From The Sideline with Ferg

From The Sideline with Ferg 548 543 The Flyer Magazine
Ferg Sports

From The Sideline


We got the call from Government late last month that an increase in numbers for gatherings, events and local sport would rise to one hundred which gives us confidence that local sport will be able to kick off again. At the time of printing, local sport had been non-existent so writing about it was difficult, but we hope to be back into it this month (June).

I felt fortunate that my morning job was deemed an ‘essential service’ during lockdown so off to work I would go at 4:30am. It was very strange parking in Park Street and walking down past the Resort College and not being confronted by the often usual pavement pizzas, passed out party animals on the footpath, the lost and rather intoxicated backpackers who needed directions home, the love makers in the gardens or surprisingly the St Peter’s Church grounds! There was also the band of early morning operators going about their business who were missing as well. The street sweeper wasn’t seen so often, the bread delivery van, the town custodians doing the clean-up, Novotel staff arriving for the breakfast shift, The Spire getting set for the day and the adult entertainment ladies, right across from the entrance to my studio, cashing up and heading home after the last act of the morning. It felt like a family to me, of the regulars who surfaced at that time of the morning, and they were nowhere to be seen. The first four weeks of lockdown took a lot of getting used to. After the first week I parked my car down Earl Street, right beside the studio, and it was the only car in the street for three weeks morning after morning. It just wasn’t right looking out and seeing no activity at the hotel across the street and to finish on air at 9am and come downstairs and into the dreary quiet of the CBD, usually abuzz with energy and excitement.

My wife and I normally take leave and head away in May and this year we were Niue bound and heading back via Hawkes Bay, normally to work the marathon. That did not happen. At least next year, all going well, we know where we will be heading, so it was the three week ‘staycation’ at home. Our two girls, Ella and Greer, were essential workers in Wellington and Christchurch respectively so they were taken care of. As you can imagine a lot of the time, in those three weeks, I was working on Queenstown Lakes District Council business remotely as we went about understanding the enormity of what Covid-19 has done to our residents, communities and businesses. It has been a very sombre tone from councillors at every gathering on Skype or Zoom and I know we all, despite personal situations, have calls, decisions and votes to make to try and do right by our people. Those calls, whichever way they go, for me, far exceed sleepless nights over airport noise boundaries, SHA’s (Special Housing Areas), Ladies Mile, chlorine in drinking water or a visitor levy.