project successes.

It's been a big weekend of sport in the North Waikato with the stars of league battling it out on finals day and the historic Vancouver Cup contested in Taupiri - we bring you all the action - and news on which sports club claimed "bragging rights" by becoming 2014 Vancouver Cup victors.

And along with Community Constable Corey's regular update on the local "beat", we feature a story on a Job Club in Huntly providing new skills training to offenders serving a community-based sentence.

Election panel

- Viv Posselt, Cambridge Edition

Cambridge's First XV team - curiously nothing to do with rugby and everything to do with young professionals - organised an election panel last week, but could well be feeling slightly disheartened at the lacklustre response from the public.

No more than a few dozen people showed up at the evening event, which put five prepared questions to politicians (both sitting and hopeful) from National, Labour, the Greens, and ACT.

The First XV, attached to the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce as a networking group for people in the first 15 years of their working life, organised the panel to inspire younger voters to engage with the political process. We plan to bring readers a wrap of the politicians' views.

Also making news this week is a 12-year-old Cambridge science boffin with a predilection for bats who has discovered a rare species of the creatures living here. His findings are stirring interest in the scientific community.

Country music duo Ashley and Michael Tipping are topping the NZ iTunes charts with their new single. Hot on the heels of their return from the States, they are also starting a new country music club with plans to meet regularly in Hamilton.

Cambridge father and son Tony and Taylor Grey are back after competing in the Red Bull Romaniacs extreme enduro race in Europe, where they both put in strong performances in their category.

- Waikato Times

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