Fundraiser for Southland Axe Fern

Karen Richards is the only Southland woman selected into the New Zealand women's Axe Ferns squad. PHOTO: Helen Hall/Harley Photography

A special fundraiser is being held next weekend to help send Southland's only woman to be selected into the New Zealand women's Axe Ferns squad to compete in Australia.

Karen Richards, who competes in the Tuatapere 'Boys out West' group under the Southland and Otago Axemen banner, is the only timber sportswoman from the district to be selected for an upcoming competition in Adelaide, Australia.

Southern Axemen publicity officer Peter Templeton said there was usually a squad of 12 selected for the national team.

"Karen has only been in the sport a couple of years... she shows a lot of determination."

"She quickly got involved and jumped at the opportunity to help."

Mr Templeton said Mrs Richards had been up north for a couple of training runs already, with timber sports being a real family affair, with her husband and son both involved in the circuit.

Karen Corbyn from Riverton, who has represented New Zealand in timber sports, had been a real help to Mrs Richards but plenty of others were there to offer their support too, he said.

"Everyone's quite keen to help."

The Boys Out West-coordinated fundraiser is being held on Saturday, August 18 at Highway 99 in Tuatapere where there will be an afternoon packed full of wood chopping demonstrations, and team races between different timber sports groups from Tuatapere, Riverton, Invercargill and perhaps some from Otago.

Mr Templeton said people could expect a friendly but competitive day.

"It's Riverton against Tuatapere. It's like the rugby - they don't like losing.

"There's good camaraderie, it's good for the sport and good for the off-season."

Another bonus would be seeing top axemen and women putting their skills on display.

"There's most of the Southland's Axemen team going to be there."

Mr Templeton will pick up the microphone once again to commentate the action and said Highway 99 was a good environment to host the fundraiser, which will run from 1pm till around 5pm.

"It will be a great afternoon," he said.


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