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Beyond the Bale : September 2016
FROM PADDOCK TO PITCH THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN HAT-TRICK! Sam Crawford says the wool blend boxing singlets are very comfortable as they transfer sweat away from the skin. Finding new markets for wool is an important function for AWI and testing how wool performs in the boxing ring is a new one. MERINO BOXING TOP PACKS A PUNCH OFF FARM 21 Merino is increasingly being used in sportswear and the adoption of the natural fibre in adidas running gear (see page 18) and even footwear is one high profile example. At a more local level, wool blend tops are being trialed under the extreme physical exercise of the gym at Mocka’s Boxing Club in western Victoria. The 50% wool, 50% polyester blend boxing singlets being trialed at the club have so far been well received as not only being a little warmer for those training in the winter months but are also more comfortable to wear in a sport where people get very sweaty very quickly. Made by Lyon Sportswear, the bi-layer knittted blend fabric uses 18.5 micron Merino wool next to the skin and a printable polyester outer, transferring moisture away from the body, which is important for a sport such as boxing, where perspiration is significant. The tops are an evolution from the Sportwool technology of the 1990s. “They are certainly very comfortable and I don’t feel as though I’m drowning as you do in a synthetic top,” says 21-year-old Sam Crawford, the son of Merino studbreeder John Crawford of ‘Rock-Bank’. “They were designed by Samantha Rogers who used to box here and I think she has done a fantastic job, they look great. It will be interesting to see how they perform in the hotter weather, but so far so good. Everyone that has worn them so far really likes them.” Ray “Mocka” McIntosh set up the gym 15 years ago and in that time his training and mentorship has helped turn the lives around of many dozens of young men and women. “Like many country areas we have our fair share of social issues and this club has meant a lot to many kids that have come needing direction and discipline,” Mocka said. “It’s not just about boxing as this not- for-profit club teaches the value of respect and being part of something. I’m pleased to say we’ve not only trained some very handy boxers but mentored more than 100 kids, giving them confidence and life skills to take on what the world has to offer them.” Amongst the many boxers who have walked through the doors are 20-year-old Donald Jones, defending Australian youth champion, and Katie Barker, two-time novice and intermediate State Champion. “We’ve had a couple of boxers turn professional from here as well, but whatever the case and however good they are, I’m just happy to have helped turn some lives around and having these great new wool tops is a nice part of that,” Mocka added. 1. WOOL-GROWING IN THE FLINDERS RANGES 2. WOOL PROCESSING BY MICHELL WOOL, ADELAIDE 3. KNITTING BY SILVER FLEECE, ADELAIDE THE RESULT? A WINNER ON THE CRICKET PITCH Mustering woolly sheep towards the shed for shearing on one of the Flinders Merino properties. Wool from the Flinders Merino woolgrower group being processed by Michell Wool in Adelaide. Pictured is Nathan Lyon wearing the Australian Cricket team’s Merino wool jumper made by Silver Fleece during the 2-0 Test win against New Zealand in February. PHOTO: MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images Knitting machines in action at the Silver Fleece factory in Kilkenny, Adelaide.
In the Shops - September 2016