One’s the highlight of his cricketing career, the other of his rugby career – either way, Lachie Kingan is just happy to be involved.
The 26-year-old has nabbed a rare achievement, playing a role in North Otago securing both cricket’s Hawke Cup and rugby’s Meads Cup.
North Otago won the Meads Cup in 2019 – Kingan’s first year playing in the Heartland competition – and still holds the trophy, as last year’s schedule was cancelled.
Kingan then captained the North Otago Cricket side to a comprehensive Hawke Cup win last weekend.
It is the first time North Otago has held both trophies at the same time since 2010.
“It’s special. It’s a great achievement but I think I’m just lucky enough to be able to play in an era of sport in North Otago that has had some very talented players. Having them both here, it shows that North Otago [provides] a great opportunity for cricket and rugby for young people,” Kingan said.
“You can travel a lot of places, and get a lot of exposure playing for North Otago – whether you’re a young boy or girl. There’s a lot of guys out there that have used North Otago as a stepping stone to going other places, so I think it’s important for kids to realise that.”
When it came to the Meads Cup, the first five-eighth said the gravity of the win did not hit home until later on.
“I probably didn’t quite realise the importance of it as much as the Hawke Cup, having played seven or eight years of North Otago cricket. It was a different feeling, but it was still an awesome achievement.”
He also was part of North Otago’s 2016 Hawke Cup-winning team, but taking on the role of captain this season had made last weekend’s win extra-special.
“They’re different in their own right really. It’s exciting … it was just an all round team performance which you don’t often get in cricket.”
North Otago Cricket had developed a strong side and there were a lot of young players rising through the ranks, he said.
Both sports filled every spare minute Kingan had, and while he never set out to be a dual winner, he was rapt to be part of both the region’s historic cricket and rugby title-winning teams.
“They’ve both just sort of come about, really. I just enjoy the sports so that’s why I play them. I think if you’re playing them for other reasons you’re probably not going to get the same out of it. I like the camaraderie, being part of a team and working together towards a common goal, which is winning.”
However, the teams could not take all the glory for the success and Kingan said it was the volunteers behind the scenes who got them over the line.
“There’s a lot of great people involved with North Otago cricket and rugby that are doing some great things for the sports, which probably showcases these two trophies being in Oamaru at the same time.
“A lot of volunteers that put a lot of time into it and these trophies being here is sort of recognition of that.”