The photos posted here are compressed by Google software. I am happy to provide high-resolution images - just let me know what you require at There is no cost.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

2017 McEvedy Shield Newtown Park Wellington Tue 7 Mar

McEvedy Preview
Dominion Post Report

238 points           Wellington College (roll of 1658)
143 points           St Patricks Kilbirnie (roll of 837)
111 points           St Patricks Silverstream (roll of 709)
51 points             Rongotai College (roll of 654)

McEvedy Shield 2017 – what can I say. The McEvedy is probably the noisiest and most passion fuelled athletics meeting on the NZ calendar.  Contested since 1922 the event pits 4 local boys’ schools against each other in track and field. The difference between the usual school athletics competitions is that most of the student body turn up as spectators which mean a full house.   

The winning school for 2017 was Wellington College which gives it 3 wins in a row and 51 wins since the event started.  Records were broken for the U14 Boys 4x100 relay, the U15 Boys High Jump and U15 Boys Javelin. 

But it is a fact that the school rolls of the other 3 schools (based on last official figures) are nowhere near that of Wellington College so it clearly has an advantage when it comes to picking a team. In fact when looking at the points generated by each school against their rolls, the school that hit above its weight was St Patricks Kilbirnie followed by St Patricks Silverstream. Wellington College come in third and Rongotai 4th

The two St Patrick Schools and Wellington College all have strong traditions in winter and summer athletics and perform well at a national level. Rongotai is not quite in the same league although it can do okay in the sprints and throwing events. But it is a bit weak when it comes to some of the longer track races and is thus at a big disadvantage, 

But it hasn’t always been that way as some of the region’s best distance runners have come out of Rongotai the example being Derek Froude, Steve Hunt, Dave Hatfield and more recently Tim Cornish. But if the school is looking forward to future McEvedy Shield battles it will need to build up a decent middle distance squad if it ever has a chance to lift the trophy from the dominating schools.

But while the McEvedy is a great competition with some good performances and displays of sportsmanship there are some negatives. In recent years though there have been some nasty incidents involving graffiti and vandalism usually one school against another. This year at Newtown Park the words “Fuck WC” were painted on the Western bank behind the fence line just above the road to the parking area. Often school property is the target of this vandalism. 

Several other incidents outside grounds also occurred before and after the event. The first is the well publicised Facebook comments made by a couple of Wellington College students which have been attributed to McEvedy bravado. The second was the apparent brawl in Constable Street involving St Patricks Kilbirnie and Rongotai students.

“Meanwhile, police received multiple calls on Tuesday that a group of about 30 schoolboys were fighting in Constable St, in the Wellington suburb of Newtown.   

Several units attended the melee shortly before 3pm, and a spokeswoman said police "defused a situation between students from Rongotai College, and St Patrick's College".

No wonder then when it comes to the event day teachers from all of the schools look a bit nervous because there is the possibility that anything could happen, both before, during and after although I have yet to see anything myself.