No urging needed to get on the grass

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Roncalli College pupil Angus Duffield loves sport so much so he is doing his bit to help maintain sports grounds around Timaru.
The year 12 pupil spends one day a week away from school, working through the requirements of his Gateway programme, which was structured for his chosen field.
Angus, a keen cricketer, did not take long to decide what to focus his Gateway studies on.
‘‘I’ve always really liked gardening, playing sports and doing something outside and I thought [I would] mix them together.’’
Angus has completed some of his practical Gateway requirements while working alongside Mastergrass owner Greg Rodden. He also volunteers at the Levels Golf Course, mowing tee boxes and surrounds, as well as finding time to work at the Celtic Cricket Club’s ground.
‘‘I enjoy just being outside,’’ he said,
‘‘It’s quite good just seeing people play [sport] while you’re working.’’
As part of his Gateway requirements, Angus has completed a range of practical tasks including mowing, machine maintenance, spraying and raking bunkers, along with a theory component. Checking for hazards was among the aspects of the programme, he said.
‘‘[There are] things to check before mowing like if there’s any golf balls or stones on the green and setting up the mower.’’
Roncalli College’s Gateway manager, Marian Mehrtens, said the aim of the programme was to help pupils determine what industry or career path they wanted to take when they left school.
And there was added benefit to companies and individuals who worked alongside the pupils.
Mr Rodden said Angus was ‘‘really keen, so that helps, and it’s obviously a path he wants to take. It’s great having someone here to help me out as well.’’
While Angus had yet to decide exactly what he would do when he left school, it would ‘‘probably’’ involve work at a sports ground, he said.