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Selwyn Times: July 05, 2016

8 Tuesday

8 Tuesday July 5 2016 SELWYN TIMES News Years of washing and cooking for Tens of thousands of Canterbury sporting mums get their kids ready for sport on a Saturday morning, and then deal with the week-in, week-out aftermath – muddy gear. Lincoln resident Angela Dixon spoke to Gabrielle Stuart about sitting with proud dad Chris Dixon and watching their once little boy Elliot make his debut for the All Blacks against Wales SITTING IN the stand watching her son run onto the field in an All Blacks jersey was one of the proudest moments of Angela Dixon’s life. But privately, she still wonders: Did she let him start rugby too young? Was it good for him, while growing up, to spend every weekend playing sport? Is it worth the risk he could be badly injured? Watching her boy line up to sing the anthem and perform the haka, she had to surreptitiously wipe away a tear or two. But after kick-off she was too nervous to enjoy it, she said. Every time her son hit the ground she was on the edge of her seat. “When he took a big tackle all I was thinking was is he getting up, is he getting up. I was saying to my husband, where is he, looking for his number. “When I’m getting too worked up I have to take myself away to the ladies and take a minute to settle myself. It is nerve-racking. They’re always your little boy, it doesn’t matter if they’re six foot four.” She said she watched his big games again on replay the next day, as she could only relax and enjoy it once she knew he would be okay. That constant fear he would get hurt was something that had plagued her since he started playing, at just four years old. He played his first matches for Suburbs, his older brother, Jon’s, team. She said Elliot was much smaller than the other children, who were mostly five or six, but PROUD: Although her son has been playing rugby professionally for years, Angela Dixon said she still sent him advice before games. PHOTO: GEOFF SLOAN he was determined to play. “We used to call him radar, because even as a little boy he would see someone from across the field and jump on their back and take them down, it didn’t matter how big they were. You’d see him lining them up.” Between the two boys, her weekends quickly filled up with sport. Summer or winter, both Saturday and Sunday mornings were spent yelling encouragement from the sidelines, with oranges or jet-plane lollies ready for the boys at half-time. Then it was straight into the car to head to the next sport or competition. The hours after school were just as full on, as the boys met up at the park or in the backyard to play. She said she had lost track of the number of windows they broke, or clothes that came home grass-stained. “I used to call the laundry my office, because I spent such a lot of time doing washing. And the cooking! They used to have competitions to see who could eat the most, they’d have eight Weet-bix in their plate.” All the boys wanted to do was play sport, but she worried sometimes about how much of their time it took up. “They missed out on things like going fishing together. I remember saying to Chris, we can’t get off this roundabout, can we?” She said Elliot was a great runner and good at most sports, but rugby was always his passion. Apples From the Garden of Eden to Abbey Road and Silicon Valley, apples have been an enduring motif for our cultural journey. Like William Tell and Sir Isaac Newton before him, Ashley Smith, in this show, uses apples to his own ends. Some samples from this tasty crop may very well keep the doctor away - but, then again, there could be something decidedly sinister under the skin of that rosy red apple being offered. Artist, Ashley Smith escaped into the wilds of coastal North Canterbury over 30yrs ago and still finds fascination in its rural myths and practices. Canterbury’s often crazy weather patterns also continue to influence his paintings ( and mental juices). Ashley’s subjects are rendered in a variety of styles – many honed during extensive global meanderings. During these he has worked for publishers in Australia, England and America, studied batik in Indonesia, been a member of the Stuttgard Art Society and met his future wife in the 602 Club, Madison Wisconsin! ‘The Apple of His Eye’ original painting by Ashley Smith Proud installers of Get a Mitsubishi Electric GE42 5.4kW Heat Pump including FREE installation* for just $2,399* *includes cost of back to back install only, conditions apply Phone 0800 324 678 Call now for a free quote ‘An Apple a Day’ original painting by Ashley Smith ‘Sir Isaac Newton’ original painting by Ashley Smith Presents Sat 16th - Sun 17th July Proudly supported by 9am - 5pm Horncastle Arena 55 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington $5 Entry *Kids under 2 free* The Christchurch Brick Show is back and is one of the biggest LEGO® event of its kind in New Zealand! The Exhibition will showcase fantastic LEGO® fan creations, and is aimed at LEGO® fans of all ages. www.facebook.com/christchurchbrickshow LEGO is a trademark of the LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, authorise or endorse this event.

