Hard work pays off in gold at waka ama club finals
The girls of the Toa Waka Ama Club intermediate crew had one thing on their minds during the long hours of training before nationals: gold.
Their hard work paid huge dividends on Lake Karapiro in January, as they paddled their way to two golds, in the 1000m and 500m finals. They won the 1000m race by a staggering 36 seconds.
There was relief, joy, screaming and tears immediately after their victories and as they took to the podium.
Six days a week, before and after school, the girls, who have been paddling as a team for only 12 months, put in the time on the water.
‘‘We love it and were determined to win, to get the gold you have to do what’s necessary,’’ Marley Robben said.
Their coach, 20- year- old Paegan Edwards-Topia, said she and fellow coach, 19-year-old Tyrone Gardiner, were proud of what the crew achieved.
‘‘I told them [before the 1000m final] that the gold medal is there waiting for you. The way they blitzed everyone, I couldn’t believe what was happening and got very teary. I’m still on a high now.’’