Champion schooled in some hard sheds

Article by Sally Rae - Otago Daily Times.

As a youngster growing up in Gisborne, champion woolhandler Joel Henare struggled with mainstream schooling.He left school when he was about 11 and continued his studies through correspondence.

Sometimes he accompanied his mother, who worked as a shedhand, and would "help out a bit and play around" in the woolsheds.

"School wasn't really for me, not back then. I didn't really like school," Henare recalled.

By the time he was 12, he was entering woolhandling competitions, making his debut in Alexandra in 2004 and making the junior woolhandling final.

From there, his progression in the sport was phenomenal and, a decade later, he became the country's youngest woolhandler to be awarded master status.

Now Dunedin-based, Henare is preparing to represent New Zealand for the third time at the World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Invercargill from February 8-11.

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