|Lincoln sporting connections everywhere - even in World Cup Cricket|
Lincoln University’s connection with major sporting codes, through its Sports Scholarship programme, means not much happens on the national sporting scene without there being some link somewhere to the University, even if only tenuous.
As with the World Rugby Cup in 2011 in which former Lincoln University Sports Scholar Richie McCaw captained the national side, so too the recent World Cup Cricket Tournament provided another example of a top event with a genuine Lincoln University connection.
It dates back to the 1990s when New Zealand Cricket’s High Performance Centre was established at Lincoln University. Among one of the early groups of promising players to come into the Centre was a young Brendon McCullum, now captain of the Black Caps. Part of the philosophy in setting up the Centre was to provide promising young players with study opportunities and a pathway to qualifications for ‘life after cricket’. A number of the players at the time came on to the University’s books prior to enrolling in papers. Brendon McCullum was among those players. For various reasons the qualifications pathway scheme did not gain the traction hoped for, but the fact remains that the University can claim a genuine link to McCullum dating back to that time.
A World Cricket Cup link of equal authenticity but more recent origin lies in the career of Tom Latham, a Cricket Scholar at Lincoln University in 2012, who was enrolled in the Bachelor of Sports and Recreation Management programme.
Latham, a wicket-keeper, left handed batsman, and right arm medium bowler who first made a Black Caps squad in 2012, captained Canterbury against Auckland that year aged just 20, the youngest ever Canterbury captain. In the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Tom was in Black Caps teams
playing one-day warm-up matches against South Africa on 11 February at Christchurch’s new Hagley Oval and against Zimbabwe on 9 February in the abandoned match at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln University.
Switching to the sport of netball, an alumnus to watch is the Southern Steel’s Jane Watson a 2011 Bachelor of Recreation Management (Sport) graduate. Originally from Timaru and later Millers Flat, Jane was a Netball Scholar at Lincoln University and went on to play three seasons for the Canterbury Tactix (2012-2014) before switching to the Southern Steel for the 2015 season. Jane plays in defender positions (GK, GD and WD) and has been on the Silver Ferns radar as a member of a national accelerant squad.
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