Trophy for Keith

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A new rugby trophy memorialising one of the Arrowtown junior rugby coaches was awarded for the first time on Monday night – and the recipient, fittingly, was his son.

Arrowtown’s Keith Crawford died in May, aged 49, having battled brain cancer for 14 years.

Keith was the co-coach of the Arrowtown Redbacks, which his son, Jed, 10, plays for.

After his death Arrowtown sculptor Conor McNicholas was commissioned to create the trophy, to be awarded annually to a club member who shows resilience and/or altruism in rugby.

Weighing 20kg to 30kg and made from schist sourced in Kingston, the trophy has a representation of a rugby ball carved into it, McNicholas says.

And the markings on a piece of quartz in the schist spell ‘Keith’ in Ogham, an ancient transcript language, originating in Ireland and England in the first century.

That’s been painted in 24-carat gold to reflect Arrowtown’s goldmining history.

McNicholas says the trophy will sit on a hardwood plinth and become a permanent, fixed feature in the Arrowtown Community and Sports Facility, under construction at Jack Reid Park, when it opens next year.

Until then, Jed’s proudly displaying it at home.

His mum, Jeannie, says Jed was stoked to be the inaugural recipient of the “beautiful” award.

“I think he was really honoured … and that there’s been a trophy in Keith’s name that’s made so beautifully it will be around forever.

“It’s pretty marvellous.”

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz