November 20, 2014




The Rollerland Roller Sports Club may soon have to close after losing members and their skating venue after the September 2010 earthquake.

The clubs old skating venue in Bexley was severely damaged and had to be destroyed – the six members now practice once a week when there is a venue available  but now have to travel as far as Rolleston just to practice.

Rollerland Roller Sports coach Kerrie Osten said more than four members had left the club as parents no longer had the time or money to take their children to Rolleston to train.

Loosing members was making it more expensive to cover hall hires.

“The more people we have the cheaper it gets for the people.”

Parents had to make up the costs in the meantime and some were already travelling more than 30km just to get to the Rolleston Community Centre where they would usually train if the hall was available.

But 16-year-old skater Tegan Gwyther said the floor was too small at Rolleston and she did not have enough room to do practice her competition routine which was skated on a bigger floor at competitions.

Coach Osten said her skaters’ could not go as fast because the floor was smaller – but this was the only venue they could get on a regular basis.

“When we compete we’re on a much larger floor so when you’re practicing on something a bit smaller you can’t quite skate at your full potential,” Osten said.

The club did have the option of using a hall in Lincoln and sometimes used the Pioneer Stadium, but those venues were usually fully booked and could be hard to get into.

Skater Carol Anderson has been with the club since 1990 and said some schools had turned them away after the earthquakes because they thought skaters would damage the school-hall floors.

“But nylon wheels don’t damage the floor.”

Anderson just wanted “somewhere that was not purpose built, but built with the idea in mind that we were able to use it.”


October 6, 2014


The 2014 Ski Season at Coronet Peak wrapped up one day early due to high winds.

The ski field was scheduled to close on Sunday October 5, but visitors to the field on Saturday 4 got to make the most of a fresh snow-dumping on the final day of the season.

Snowboarder Julia Frazier had been to several ski fields throughout the season but was spending her last day boarding at Coronet.

“It’s nice to know it’s your last day and just make the most of it.”

Snowboarder and adventure-junky Richard Castle was up the mountain making the most of the melting snow too but admitted he was a bit wobbly on the skis.

“I ski badly.”

A NZ ski spokesperson said the number of visitors to the field had been similar to previous years but totals for the season were unavailable.



September 10, 2014


A Christchurch man is making the conversation about sexual health easier for the lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

New Zealand Aids Foundation Community engagement co-ordinator Akira Le Fevre said health awareness in the LGBT community is a big issue and providing condoms and lubricant is a part of promoting the condom culture in New Zealand.

“It’s about building a ‘condom culture’ where condoms are just the norm.”

Le Fevre said the safe-sex messages were about protecting people – especially men who have sex with men and are susceptible to getting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted infections.

Today medicines and drugs are preventing some deaths caused by the immune-killing virus.  However, this consequently increased the risk of HIV being spread when people did not use protection.

“With any kind of issue the only way to get around it is to actually talk about it.  To be seen promoting it positively,” Le Fevre said.

The Love Your Condom (LYC) campaign had become something that men who have sex with men “want to be a part of,” and people are getting involved to pack condoms and lube.

“We’ve made safe sex cool.”



Education to change a culture of thinking

Despite condoms being distributed for free to some venues in New Zealand they can be hard for younger people to get their hands on.

Christchurch Pride co-ordinator Jill Stevens said the LYC campaign was fantastic as it promoted safe sex and made condoms available for everyone.

However she believed condoms were “pretty pricey” for young people and should be funded more by the government.

New Zealand Aids Foundation was funded by PHARMAC to supply 600,000 condoms each year.

Stevens said safe-sex could be better promoted in schools and the Love Your Condom campaign was appealing, ‘bright-coloured’ and ‘hip’ which would get youth interested in sexual health.

Promoting condoms in a positive way taught young people the “in’s and outs” of why protection should be used and the risks involved when precautions were not taken.

A condom culture was not just about free condoms and lubricant, it was about protecting people from sexually transmitted diseases, aids and ensuring people were safe during sex.

Packing Volunteer Corey Kingsbury said condom packing was a fun social event that helped keep people safe.

He said being open with friends and talking about safe-sex made it more acceptable for everyone to “just wear a condom”.

“It means you’re just taking your health seriously and just looking after yourself.”




August 27, 2014

Christchurch nurse laces up for Half Marathon



A Christchurch District Health Board Nurse is entering her first half marathon as motivation to have a “complete change of lifestyle.”

Donna Amosa, said she was not a natural runner but regularly used the gym and has decided to challenge herself by getting active and eating healthier.

“I’ve been training for maybe a bit longer than six weeks.”

She said the thought of running used to be daunting.

“Out-door running has definitely not been my thing.”

Amosa had also cut sugar out of her diet and so far has been three weeks with no sugar – “no sugary foods, no sugary drinks either”.

She had entered in the Cadbury Dunedin Half Marathon and was already reaping the benefits of training.

“You feel so good afterwards, like definitely during the run it’s a bit horrendous, at times, but when you get home you just feel quite a sense of accomplishment.”

She is taking running seriously and had bought a GPS watch to track her running distance and the incline of her runs.

“I’m a little bit competitive.  When I look at my watch I try pick up my pace and use that (the watch) as encouragement.”



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