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Beyond the Bale : June 2017
SHEARING SHOWCASED TO THE PUBLIC The 922,827 members of the public that went through the gates of the Sydney Royal Easter Show this year had the opportunity to see AWI shearing demonstrations by world-class shearers, with a few lucky audience members invited to help lend a hand. AWI's shearing industry development coordinator Jim Murray led a team of shearers who collectively have vast experience and knowledge of the shearing and wool industries. They showcased their expert skills, reminding those in the crowd that there is work for professional shearers in all corners of Australia. The multiple shearing demonstrations each day attracted large crowds throughout the duration of the show. While the many audience members watched on while listening to yarns about where wool comes from, a few lucky people also had the opportunity to help shear the sheep and collect some wool to take home. Pictured are AWI shearing demonstrators Dayne West (machine shearing) and Courtney Sutherland (blade shearing) displaying their shearing skills with audience members, and Jim Murray (top left) with some of the sheep in his show. "Using Shear-jitsu, shearers avoid the rotation and bring the sheep in a straight line to the pen door and then another straight line to the stand. By keeping their body upright, they can help avoid the common catch and drag injuries, which include ligament damage, hip and lower back strain, and tendon damage." BODY AND TIME MANAGEMENT DURING SMOKO In another of the videos, Pera provides advice on how shearers can best utilise their half hour smoko to refresh their tired bodies. "As soon as you've finished your sheep, take your comb and cutter off, give your handpiece a brush and just put it down. Then go straight to have a wash and change out of your wet gear. Then you should eat; the sooner you eat the more time it gives your food to digest. "13 minutes into your smoko, you should set your handpiece. The comb and cutter should have been prepared the previous night. "For the remaining 15 minutes of smoko, you should undertake injury prevention through a simple stretching and relaxation regime. First lie on your back with your feet elevated; this lowers your heartrate and decreases your body temperature. Then do the three relaxing stretches outlined in the video -- the supine twist, the cobra pose and the child pose -- which will elongate the spine, rehydrate your discs, increase flexibility, increase digestion rate, increase oxygen and blood circulation to the pelvic and spinal areas, open the hips and calm the mind." RESPECT TO ALL Pera says the philosophy of Shear-jitsu is all about respect. "We must respect the farmer, without them we don't have any work. We must respect our workstation, that's our office. We must respect the sheep, they are our clients. We must respect our workmates, we want respect from others so we must also give respect. Respect your body and your ability to provide and sustain. We must respect our coaches, they have all the ability to train you." MORE INFORMATION: If you are interested in a workshop relating to 'Stand & Deliver Shear-jitsu' contact 1800 SHEARS. The four videos (1. Introduction 2. Injury awareness and prevention 3. Body and time management 4. Catching pen dynamics) are available on the AWI YouTube channel www.youtube. com/AWIWoolProduction and the AWI website at www.wool.com/shearingresources ON FARM 49