Easter Tournament 2008

Friday 21st to Monday 24th March 2008
By Richard Wong and Darren Joe

Easter Tournament, the biggest social event for the NZCA calendar, was held in Auckland this year and did not disappoint. Even though Otago & Southland sent one of the smaller contingents we were definitely a force to be reckoned with. We were involved in nearly all the sports on offer and were the only contingent to fully dress up for the socials. It was this attitude towards Easter Tournament that earned us the Goodwill & Friendship Trophy (the most important one of all).

The tournament started with athletics and Otago & Southland paid the price for not practising baton changes. The rubber track destroyed many of our star athletes. Special mention goes to Karena for not wearing any shoes in her relay, and Craig and myself for falling over on separate occasions. I would like to thank Rhys for injuring his toe and giving me my first (and only) appearance as a relay runner. In my first ever relay race I managed to face plant just after offloading the baton to Conrad. My efforts were not in vain and my team managed to overtake last place on the second to last leg and came in at 4th place out of 5 teams. Lee was our only event winner, coming first in the mile. I guess the caffeine pills and short shorts did the job once again.

The tennis team had disappointing results but managed to come away with the mixed doubles trophies. Congratulations to the ‘Golden Pair’: Conrad and Brittany for winning that grade but the ‘Silver Pair’ of Nicole and I were the real winners that night when we took home the giant easter eggs for runners up. That’s the most important prize after all.

Basketball was Otago & Southland’s main sport and all four teams practiced hard in preparation for the many games we had to play throughout the Easter weekend.

The Women’s U21 had a tough tournament. Despite not winning a game, credit must be due for the girls’ determination, tenacity and for reaching double digits even when they reeked of alcohol from the night before.

The Women’s U17 also found tough competition in their grade. The group of social girls gained valuable experience after each match and looked like they were having fun on court.☺

In stark contrast the Men’s U21 were very competitive in their grade. They had prepared well with wins against their Men’s Overs compatriots during practice and felt confident going into this Easter tournament. Their first two games were comfortably won against Wellington B and Auckland C but their winning formula could not be emulated against Auckland A. It appeared that the team suffered from nerves after the parents had promised them bacon and eggs for breakfast if they had won. The team eventually lost by 3 points but noticeable performances included Pat Truong who managed to body slam the point guard in an attempt to slow the clock down and Jono Wu for trying to pick a fight with a
player who was a head taller than him. The team’s run ended in a comprehensive defeat against Wellington A in the semi finals. Jason was the only one to feel the full wrath of Wellington A when he thought he had hit a brick wall whilst trying to drive into one of the Wellington players. Even though we did not make the finals, we were the only team not to get dunked on by WellingtonA so we were able to hold our heads high.

The Men’s Overs team had a tough draw and unfortunately did not qualify for the semifinals but their good sportsmanship and fair play helped Otago & Southland win the Goodwill & Friendship Trophy☺.

The other sports that Otago & Southland competed in were touch, indoor netball, netball, indoor soccer, golf and hockey. There were no memorable games that come to mind but we enjoyed competing in sports that were unfamiliar to some of us. I recall that it took me two full games of indoor netball to understand most of the rules.

Overall Otago & Southland had a very successful Easter Tournament. Although we did not win many trophies we all had a great time together, making new friends and taking away all the funny and embarrassing memories that will sure to be brought up on countless occasions throughout the year.
The pictures Darren drew are excellent examples. These moments were not captured on any camera but with his talented drawing skills we were able to recapture the magic. Enjoy!