Students seeking to make history
Four up-and-coming weightlifters need help to make history.
For the first time New Zealand has been invited to compete in the 2015 Pacific Games for weightlifting, being held in Papua New Guinea.
One Tree Hill College students Anthony Taylor, 18, David Liti, 18, and Dean Par, 15, all qualified to compete at the games through the Auckland Championships on April 3.
The weightlifters train at Netfit Olympic Weightlifting Club in Ellerslie and have come through its Olympic weightlifting programme.
All three junior athletes are ranked the highest in New Zealand for their classes.
Anthony and David compete in the junior weight classes of 69kg and 105kgplus respectively, while Dean competes in the 54kg youth division.
Ianne Guirnares, 27, has also qualified for the games. He is currently New Zealand’s highest ranked senior 62kg lifter.
Coach Tina Ball says her athletes have huge podium potential, however with no funding the lifters and coaches need to raise $3600 each in order to gain this invaluable experience.
The programme at Netfit is free of charge for One Tree Hill College students to allow them access to the competitive sport.
Ball says her athletes are all extremely dedicated and can train up to nine times a week.
‘‘They have to make a lot of sacrifices. Being young they have to choose to prioritise the sport over social activities and friends, which can be tough.’’
Ball says the long term goal is to get to the world championships and Olympic Games.
‘‘The more international experience they can get the better, so if they qualify for something we try really hard to get them there.’’ The Pacific Games begin on July 4 and incorporate the 2015 Oceania senior, junior and youth weightlifting championships.
Ianne Guirnares is one of the first New Zealanders to qualify for the 2015 Pacific Games, but his team needs help getting there.