Mother, daughter team wins bronze

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Surprise finalists in the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, Cook Islander mother and daughter Tina and Maiden Elers, provided the fairy-tale ending of the champs.
The Mataura pair were the underdogs in the team woolhandling competition, and when it was announced on Saturday the team had made the final, they were ecstatic, Tina Elers said.
If that was not enough, the duo then went on to finish third, claiming the bronze medal.
Competing in the world championships had always been dream for her, but to get there with her daughter was something special, she said.“Your hopes are that one day you would make the champs. It’s pretty phenomenal to be here,” she said.
Going into the final of the teams event on Saturday night, the pair worked their hardest, which had been their aim throughout the champs, she said.“Our goal was to just do the best we can.”
She also received the bronze medal in the individual woolhandling competition.
The Elers pair, along with nephew and cousin Marley Waihape, of Mataura, and Aaron Bell, of Waipawa, made up the Cook Islands team, as all have family ties to the country.
All four worked in the shearing industry in New Zealand, Tina Elers said.
“I’ve been in the industry my whole life – I was born and bred in it,” she said.
Maiden Elers was a late replacement in the team, getting the call-up the week before the event.“Not many people can say they went to the world champs with their mum,” she said.Waihape got an early Christmas present, when he received the call-up for the team last year.
He had been in the shearing industry for the past three years, with both sides of his family, the Elerses and the Waihapes, well-known in the shearing industry in Southland, he said.
“It’s in the blood really.”
Bell said originally he had worked in farming but changed trades after earning more money on the weekends shearing sheep.
Shearing had taken him all over the world, but competing at the world champs had been the best thing so far, he said. “It’s second to none really,” he said.