Chip off the old block

31 March 2014

Christopher Lord

New off the block: Woodchopper Christopher Lord is one of this year’s Sir Edmund Hillary scholarship recipients.

Woodchopping is in the blood for former Otorohanga College student and new Hillary Scholar Christopher Lord as he follows in his dad’s footsteps in the sport of axemen.

Chris has been woodchopping for the past nine years. He says he enjoys the competition and the physical challenges that come with it.

Opening up opportunities

Chris, who is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), says the Hillary Scholarship will allow him to combine study and sport, and that the added academic support, leadership and personal development, are opportunities he might not have had without the scholarship.

In the lead up to big woodchopping competitions, Chris says training consists of one night a week chopping four to eight blocks of wood, a few gym sessions and some cardio. He competes in A&P shows and country sports days. Chris has also competed in three U21 trials and two New Zealand men’s trials.

Woodchopping success

“My biggest achievements to date are making the New Zealand Under-21 team and travelling to Australia to compete at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Adelaide shows.”

Chris was the Student Rep on the Sports Council at Otorohanga College and played cricket, basketball, touch, soccer and rugby in which he vice-captained the 1st XV in his last two years of school. He has also played in King Country rugby representative teams every year since primary school.

The most challenging thing about his discipline is putting up consistent performances, knowing that one mistake can be the difference between winning and losing

And as for the future?

“I want to become a fully qualified mechanical engineer, designing and building products that will help improve everyday life. In my sport I want to become one of New Zealand's and the world’s top axemen, and I’d like to achieve at the highest levels in rugby as well.”

Sir Edmund Hillary

The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme, offered since 2005, awards scholarships to academic high achievers who show significant leadership qualities and also excel in sport or in the creative and performing arts. The scholarships provide full university course fees while studying at Waikato, comprehensive support for the recipients’ academic, sporting and/or arts activities, and additional support in leadership and personal development.

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