Winning image by Kate Dowling, Upper Clutha Rugby Club
The winner of the photo competition to find the best iconic
rugby field in the South Island has been announced: 25 year old
Kate Dowling of Wanaka. She is the secretary of the Upper Clutha
Rugby Club in Wanaka, and the photo is of the senior team's final
match against Queenstown, which they won.
Entries to the photo competition were received from all corners
of the South Island, including Karamea, Maniototo, Crowell,
Wakatipu and Fox Glacier. Photos were uploaded onto the
Christchurch Airport website, and the public was invited to vote
for their favourite photos. The ten photos with the most votes were
judged by three experts in rugby, photography and tourism: former
Rugby All Black captain and Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder, Press
Illustrations Editor Richard Cosgrove and Tourism New Zealand Chief
Executive Kevin Bowler.
"While there were many wonderful photos, the winner had a number
of elements which made it a great example of heartland rugby in the
South Island,' said judge Todd Blackadder. "The magnificent
backdrop of the mountains, the locals with their cars and trucks
all parked beside the field, people standing on the back of utes
watching the game, the two teams playing in rural New Zealand -
it's a great portrait of real rugby.
"The winning prize is a $10,000 package, with $1000 for the
photographer, $2000 for the featured club, and $7000 for their
rugby union. "I totally didn't expect to win," said Kate Dowling,
who entered five photos into the competition. She has been involved
with the Upper Clutha Rugby Club for the last three years, and
often takes photos of the games.
The competition was run by Christchurch Airport, as part of its
lead up to the world's biggest rugby event next year.
"The photo competition is a great way to showcase our fabulous
scenery and celebrate our national game at the same time" explained
Christchurch Airport's General Manager Marketing and Business
Development, Gareth Owen. "We're going to display the best entries
at Christchurch Airport next year, so our rugby visitors can admire
them and be inspired to visit them".
"Christchurch Airport is part of a Canterbury Committee which is
determined that our region will give visitors the best experience
of New Zealand during this great rugby event," said Owen. "The
rugby field photo competition is just the start of our airport
campaign to celebrate rugby, Canterbury, and the South Island."