A woman with core strength

Central Leader - - NEWS - By LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

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.

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