15th World Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championship
The biannual 15th World sheep shearing and wool handling championships is currently in full swing in Masterton, New Zealand. Since 1994 hand shearers from South Africa and Lesotho have often been crowned as world champions. Sheep shearing and wool handling is recognised as a sport in South Africa. The South African Sheep Shearing Federation is affiliated with the South African Sports confederation and South African Olympic committee. We spoke to Ona Viljoen the Spokesperson for Cape Wools.
SA Sheep shearers to compete for world crown
South Africa shearers are a favourites to walk away with the title as the world champion blade shearer when the 15th World Shearing Championships takes place from 29 February to 3 March in Masterton, New Zealand. Shearers from 25 countries will compete for the coveted world crown in the hand and blade shearing events.
This event is held biennially
in a wool producing country. The previous world championships were held in Wales. South Africa
hosted the event in 2000.
Southern Africa has since 1994 dominated in the blade-shearing event. The two blade shearers to compete in this year’s event are Zweliwile Hans, who has won the world title three times, and Mayenzeke Shweni. Both are from Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape.
The two machine shearers are Temba Khoza, from Utrech in KwaZulu Natal, and Isaac Ndlongwane from Wepener in the Free State. They have been in New Zealand since October last year to prepare for the event and to get used to shearing cross-bred sheep, which are different to the Merino sheep they are used to shearing in South Africa.
South Africa has also entered two wool handlers for the wool-handling event. They are Elna Kitching and Luvo Kiyane, both students at Grootfontein Agricultural College at Middelburg, Eastern Cape.
According to Hendrik Botha, president of the Sheep Shearing Federation of South Africa, controlling body of shearing and wool handling sport in South Africa, the South African team has an excellent change to bring home at least one title.
Sheep shearing is recognised in South Africa as a national sport and the Sheep Shearing Federation is also affiliated to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.
The team will arrive back in South Africa on 5 March at 1530.
For more on the Wool Industry in SA go to http://www.capewools.co.za/