No fear in the pursuit of excellence
Ahhh, the innocence of youth. In our February 7 edition, we spoke to lawn bowlers Finbar McGuigan, Bradley Down, Brady Amer and Seamus Curtin.
The Porirua lawn bowlers - all ex-Aotea College, but who ply their trade for different bowls clubs around the region now - all performed well at the national championships in Taranaki in January.
It’s well-documented now that the sport’s top echelon is beginning to fill up with players under 25 and these teens are the norm, rather than the exception.
Speaking to the Porirua lads, you are struck by their incredible attitude as they challenge the established frontrunners.
On the one hand, they have no fear and will take on anyone, anytime.
Their raw talent and willingness to try to make the difficult shot work often does not pay dividends, but they are impressing the older bowlers.
On the other, the respect in which they hold their competitors, and learn from a losing experience, is holding them in fine stead.
Included in that attitude is the ability to overcome disappointment quickly. Expect to hear those surnames in Blackjack colours for years to come.
Their attitude is not unique to this group of lawn bowlers.
There are young footballers who are playing for New Zealand under 17s in Tahiti, Tawa tennis players are on the up and up and Ainsleyana Puleiata has made the 21-strong New Zealand Secondary Schools netball squad for the second year running.
In our experience, young sportspeople are getting more humble and more aware of their environment than ever before.
We talk to Porirua and Tawa’s talented young athletes on a weekly basis.
More often than not, we’re speaking to them after a regional or national title - it may be the first one they have won - and their passion for their chosen field means it won’t be the last.
For the most part, these athletes acknowledgemumor dad who takes them to training, how much - often volunteer - coaching was needed to hone their skills and are refreshingly honest about their opponents and how far they want to go in their chosen sport.
There is no wariness about talking to the media - not yet.
We are humbled by their dedication, honesty and no-fear attitude.
It inspires others and it inspires us to keep reporting their deeds.
We should watch and be proud.