Townies learn to shear for rural mental health fundraiser

A group of Hawke's Bay women are mastering the skill of shearing, to raise awareness and funds for rural mental health.

Eight women make up the 'Women and Wool' group, which will compete in a special fundraising event at the Hawke's Bay A and P Show in October.

Money raised will go to rural mental health programme Farmstrong.

The women, none of whom come from a rural background, have been learning to shear since March, meeting every Saturday for sessions with shearing coaches.

Hawke's Bay A&P Society general manager, Sally Jackson told Rural Exchange that it started as a light-hearted challenge.

The group of women are raising awareness of mental health in the rural sector - and the sport of shearing.
The group of women are raising awareness of mental health in the rural sector - and the sport of shearing. Photo credit: Supplied/WomenandWool

"It started as a joke, as a challenge between me and the GM of the Canterbury A&P Show," she said.

She said when he pulled out, she didn't want to put the training to waste, so the group and fundraising initiative was launched.

'When I first started, people laughed at me, but it has turned into an awesome opportunity to profile the issues facing the rural community, and the sport of shearing."

The group included a dentist, teacher, and police officer.

Jackson said shearing was a hard skill to learn, which required a lot of fitness and strength.

The competition will be held at the Hawke's Bay Show on October 23. 

 

Listen to the full interview with Sally Jackson.

 

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