Brandy follows in Valerie Adams’ footsteps
Shot put and discus champion Brandy Collins achieved a notable milestone at the Wellington athletics championships this month.
The Titahi Bay Athletics club member throws in the Athletes with Disability category – she has a Global Learning Disability.
But this month the 16-year-old won the under-18 discus title with a personal best throw of 25.81m. She was runner-up in the shot put. In both events she was competing against able-bodied throwers.
‘‘I was very happy I was the gold medallist – and my family was happy too,’’ she said.
Brandy started throwing in 2014 at Bishop Viard College, where her physical education teacher recognised her talent.
At that year’s North Island champs she broke shot put – 7.31m – and discus – 17.18m – records in the athletes with a disability category.
Brandy was a finalist in the College Sport Wellington awards last year and was also the Bishop Viard College Sportswoman of the Year.
One goal for Brandy is to make the Special Olympics in 2020.
Her sports hero is double Olympic gold medallist shot putter Valerie Adams.
‘‘She’s one of my idols. I‘m going to follow her footsteps and represent New Zealand one day. I want to beat her [distances] one day!’’
This year Brandy is attending Whitireia Polytech.
Champion athlete Brandy Collins with her coach, Shaka Sola, at the Wellington championships.