7 Mar 2012

Wool handling champion hopes to influence others

6:45 pm on 7 March 2012

The winner of the Golden Shears Open Women's Title for 2012 says she's keen to keep competing for a few more years yet and hopes she can inspire more wool handlers to get to her level and to prove that it is achievable.

Joanne Kumeroa of Whanganui took out her sixth title over the weekend and has been competing in the industry since 1995.

She says she got into the wool handling industry at the age of 17 after watching former Golden Shears winner Patrick Shelford from Central Otago and promised one of her friends that she wanted to be just like him one day.

Ms Kumeroa says Shelford inspired her by his organisation and hopes she too can influence some of the up and coming wool shearers.

She says it is not easy maintaining such a high level of performance and it is also a challenge trying to get to that level.

Ms Kumeroa says she wants to encourage wool handlers that, through their sheer determination, beating her is also achievable.

She says a big part of her work has been mentoring young shearers like 20-year-old Jowel Henare of Dannevirke who won the New Zealand Woolhandler of the year for the fifth consecutive year and who started competing at the age of 15.

Jowel Henare went on to win the Open Grade World Title at the Golden Shares Awards for 2012.