No fear in the pur­suit of ex­cel­lence

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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