SELWYN TIMES Tuesday July 5 2016 9 a cause – sport “We tried to get Elliot to play cricket, but it was too slow for him. He cried, he didn’t like it at all.” She said he loved the physicality of rugby, even though he was a “spindly little fella” until he shot up at about 16. He played for St Bede’s College, and made the New Zealand Schools squad which toured Australia in 2007. She said she had mixed feelings about him pursuing a rugby career. “We often said you can’t just play rugby, Elliot. You’ve got to do something, because in rugby you’re only as good as your last game or your last injury.” His dream was to play for Canterbury, but they told him although he was a good player they didn’t have room for him on the squad, she said. He was offered a spot in Southland when he was 19, and he was torn over it. “At 19 I didn’t want to say see you later. But he said: ‘Mum, what should I do?’ And I said go for it.” She said she continued to give him advice, whether or not he appreciated it. Before the test against Wales she met up with him and opening special PROUD: Elliot with son Huxley and mother Angela. wanted to discuss tactics. “He said: ‘It’s just another game, mum, I don’t want to talk about rugby’.” She expected the birth of his son, Huxley, who is now one, to distract him from his rugby, but she said he was even more focused. “Huxley was not the best sleeper, so between the lack of sleep and the stress I was expecting it to be tough. But he just gets out and plays harder.” And no matter how nervous it made her, she planned to be at as many of his matches as she could, cheering her son on. “It’s quite funny standing there talking to men who think you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s like really, I’ve watched more rugby matches than you’ve had hot dinners.” Ten things you need to know about Elliot Dixon who became All Black 1149 in a test against Wales. 1 The 26-year-old rose through the Canterbury system but the national age group star quit for Southland in late 2009. “I thought I’d try to get some NPC game time rather than wait another three years or something in Canterbury,” he said at the time. 2 Dixon came to prominence while playing for St Bede’s College, the Christchurch school whose other All Blacks include Jon Preston, Andy Earl, Vance Stewart, and current Chiefs assistant Kieran Keane. 3 There were tears all round when he told his parents of selection in the squad to play Wales. “They started crying, which was quite emotional for me as well.’’ 4 Dixon made the 2007 national schools side which played Samoa and Australia. His teammates included current All Blacks Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Charlie Ngatai. 5 He came off the bench in the under-20 World Cup side when they beat England in the 2009 final in Japan. H90 x W130mm 6 Partner Paige Smith gave birth to their first child Huxley in June last year and they have another boy on the way. 7 Dixon was man-of-thematch when the Highlanders beat the Hurricanes in last year’s Super Rugby final. The highlight: he initially beat a couple of defenders on a 20m run which ended with him scoring in a pile of five defenders. TV commentator Ian Smith reckoned it was a big game moment which “says to people higher up I’m ready if you want me”. 8 Dixon’s heritage is Ngapuhi – the Northland iwi – and he first played for New Zealand Maori in 2012. His family comes from around the Waimamaku Valley in Hokianga and he is part of the Paniora whanau. 9 When asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t a rugby professional, Dixon replied: “I would be poor.” 10 Dixon’s trademark look involves a thick band of black electrical tape around his head. When praised for the look, Dixon tweeted: “thanks for the love of my head band a lot goes into it. Time and effort. Glad it’s finally paying off”. John Sunckell ECAN 2016 “Working together taking us forward” OPENING DATE IS THURSDAY 14th JULY Just Cuts Hornby, Shop 50 The Hub, Christchurch • A steady experienced hand • Strong Mid Canterbury voice • Thriving sustainable communities • Responsible resource use • Simple regulatory processes 0274 542 554 john4ecan@xtra.co.nz john4ecan Authorised by John Sunckell, 100 Caldwells Road, Leeston $ 1599 $ 2799 $ 1999 Masport R1500 Wood Fire 14kW Output, ECAN Clean air approved Made in New Zealand. 180521 Masport Wanaka Wood Fire 20kW Est peak output., ECAN Clean Air approved, 10 year Firebox warranty. Made in NZ. 280591 Masport Mackenzie Wood Fire 26.4kW output ECAN clean air approved, 10 year warranty, Made in New Zealand. 232192 PLUS FREE std Flue Kit & FREE gift total value over $1000 Hornby 370 Main South Road Ph 349 8497 Available from Tuesday 5th June to Wednesday 13th July, while stocks last.