An experience of a lifetime for Tatiana
Te Aroha College student Tatiana Kaumoana writes about her experience competing at the New Zealand at the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas.
Leading up to the Youth Commonwealth Games, I had been buzzing with excitement. Training had been going well.
When we arrived in the Bahamas, it was just after 9pm and was still easily over 30 degrees.
The excitement struck me the next morning when I woke up and headed out to the team bonding activities where I was able to meet the rest of the 32 New Zealand athletes.
We were staying at a resort called the Breezes, which had been transformed into an athlete village.
This was an eye-opening environment to be a part of, because I have always heard about all of the Olympic Games having their own athlete villages and to be a part of one and see how they function was amazing.
Another bonus of living in an athlete village for 10 days is that I was continually surrounded by so many like-minded people and was able to form so many new friendships from all around the world that will last forever.
The day after we had arrived, we were straight in to training and I couldn’t wait to get out there and throw.
The first few days of training were really about acclimatising to the super-hot weather and being able to perform to the best of my ability in the completely new environment.
I really do think that I gave myself the best possible lead up to the Commonwealth Games, training continuously and consistently hard for the months in advance of the biggest competition of my life.
As we progressed through each successful training and I continually increased my speed back to where I was at before leaving New Zealand, the closer and closer I came to finally throwing in the competition that my family and I had been working towards for the past seven years of athletics.
Every throw that I stepped into the circle for, I gave my all.
My throws were continuously improving and my technique felt awesome and my hard work had all paid off.
I was absolutely stoked to have been able to bring home the silver medal that I had been working so hard for.
The Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas was my first ever major international competition and first ever major multi-sport games.
I really hope that this is only one of the first of so many wonderful opportunities that I will have with discus, with the major goals of being able to proudly wear the silver fern on my chest again and represent New Zealand at the World Junior Games, World University Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and my dream goal is to compete at and win gold at the Olympic Games in the women’s discus.
I amoverwhelmed with my result at my first major international competition, but am definitely hungry for more. I’ve already started back with all of my trainings, now preparing to defend my senior girls discus title at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Championships in December and then to compete in the Australian State Champs again next March, followed by hopefully competing in the World Junior Games.
Going on this trip of a lifetime has really cemented the idea of the life I want to have for myself with athletics and I amabsolutely certain that becoming a professional discus thrower and competing all around the world is 100 per cent what I want to be doing for many years to come.
Tatiana Kaumoana in action at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas.