The crash site near Hughes Line. PHOTO/rnz.co.nz

Cricket community mourning loss of committed volunteer
McBride played key roles at Waicol

ELI HILL
eli.hill@age.co.nz

Wairarapa’s cricket community is in mourning after one of the pilots killed after a mid-air collision was identified as former Wairarapa Cricket Association chairman Craig McBride.

McBride’s death “would leave a gap in whatever he was involved in”, Wairarapa Cricket Association’s operations manager Simon Roseingrave said.

Craig McBride. PHOTO/FILE

It is understood McBride was flying a Wairarapa Aero Club training aircraft involved in a crash with a Skydive Wellington plane just after 11am on Sunday.

Police have yet to formally name either pilot but Cricket Wairarapa announced McBride’s death through social media on Monday afternoon.

Both bodies have now been removed from the crash site near Hughes Line, but investigators were expected to be at the scene yesterday, and possibly into today.

After 24 years as a maths teacher at Rathkeale College, where he also coached the school’s First XV rugby side, McBride went on to become national manager of MathsBuddy, an online learning programme.

“He would’ve impacted on thousands in the decades he’s been involved in cricket,” Roseingrave said.

“Everybody’s acknowledged how passionate he was about the game – he was a great ideas man.

“He was one of those people who put those hours in.”

Roseingrave said McBride had played cricket for Lansdowne Cricket Club, where he was a life member, in the 1970s and 80s.

He was involved in coaching A grade Wairarapa cricket sides and was chairman of Wairarapa Cricket Association for a year from 2011.

In recent years, McBride had been assisting Wairarapa College, including working with the First XI cricket side, and preparing pitches.

“If something needs doing in that environment, he’ll do it, so he’ll leave a real hole in that space.”

Roseingrave said he was told about McBride’s death on Sunday evening, when the news of his death was confirmed by one of McBride’s friends.

It was understood McBride was a member of the Wairarapa Aero Club and had been flying aircraft for two to three years.