The North Canterbury Athletics Club had a team of 21 athletes competing at the South Island Colgate games from the 16th-19th January. The new home of Canterbury athletics, Nga Puna Wai, hosted the 2020 games, which attracted close to 1000 under 14 athletes, from across the South Island, along with a few North Island participants, and a team of Queensland development athletes. The under 10’s were competing for ribbons and pennants in non-graded divisions, whilst the 10-14 year olds were aiming for podium places in their track and field events.
On a blustery and cool day one, the 13th grade mixed medley team of Xanthe Jane, Aaron Reavill, Mya Phillips, Pippa Baker, and Harrison Bint, won North Canterbury’s first gold medal of the games, finish six seconds ahead of their nearest rivals Papanui Toc H. Reavill also picked up the first individual medal, winning bronze in the 13 boys 400m.
More medals were won on day two, with Jane winning gold in the 13 girls high jump, and then silver in the 1500m. Reavill picked up another medal, finishing second in the 800m, and Jessica Hendren also won silver in the 14 girls high jump.
Reavill would make the podium again, on the final day, picking up a silver in the 1500m. Phillips collected her second medal, with silver in the shot put. And Jane would add to her collection with bronze in the 800m.
The North Canterbury team finished with two golds, five silvers, and two bronze, plus many pennants among the under 10 athletes. An impressive haul for the relatively small team, and with several other placings just outside the top three, the club is in an exciting position with the upcoming Canterbury Championships, and provincial selection up for grabs.