1953 was a great year for New Zealand sport, producing 20 All Blacks and New Zealand champions. The number includes representation in New Zealand teams and national titles won in senior competition.
The following inviduals gained honours in:
NZ Rugby Team: W. A. McCaw and C. A. Woods
NZ Cricket Team: G.W.F. Overton
NZ Women's Hockey Team: I Baird, L. Sanson, I Sanson, M. Orr, E. Lush
NZ Women's Softball Team: A. Coulson, R. Trail, A. Beange, R.Cross, P. Duggan, M. McQueen
NZ Women's Indoor Basketball Team: A. Coulson, J. Rewcastle
NZ Badminton Team: P.D. Skelt
NZ Rifle Shooting Team: J.A. Lobb
NZ Athletics: D.W. Jowett (sprint champion)
NZ Wrestling: J. Monaghan (champion)
NZ Swimming: Miss J. Cockroft (long distant champion)
There are also other champions that cannot be overlooked in New Zealand Ski champion, Miss S. Lonsdale and Miss Claire Smith who was a member of the New Zealand women's golf team.
McCaw and Woods were two outstanding triallists for the South Island team in the All Black trial, along with three other players. There was also R. W. Gilson and P. Creedy who now lives in Canterbury.
Gilson showed himself as a class winger with his solid tackling a feature of the game. Creedy's speed and decision making from the scrum would have impressed the selectors. Creedy today was playing his opposite team mate, Jack McKenzie, who had a feast of clean ball from set play and his passing was quick and accurate, but he did lack the finesse of Creedy whose cover defence was faultless.
Woods was also considered a strong contender for hooker and grabbed a feast of ball and when he was swapped into the probables team, he again got more than his fair share of ball.
Len Wilson played first five in the Possibles team and had a hard day of it, with little known named players inside him.
Reference: The Southland Times September 1953
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