Young guns key to clip comps

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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WA Competition Shearing Association president Greg Drew is calling on more shearers to get competitive.
Camera IconWA Competition Shearing Association president Greg Drew is calling on more shearers to get competitive. Credit: Countryman

There’s a new man at the head of the WA Competition Shearing Association, and he’s keen to bolster the number of young guns taking part in the group’s contests.

Greg Drew took the reins of the organisation in January, replacing former president and Grass Valley shearer Kevin Lawrence after 10 years.

Mr Drew, pictured, said one of his main priorities would be involving more young people in the competitions because they were the “future of sports shearing”.

“The competition allows young learners to watch the experienced open shearers and take something back to the sheds they work in,” he said.

“I am getting plenty of help from the WACSA committee in my role.

“The first two competitions at Wagin and Williams ran very well, but we would’ve liked to have more shearers turn up.”

Mr Drew said COVID-19 restrictions and show cancellations had hurt the shearing competition circuit — with most competitions called off — and the industry had been incredibly busy dealing with a severe shortage of shearers.

“We also face the fact that there are less sheep numbers to shear, but there is an urgent need to train young people to replace the ageing shed workforce,” he said.

Mr Drew grew up on his parents’ crossbred sheep farm in Quirindi, New South Wales.

“At five years of age, I knew I wanted to be a shearer,” he said. “I began my 40-year shearing career at 17 in the superfine region of New England and got involved in competitions.”

Mr Drew said he placed well in most competitions he entered after facing off with as many as 65 intermediate competitors.

“I won the NSW intermediate title in 1992,” he said.

Mr Drew, who lives in New Norcia, moved to WA in 2006 and works part-time at the Muchea Livestock Centre.

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