When the Black Ferns won the Rugby World Cup recently, the thing I enjoyed most was not that they won (which was great of course) but how they changed many people’s deeply held opinions and beliefs about not just women’s rugby, or women’s sport for that matter, but what women are capable of, if allowed.
The opinion I had heard from many friends and acquaintances (an opinion that I also shared without ever having watched them play) was that women’s rugby was boring because they aren’t as big and strong and fast as the blokes.
Of course, that opinion was shown to be a complete load of bollocks when the Black Ferns came out playing the most entertaining and watchable rugby that I believe I have ever had the good fortune to watch.
It showed one thing very clearly: that you can talk, argue and debate issues ‘til the cows come home to roost, but actions and reality speak much louder than words and ideology.
And such has been the case in the Shearing Industry where the women are showing by their guts, work ethic and sheer grunt that they can not only match it with their male counterparts, but often run rings around them.
Sacha Bond, who hails from Piopio, is the latest in a rapidly growing list of female shearers who are turning the age old phrase “you shear like a girl” from an insult to one hell of a compliment.
One of the signs of a master craftsperson is how they can make an incredibly difficult task look effortless and easy, and as I watched Sacha smoke the feathers of a lamb with ridiculous ease and monotonous regularity I thought, “This girl makes it look easy!”
On the 4th February at Fairlight Station in Southland, Sacha will attempt to break the 8 hour strong wool lamb shearing record of 510 lambs currently held by Canadian shearer Pauline Bolay.
It will be a tough day, and I’m sure that Sacha will be nervous and scared leading up to her attempt, but in life we find that many of the most worthwhile things live on the other side of fear, and of course, if it was easy, everyone would do it.
All the best Sacha. Dig it in mate, give it hell, and shear like a girl.
We’re all behind ya.