A woman with core strength
ROISIN Giles says representing New Zealand for two completely different sports is a mind game.
The 19-year-old from Mt Roskill has been selected to compete in the world taekwondo championships in October.
She also competes for New Zealand in weightlifting and won silver at the Oceania Championships last month.
She says the two sports need a similar frame of mind for success.
‘‘You’re always trying to improve your own movements and weights. It’s about striving for perfection but basically accepting the highest effort you can give. They’re not too different when you think of it like that.’’
Giles trains at Warrior Taekwon-Do in Ellerslie up to three times a day, in between studying law and science at Auckland University. She started karate aged 8. ‘‘I always wanted to be a world champion. Taekwondo is another branch of the same tree. It probably comes down to being very competitive. If there’s a sport that I enjoy I’m going to want to be really good at it.’’
Giles took up CrossFit in 2011 after a sports injury and became hooked on the fitness regime. It led her into the world of weightlifting – something she had never considered.
‘‘Weightlifting is just totally different. I was interested in doing it because it’s so unique. You don’t see a lot of women weightlifters.’’
Giles says she was overwhelmed with her weightlifting placement in the under-58kg division at the Oceania championships.
She had been training for a year and it was her first time representing New Zealand in the sport. But all the hard work and early mornings paid off, she says.
‘‘With weightlifting there’s one movement that takes three seconds compared with taekwondo pattern movements..’’
She is looking forward to the challenge of the world competition but is nervous at the same time, she says.
She will compete in the first degree division ‘‘pattern’’ competition involving a series of extremely specific movements performed against another competitor.
If one movement is a centimetre off perfection then points will be deducted.
Her coach, Carolina Dillen, won the same division three times in a row for New Zealand and Giles is hoping to bring back the top title for her club.
‘‘When you’ve got such a long time between starting training and competing it’s just about keeping going.
‘‘Sometimes in the early morning I have to look very deep to find it – but the motivation is still there.’’
Ms Dillen says Giles’ attitude makes her stronger than other athletes. She has been training Giles competitively for the past two years and has been a taekwondo coach since 2009.
‘‘She has the best attitude for being an athlete that I have seen in my entire career. It transforms all the activities she does.
‘‘She believes she can do anything and works just as hard to back that up.’’
She will be watching Giles’ performance with great anticipation.
‘‘CrossFit is great mental training because you have to think like a winner. You push through until you finish and you win. And Roisin has everything it takes to win.’’
Jump start: Roisin Giles is aiming high for the world taekwondo championships this year.
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to watch a video of Roisin Giles weightlifting.