Home' Northern Outlook : May 4th 2013 Contents 8 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, MAY 4, 2013
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Economics spin put on cricketers
PRIME EXAMPLE: Scott Styris was a
good example of a cricketer who used
the most of his abilities.
Photo: JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON
By GARY MOODY
ECONOMICS COULD have a big-
ger part to play in the Black Caps'
cricketing careers than helping
them decide what to do with the
cash from the Indian twenty 20
league in the future.
University of Canterbury econo-
mics and finance lecturer Dr
Seamus Hogan, whose research
with former doctoral student Scott
Brooker was behind the WASP
system used on SKY TV to predict
one-day cricket game outcomes, is
using the principles of the disci-
pline to look at what makes a good
player -- particularly in batting.
He has studied some of the
world's best, as well as a period
under New Zealand coach John
Bracewell when the Black Caps
were number three in the world in
The strike rate of runs per ball
was not the whole story'' for a
batsman. He had used techniques
from economics to decompose''
how well batsmen do into how
much raw talent the batsmen
have and their strategic nous in
knowing how best to utilise that
talent in choosing their level of
The better player they are, the
worse they are at doing the right
thing given their talent, he said.
Players like Ricky Ponting were
gifted enough to still perform out-
standingly but strategically could
have done better.
New Zealand batsmen have
been very good in their strategic
The Black Caps of the Brace-
well period performed well at the
crease because they used the most
of their abilities -- taking the
appropriate level of risk when
there was the opportunity to
He cited Scott Styris as a prime
He thought team sports like
cricket could lead to conservative
play, with pressure from the coach
and even the media to not fail.
Dr Hogan said New Zealand
Cricket was aware of his work,
but it had not been used in the
The dispassionate response of
economics and its application of
statistics was useful, but there
was always a role for the gut in
As a cricket fan, Dr Hogan
would like to apply the principles
to test cricket, but there were too
many variables. The 600 ball one-
day game -- which had distinct
phases -- was ideal.
spotted on river
RARE FIND: A spoonbill making its home on
the Kaiapoi River, spotted at the Coastguard
Waimakariri-Ashley slipway recently.
UP TO three spoonbills
have been spotted on the
Kaiapoi River recently.
The birds, usually found
on the West Coast where
they breed in the same
area as the white heron,
have been photographed
on the Coastguard
Local coastguard presi-
dent Dave Johnson said he
had been on the river regu-
larly over many years and
this was only the second
time he had seen spoon-
The last time was about
seven years ago and I saw
Two have been spotted
together at the coast-
guard's slipway, and on a
separate occasion three
were seen there -- right in
the heart of Kaiapoi, he
It's something a little
different, seeing these
birds up the river.
It seems likely they've
made it their home.
I was talking to some-
body who knows about
such things and he thinks
they may have been nesting up in
the Kaiapoi lakes and ventured down this way,'' Mr Johnson
Teens' stress revealed
GAP: Teenage girls were more than twice as likely as boys to report
symptoms of stress. INSET: Researcher Tim Heetkamp.
By ANNA PRICE
A STUDY into stress and resili-
ence in Canterbury teens follow-
ing the big earthquakes has
found a surprisingly high 24 per
cent with clinically significant
post-traumatic stress disorder
More than twice as many girls
(34 per cent) reported such
symptoms compared with boys
(13 per cent).
Researcher Tim Heetkamp
said the higher prevalence of
these symptoms among females
was a common finding in exist-
ing literature across disaster
The study formed part of his
psychology master's thesis at
He hoped to determine where
interventions for adolescents
could best be targeted.
He expects the findings could
be applied in future disasters
anywhere in the world.
About 570 teens from six Can-
terbury schools took part in the
two-year research project.
Students from Linwood Col-
lege, Aranui High, Paenga
Unlimited, Hillmorton High,
Christchurch Boys' and Christ-
church Girls' high schools took
part in the online survey with
Mr Heetkamp said the results
showed girls experienced higher
levels of fear than boys.
The level of fear experienced
during the earthquakes was
closely related to the severity of
PTSD symptoms,'' he said.
Past research on disasters,
indicated that post traumatic
stress symptoms would reduce
symptoms could be expected in a
smaller percentage of the popu-
In addition, long-term secon-
dary stressors after major disas-
ters could be a catalyst for
psychological difficulties other
This highlights the import-
ance of ongoing intervention for
teenagers,'' Mr Heetkamp said.
Adolescents who agreed with
statements such as I am able to
handle unpleasant or painful
feelings like sadness, fear, and
anger,'' experienced signifi-
cantly fewer PTSD symptoms.
This coping competence is a
promising target for program-
mes that aim at reducing
adverse psychological effects in
Funding from the Red Cross
for the provision of appropriate
support was encouraging, he
It is important that interven-
tions are targeted to the various
needs of teenagers.
Not all will need programmes
for anxiety or depression.
Some may just need outlets
to express themselves, connect
with others or build their resili-
The effectiveness of program-
mes should be properly evalu-
ated so resources were put to
the best use, Mr Heetkamp said.
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