World champ kayaker chases dreams
Loving life and going fast
Aimee Fisher loves her life. It’s challenging, sometimes overwhelming and hard, but hugely satisfying. It’s also a life very different from most other 23 year olds who have studied at EIT.
A Sport Hawke’s Bay and EIT sports scholarship recipient in 2013 and in 2014, Aimee is an elite sportswoman who is a canoe sport world champion and a member of the NZ Olympic team.
She began her study at EIT with a Bachelor of Business Studies. In 2014, she was selected for the NZ elite senior team, which required a transfer to Auckland. She completed the semester by correspondence. In 2015, she cross credited to Auckland University and took up Health Science. Then sport took a priority as she trained for world champs and the Olympics. This year she started distance studying for a Bachelor of Arts through Massey University.
Aimee believes her EIT experience has been critical in getting both her study and athletic development “off in a good way”.
“I know I am very fortunate to have been gifted with certain talents, and for the opportunities that are allowing me to chase my dreams. I love that every day I can see how fast Aimee can be. It’s an honour to be able to express myself in this way.”
Part of her stress comes from juggling full time sport with education. However, Aimee says that it’s important for her wellbeing to have something else to focus on, another purpose in her life. Balancing the two is difficult but over the years, she has learned how to make both work for her.
“It’s not that you’re just limited by time, you’re limited by energy as well,” she explained. “We train so close to the edge. We’re always pushing so hard to improve physically that we’re in a constant state of fatigue. Now I study on a Wednesday and Sunday, our half and full day off. I’m awake enough to focus.
“Now I know what my body and mind can and can’t do. I also understand better what my priorities are. Before the world champs, racing is my priority, study takes a back seat. I front Aimee Fisher, world champion kayaker credits a Sport Hawke’s Bay and EIT sports scholarship for helping her to juggle her elite sports goals with future career dreams.
load as much of my study as I can, even before a semester starts, and then I ask for extensions so I can catch up.
“When I’m not training it is so much easier to get study done. But sport is my priority as I’ve only got a short window of potential and time to chase my dreams, to achieve my goals.
“I now think my education is a long game. It doesn’t matter that it might take me nine years to complete my degree. It’s a case of chipping away.”
Aimee used one year’s sports scholarship grant to purchase a then top of the line kayak that meant she was on equal terms with her competitors. It also meant she could remain within her Hawke’s Bay support network.
“People who were emotionally invested in helping me. My family, friends, Sport Hawke’s Bay, Aspyre Fitness and the Jarrod Cunningham Trust. Everyone who wanted to help Aimee go faster.
“When I went to Auckland University I felt like a bit of a number. It was a really big contrast after EIT where it’s so supportive, not just financially but my lecturers really understood the challenge I was facing as an elite athlete. That time set me up so well.”
Fisher was recently back in Hawke’s Bay after a gruelling yet successful time at the canoe sport World Championships held in Portugal. The event is a benchmark for teams before
qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2015, in the build up to the Rio Olympics qualifiers, Aimee and her K4 teammates managed to qualify for the A-final by a fraction of a second. In August 2018 the team took second place in the A final by a solid 10cm.
“The Hungarians have dominated K4s for the last 10 years and now we’re right up there with them.
“We are aiming for gold in Tokyo.”