2022 McEvedy Shield – Preview From an Athletes Perspective
Courtesy of Corran Hanning
After a cancellation in 2021 and a deferment from its traditional March date in 2022, the 99th running of the McEvedy Shield will now take place at Newtown Park on Wednesday 14 September 2022.
The McEvedy Shield has been competed for since 1922 by a range of Wellington Schools, but for the last 40 years; by St Pats Town, St Pats Silverstream, Rongotai and Wellington College.
We talk with Wellington College McEvedy shield Co- Captain; Corran Hanning about what the event means to him and Wtgn Colls prospects for a record 8 wins in a row.
Corran in action at the 2020 National Secondary Schools champs in Tauranga
Corran you would have been disappointed to have missed last year’s event and what was looking like you were also going to miss this year.
Corran – absolutely, the McEvedy shield was once probably one of the most iconic and unique athletics events in secondary schools’ athletics. There certainly was nothing else like it in New Zealand. In 2016 it was the subject of a feature article by Mike White published in the North & South Magazine under the banner of “Shield of Dreams”. He described it as “an extraordinary pageant of youthful machismo and school pride” and what was then largest annual athletics event in New Zealand. It would have been hard to imagine not to be inspired by the opportunity to compete for your school in front of 4,000 spectators. Since 2019 however the whole schools have not been allowed to attend and the atmosphere at the ground and the build up to the event has lost a little of its aura but given some of the past behaviour issues, it’s understandable why schools have restricted attendance to seniors in the last couple of years. This year’s attendance is limited even further with just parents allowed as spectators so it’s going to be a very different meet from past years, however all of the competing schools McEvedy athletes are just thankful to get this opportunity without which I and other seniors would never have been able to compete as a Senior.
What’s needed to win this year’s McEvedy Corran?
Corran – the stars have to align for us – its effectively a pre-season meet, coming straight off the back of winter sports. There will be guys who would ordinarily be certain winners in their event but have got injured over the winter, others won’t have done the specialist athletic training and will simply have a bad day and of course the weather and Covid will all play a part.
What are the Strengths in this year’s Wellington Coll team?
Corran – we will be strong in all the middle-distance events where we are coming off some great performances by our cross-country team over winter which should readily translate to the track, we think we will be strong in the juniors however this is very open McEvedy, so we really won’t know until around 3.00pm on the day.
What events will you be contesting Corran?
Corran—I will be contesting the Senior boys shot & discus
And how do you rate your chances?
Corran –again it’s very difficult to know as many of the athletes who will compete at McEvedy don’t belong to a Club and so their performances are not listed on the Athletics New Zealand national rankings website. Normally Wellington College and Rongotai have a combined finals pre McEvedy so we get to know a bit about who we will up against and likewise St Pats Town and St Pats Stream also would have had a combined meet prior to McEvedy (the Old Boys Shield) so we would get a bit of feedback from those results but as neither have happened this year I will just have to find out on the day. I have been training well and have participated in some winter meets recently where I have had a couple of PB’s, so I am hopeful of a good result.
Corran Hanning was awarded the College Sport Wellington Athlete with a disability award in 2019,2020 and 2021. Corran was the winner of the Open Men’s Para shot & discus titles at this year’s New Zealand National Athletics championships, was selected as member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools National team which competed in the Athletics New Zealand Classic series of meets in 2022. He is the holder of 12 National Secondary Schools Athletics championship medals and holds the New Zealand U20 and U17 National records in 100M, 200M, 400M, shot & discus for his T12/F12 para classification. Corran is legally Blind and will be the first para-athlete to captain Wellington College at a McEvedy.