Their future may not be gold
Young talented sports people are being asked to take a breath before pursuing their dreams in making it to the top of their sport.
The road to success is hard and without a lot of financial reward, and former rower and olympic medallist Nathan Twaddle is one who has ‘‘been there, done that’’.
Twaddle is the manager of the Athlete Friendly Network and has strong words of advice for young athletes.
‘‘Talent is not just measured by performance on the track, but also what you you do when your off it which matters as well,’’ said Twaddle.
‘‘Redefine what your talent is - you may be the best in your age group but when you get to competing on the world stage, everyone is the best.
‘‘But above all remember there is a life to be had when its all over.’’
He said talented teens aspiring to make it to the top of the sporting stage must be mindful.
‘‘It is just a season in your life and to make a plan for after the sporting career.’’
His role as a part of the High Performance Sport New Zealand team is to ensure athletes are empowered to look after themselves away from the training schedules and contribute towards their communities.
‘We are lucky to be based in the Waipa District, it truly is the Home of Champions and the athletes just love being accepted as a part of the community.’’
Athletes have had to move and base themselves in Cambridge to follow their dreams, ‘‘but cold hard reality is they have to also survive’’.
‘‘As a country we ask our athletes to step up, but now we are asking the community to help them in that step by assisting with employment,’’ he said.
Twaddle works in the Cam- bridge area, with the assistance of Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tania Witheford, and helps empower athletes to connect with business owners who he hopes will be able to support athletes through their transitions during and post their sporting careers.
New Zealand’s top Javelin thrower Ben Langton Burnell is benefiting through the program working as an accounts analyst for a Cambridge accountant.
‘‘It’s ideal for me to train for the World Championships in August and also have the security of work which also assists with the costs associated with the sport,’’ Burnell said.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tania Witheford, Ben Langton Burnell and Nathan Twaddle.