An update is well in order and now that the stresses of exams are over for the year, here’s the wrap since Junior Worlds in August. Having been away from school for June, July, Aug and Sept meant studying was frequently the first time I’d seen much of the material!
Thursday night was the ‘Sport Auckland Sporting Excellence Awards’. The event was amazing, with professional video and audio clips announcing all the finalists achievements, and the funny Olympic Sports commentator, Sumo Stevenson as MC. I was a finalist for the ‘Junior Sportswoman of the Year’ award and my school hockey team was also a finalist for the ‘Junior Sports team of the year’ award. Being part of an event with World Medalists from sports as diverse as trampolining, sailing, football, sevens rugby and rowing, so many outstanding sports people with phenomenal successes both nationally and internationally was pretty special
It was seriously cool to hear my name called out as the Winner of the ‘Auckland Junior Sportswoman of the Year’ award, (I thought Tyla Nathan-Wong - the Seven’s Rugby girl may get it) and I am still buzzing from the announcement a few days later! Olympic Gold medalists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie won the overall award.
After Junior Worlds finished in August, I picked up my hockey stick and got running for school hockey nationals starting a week later. Being in my last year at school, I was not going to miss it, so my stick has traveled in my cycling box with me throughout my travels this year. What an amazing way to finish my school hockey by becoming New Zealand Secondary School Hockey Champions (already having won the Auckland and Intercity Champs), with the best part being that it was with friends who I have played with since Year 5 at school. It was great to be in a team - team talks, team tactics, team pressure and laughs. Such a contrast to cycling, which is pretty much an individual sport where I train on my own 90% of the time.
When hockey finished, I thought why not have a crack at New Zealand Secondary School Individual Road Cycling Championships...(the day after hockey finals in Carterton). So I rocked up after 5 straight days of hockey, and came away with two silver medals being in the Criterium and the Hill climb up Mt Wellington.
A few weeks ago I entered myself in the New Zealand Criterium Championships and now I race Elite women as I have stepped out of the junior ranks. This race was about 20 minutes (i.e. 20 times) longer than my usual races but Takapuna always puts on such a great event I was willing to put myself through some serious pain just to be a part of it! And I surprised many people, including myself by finishing the race for starters, but then also placing 8th and beating home many New Zealand endurance representatives!
My school Colors evening was held shortly after in September. This was my last Colors evening at St Cuthbert's College where I received my 24th Colors badge. To achieve Colors you have to be in the top 3 in Auckland, gain a national medal, or NZ representative honors or international success. The blazer is getting a bit chocca – see the pic below!
|My current school blazer|
And more breaking news!! This week I received a call from the NZ Sprint Cycling coach, Justin Grace. This was my invitation to the Japan Women’s Keirin, being held next year in March and April. To say I am excited about this, would be an understatement!! Keirin racing in Japan is something to be seen, to be believed. It’s an industry like Horse Racing with Yn800bn (NZ$11bn I think) bet on it – everyone rides standard bikes, wears varying colors (like jockeys), announce their tactics before the race and people bet on the riders tactics as to who they think will win. The clip below gives you a better insight! Everybody dreams of having a crack over there!
In the meantime, I am currently working towards the Elite Track Cycling Nationals at the end of January, so no time off over summer (except for a quick trip to Rhythm and Vines over New Year) just full on training and loving every minute of it!
As I am now in the elite age group I will be looking for (and need) commercial sponsors to help me achieve my dream of an Olympic medal in Rio 2016. Should any of you have contacts, where my endorsement would benefit their company, please feel free to forward them my contact details and put us in touch.
Thank you for your support throughout the year. As you can see it’s given me some awesome experiences that I would not have otherwise have had.
No doubt you’re all having a busy lead up to Christmas. I wish you a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends, and may you achieve all your dreams in 2013.