The Aussie Call To Recognise Sheep Shearing As A National Sport
New Zealand has recognised sheep shearing as a national sport since 1994, now, there's a call for Australia to do so as well.
Dubbo Regional Council is getting behind the push for shearing to be recognised as an official sport ahead of the National Shearing Championships in the city in November.
Mayor of the Dubbo Region, Councillor Ben Shields is behind Australia recognising sheep shearers and woolhandlers.
"These guys spend hours on end practicing, working through the heat of the day," he said.
For competitive sheep shearer Wayne Hosie, it's about time competitors received the recognition they deserved for all the hard work and effort they put in.
“If you look at the top people that are competing, at a national or state or international level, these guys are all putting in as much work as what a lot of athletes would you know -- time and effort, before, during, after work," he said.
"They’re watching their health and it does take a lot of practice."
Hosie told 10 daily if shearing is recognised as a national sport, it would open the door to better funding and research.
"In my personal view, once it is recognised there could be avenues for research into improvements potentially, such as competitors using the Australian Institute of Sport to be put on tester machines," he said.
Competitors across the ditch being treated as professional athlete makes them the "league leaders", Hosie added.
Dubbo Regional Council compared the New Zealand shearers to being on the same level as the All Blacks, and treated like "rock stars".
“We hate being beaten by our rivals across the ditch, so I’m advocating for shearers and woolhandlers to be recognised as sporting legends, and I’d love for other people to support me in this quest to have shearing listed as an official sport,” Shields said.
With New Zealand already recognising sheep shearing as a national sport, there is the possibility of the sport joining the line up of disciplines at the Commonwealth Games if Australia gets on board.
Hosie also believes getting the recoginition would be a chance for the sport to grow.
"It would entice people wanting to become better, and there would be a lot more involvement from industry and spectators," he said.
Hosie will be joining the best in the country in the National Shearing Championships being held at Dubbo Showground between November 28 and 30.