AS I SEE IT (11 March)

ancient mariner

By Terry O’Neill.

Hot arid conditions may push humans into out-of-character behaviour.

This is well-documented in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s graphic 18th century poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” in which the albatross which guided the ship out of stormy waters was blamed for the it’s  becalming. The ancient mariner shot the albatross, his crew died all around him, and he paid the penalty by the albatross being hung around his neck. A situation, one would think is a long way from a dry and dusty Weston Park sports ground.

To the ancient mariner in the doldrums all he could see was “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink”.

The Valley cricketers and rugby players would agree whole heartedly, although it’s not the potability of the water that’s worrying them, it is its availability. The extremes of dry weather created a playing surface almost resembling concrete. It is ironic to note that the main oval also has drainage difficulties and is about to have its drainage system restructured.

The problem facing the Valley Sports Club as it caters for a multitude of players in summer and winter, is its inability to irrigate the surfaces which have reached the stage of being unofficially classified as “dangerous”, especially for contact sport.

Apparently local illegal water users, recently identified, have contributed to the problem and now must use the water registers or measures to monitor the flow to their properties.

To some the Waitaki District Council has become the ogre because this sports ground is under its umbrella. The WDC has demonstrated its willingness to cooperate with sports groups. This was illustrated in practice, particularly in the recent Hawke Cup cricket challenge between North Otago and Hawkes Bay, when it came to the party prior to the game and poured an estimated 650,000 litres of water onto Milner Park, cricket’s temporary main ground while a new ground and block is being developed at Centennial Park.

Hopefully Weston Park, which will be out for the next three weeks, will be able to benefit from a satisfactory solution to its predicament.

The worst scenario for the club, or the WDC, would be for OSH to step in and close the grounds because of this condition.

Doses of aqua pura. That’s all.

Bic Runga, Tim Finn and Dave Dobbyn have the solution in their song, “YOU JUST ADD WATER”.

Another magnificent cause for celebration in North Otago! An amazing array of talented young sportspeople was on display as the sporting awards were announced on Monday   evening.New Zealand under 19 cricketer Nathan Smith took the major award,Supreme Sportsperson of the Year.At the other end of the age spectrum Bruce”Bruiser” Rowland was deservedly awarded the Denis Birtles Memorial Award for his forty years of rugby refereeing. A great night amidst a galaxy of talent.


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