Take a risk: try a new activity

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Happy New Year, everyone!

A new decade – crikey, time flies.

Last year I hit the magical “three score years and 10” – bit scary, eh?

Our family had a great Christmas and New Year. It has been really good to have a break.

Last year was fairly full-on, with some real highs, but also with some lows. That’s life, I guess!

We have been holidaying in Otematata. While there are plenty of things to do it is also quite nice to sit back and have a think, plan out the year and even dream a little.

I could write about my aspirations for our district, but am instead going to challenge you.

Do you have spare time? Is there some activity or sport that you would like to take part in? Would you like to coach a team or an individual? Do you sometimes feel lonely? Would you like to volunteer your services? Would you like to be fitter?

For relaxation, I enjoy biking, watching rugby and supporting my grandchildren’s activities, but my main interest lies in two particular pastimes. I play lawn bowls and am involved in the pipe band.

I started playing bowls at the Weston Club in 1987 when the late Hew Lee took me along. I had a go and was immediately hooked. When the Weston Club went in to recess I joined the Awamoa Club.

Along the way I have had my share of success and a few hidings. While I enjoy the competitive side of the game, it is the camaraderie between bowlers, whether within your own team or the opposition, that I enjoy the most.

You can play at whatever level you wish. I have been to the nationals a few times one of the few sports that you don’t have to qualify for, you just enter. Andrew Kelly, who last week won the Summerset National Men’s Singles, started his bowls at the Pukeuri Club right here in North Otago. The game gives me a lot of pleasure.

My music pursuits started when I was at primary school and a teacher, Mr McIver, taught us the recorder.

Piano lessons followed and probably weren’t the best investment Mum and Dad ever made.

Then, while working at the Vudal University farm in Papua New Guinea, I started on the chanter. Our house was very open and to avoid attracting any attention I practiced during storms.

On returning to Oamaru I joined the North Otago Highland Pipe Band. They needed a bass drummer. So I had a go and really enjoyed it. I have continued with the pipes and, while only aspiring to play tunes to my family, am close to going out with the band. Exciting!

That is my story. Everyone has a different one. If you are someone looking to challenge yourself or try something new or have time, knowledge or skills to offer, make some inquiries.

There are dozens of varied and exciting options in our district with people that would welcome you to join them.

On Sport Waitaki’s logo there is a phrase “Getting People Active”. Let’s do it!