Axe Ferns President Report 2016-2017

President’s Report NZ Axe Ferns 2016-2017

Wow what a great year we have had as a committee and a year of women’s wood chopping.

The NZAA women’s committee took a bold approach to its trial format to select the NZ Axe Ferns team. The aim was to select based on individual performance, so all women trialing for the double sawing competed in a round robin, sawing with all trialists. We took this approach to enhance our ability to find the best of the best and to provide versatility within the squad.

Change and progress can be scary for some people, especially those that have not taken the time to really understand the end goal and this was the case with this change too. As committee we should all be very pleased with the result. We achieved a very strong foundation for Sydney, every competitor was a lot hungrier for their position with the results supporting this. The Axe Ferns overall test win in Sydney is a result that the team and the committee can be very happy with.

It was amazing to see the NZ Axe Ferns new uniform and design debut at Sydney. I would like to thank our designer for designing this especially for the women. To have a design that combined our sport, our passion and our heart was inspiring. Our new strip looked very professional and all the women wore it with pride, they felt good, looked smart and I believe this all adds to the desire to succeed which is very much what the NZ Axe Ferns did.

It was also great to see more women competing this season around the country. While we are only a small part of the wood chopping world I would like to thank the clubs for supporting the women by putting on women’s event in their area.

I would like to also thank Neville Bowen and Hoot Knowles, Kylea Heaton and the volunteers from the Waikato club for running the trials this season. It takes a lot of work to hold these events and time to get the wood, it was a great show and enjoyable weekend had by all.

Sadly Paula Possa has decided to retire as the Manager of the NZ Axe Ferns and as a committee member of the NZ Women’s committee. Paula has put a huge amount of work into all areas of her role, she has made the tough choices (and taken the flak that goes along with this) and has always wanted the best for the sport. It is a testament to Paula’s character that she has been so willing and dedicated to giving back to a sport that she hasn’t competed in for some time. Paula, I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for us all, you have left big boots to fill.

I would like to congratulate every women competitor that stepped out in to the ring this year whether it be locally or on a national level, to those that finished their first block in a ring, won an event, set a record, gained podium finishes at Sydney or achieved your own personal goal well done, be proud of yourselves and keep it up.

To those women that are just starting out remember this is one sport that you get out what you put in and your success can be in whatever form you want it to be. For any woman that just thinks they may want to compete in the Axe Fern’s team in the future; don’t hold back, don’t doubt yourself. We have selectors so you are not actually deciding if you are good enough to be in the team, you are only deciding if you have enough courage and desire to train and trial. Step it up; see how well you do, at worst you will know what the gap is and have some fun, at best you may get to train hard out, wear the Axe Fern uniform and represent our country.

Finally to our sponsors, your support has given us so much and allowed us to focus on what we needed to do to make NZ women’s woodchopping a success in the 16/17 season. Thank you for helping us achieve our goals.

Rochelle Molan
President NZAA Women Committee