NZ Stories - Around the block
PRODUCER – VERONICA McCARTHY
DIRECTOR – BILL de FRIEZ
Around the Block offers a look into the little known world of Wood Chopping, a heartland sport with strong family connections with many competitors today following in their fathers or grandfathers footsteps. Competitors, both male and female, of ages from eight to 80 compete professionally for personal glory, prize-money, and the ultimate goal of representing NZ in the World Champs in Sydney, Australia.
Every axe swing, from above head height, is a calculated risk, bringing the axe within millimetres of a choppers foot, with an estimated force of 2 ton on the edge of the axe as it hits into the log.
Around the Block gives an insight into why a small group of people take part in a little known sport that requires a commitment to travel from one end of the South Island to the other almost every weekend over the season. Testing their physical strength and mental toughness, as well as accuracy and finesses, otherwise toes could easily end up amongst the wood chips on the ground.
This story celebrates an iconic NZ sport that started in the bush well before William Webb Ellis picked up a ball and ran with it, and continues today to the delight of participants and spectators alike.