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WHITE FERNS Stars Talk About Christchurch’s Sporting Excellence

Credit: Photosport

Lea Tahuhu and Amy Satterthwaite caught up with ChristchurchNZ during a break in the England Women Tour of New Zealand. Both were born and raised in Canterbury and cut their teeth in the local club cricket scene. Now they’re preparing to take on the world at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022.

Credit: Photosport

“Christchurch has one of the most successful sporting cultures in the country, and that was a big thing growing up,” Lea Tahuhu said.

She started playing cricket in primary school and had been playing in girls’ teams since she was about eight years old.

Lea Tahuhu T20
Credit: Photosport

Club cricket was always extremely competitive and cricket around the city itself was in a really good place,”

Lea Tahuhu

“Club cricket was always extremely competitive and cricket around the city itself was in a really good place,” Tahuhu said.

The earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 were “obviously a devastating situation”, but they came with a silver lining for local and international sport.

 

We now have Hagley Oval, one of the best grounds in the world. It’s an amazing place to host the best games that come into the country, so that’s pretty great,” she said.

Lea Tahuhu

“We now have Hagley Oval, one of the best grounds in the world. It’s an amazing place to host the best games that come into the country, so that’s pretty great,” she said.

“It’s brought heaps of life into the city and seeing that oval packed for international fixtures is really exciting every time.”

Credit: Photosport

Tahuhu said other developments, including Nga Puna Wai and the soon-to-be-completed Metro Sports Facility, Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre, and the Multi-Use Arena in the CBD, continue to build on the city’s strong sporting infrastructure.

WHITE FERNS captain Amy Satterthwaite was raised in Culverden, an hour north of Ōtautahi Christchurch, and attended boarding school in the city. Previously playing in boys’ teams, Satterthwaite began playing in all-girls teams once she moved to the city.

 

Amy Satterthwaite
Credit: Photosport

One of the beauties of growing up in Canterbury were the really successful sports teams and individuals here. That was a positive thing to be surrounded by, that culture of success,”

Amy Satterthwaite

“One of the beauties of growing up in Canterbury were the really successful sports teams and individuals here. That was a positive thing to be surrounded by, that culture of success,” Satterthwaite said.

“It really drove you as an athlete to be part of that.”

Awareness and appreciation for women’s sport was increasing every day in New Zealand. Satterthwaite said events like the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup were a big factor.

 

Having high-profile pinnacle events held here, you’re not going to get a much better opportunity to put it out there and get that engagement,”

Amy Satterthwaite

“Having high-profile pinnacle events held here, you’re not going to get a much better opportunity to put it out there and get that engagement,” she said.

Both Satterthwaite and Tahuhu said the proud sporting culture, and the hard-working nature of local teams and individuals, were big motivators for them as professional athletes.

“You see the successful sporting teams here in the city, and as a young kid that gives you a real marker to aspire to, to wear the red and black, and contribute to the strong history we have here,” Tahuhu said.

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