Event forces fire­man to face fear

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PU¯RONGORONGO - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

He is used to fight­ing fires and sav­ing lives but Ross Carter said he is over­com­ing his big­gest fear by com­pet­ing in Su­per­Sports this week­end.

The Toko­roa man has en­tered the event with fel­low fire­fighter John Smith.

Be­tween the two of them, they will com­plete all the tasks dur­ing the three days, in­clud­ing four lengths of the South Waikato In­door Pool.

‘‘ Be­fore this I couldn’t even swim a length of the bath,’’ Carter said.

‘‘I would drown in a pud­dle and I’ve got to do four lengths of the pool be­cause the guy I’m en­ter­ing with can’t swim ei­ther.’’

Com­pet­ing in Su­per­Sports meant he could kill two birds with one stone.

‘‘It [Su­per­Sports] is some­thing I’ve al­ways said I’ll do but I’ve never done it.’’

The swim­ming event al­ways held him back.

‘‘[ Learn­ing to swim] is just some­thing I never both­ered do­ing as a kid and so I thought why bother as an adult?

‘‘I can go wa­ter-ski­ing and jump off a boat but when I get in a pool I just freak, it’s all over rover.’’

He said it has been sur­pris­ing to learn he is not alone in that boat.

‘‘Since I’ve started do­ing this it’s amaz­ing how many peo­ple living in this town who have told me they can’t swim.’’

As of Mon­day Carter said he could com­plete two lengths of the pool non-stop.

‘‘On the day it’ll hap­pen, even if I’ve got to stop.’’

He said the Su­per­Sports con­cept, where close to 50 teams com­pete over the three-day week­end to help raise funds for the dis­trict’s elite sports­peo­ple, is phe­nom­e­nal.

‘‘It’s just amaz­ing and I didn’t know what it was all about un­til I en­tered.’’

A spon­ta­neous en­try is not a new thing for the fire­fighter of 13 years, who said he did the same thing with the 12-hour moun­tain­bike ride.

‘‘I’ve just al­ways been like that all my life,’’ Carter said.

He said his chances of win­ning are ‘‘minute’’.

‘‘There are 50 other com­peti­tors who will have to break down be­fore we even have a chance of win­ning.’’

But it was never about the win for Carter.

Larry Sul­li­van

said

while num­bers were down on last year, vol­un­teer sup­port has been huge.

‘‘The com­mu­nity has got right be­hind it again which is great,’’he said.

QUICK LEARNER: Su­per­Sports train­ing has been a life chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for Ross Carter, who couldn’t swim 10 me­tres be­fore he started.

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