A MAJOR New Zealand farm lobby group wants shearing included as a demonstration sport at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Shearing is now big news across the Tasman after Irishman, Ivan Scott, reclaimed the world eight-hour lamb shearing record when he shore 744 in a woolshed near Taupo on NZ's North Island and Waikato's Kerry-Jo Te Huia from Te Kuiti smashed the women's eight-hour solo lamb shearing world record by shearing 507 lambs on her local turf near Benneydale.
Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers of NZ's meat and fibre chairperson, said shearers like Scott and Te Huia were supreme athletes whose skills and fitness should be showcased at major world sporting events like the Olympics.
"In 2008 it was mooted by Sports Shear Australia but surely the time has come to elevate shearing's sporting status to the ultimate world stage. One way would be to make shearing a demonstration sport at a Commonwealth Games, if not, the Olympics itself.
"If we can achieve that goal it will not just elevate the status of shearing and shearers, it will promote the huge effort that goes into producing first sheep then the wool," she said.
The 15th Golden Shears World Championships will be held in Masterton, NZ, in March.