Teen rock-star climber sets her sights on Russian goal
Pirongia rock climber Zeta Hittmann is walking on air after being selected to compete at the 2018 World Youth Sport Climbing Championships in Russia.
The 15-year-old, twice nominated for Waipa Networks District Sports Awards Junior Sportsperson of the Year, is now working hard to raise the $7500 needed to travel to Moscow with the 12-strong New Zealand U18 climbing team in August.
It’s no small ask as the Waikato Diocesan Year 11 student juggles school work with an intensive training schedule.
‘‘She climbs three times a week at the Extreme Edge in Hamilton and has joined an elite climbing development squad based at Mt Maunganui, where she trains on Friday nights and Saturday mornings,’’ her mum Charlotte said.
‘‘We’re incredibly proud of her because she’s also busy at school and doing really well there too.’’
Zeta has loved climbing since she was a toddler and joined a kids’ club at the Extreme Edge while at primary school.
Inspired by her Scottish grandfather, she began competing seriously at age 11 and has enjoyed ‘‘a very successful few years on the national competition circuit’’.
She qualified for the championships at the International Federation of Sport Climbing trials in Wellington earlier this year.
She is now aiming to represent New Zealand at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Zeta sees this year’s cham- pionships in Russia as a stepping stone to achieving that dream and is throwing everything she has into preparing for Moscow.
To help raise the thousands she needs, she and her family have organised a fundraiser at Cambridge’s Tivoli Cinema at 7pm on May 17.
The fundraiser is hoping to fill two theatres, where they are screening The Greatest Showman, a musical about the birth of show business, and Touching the Void, a gripping survival film about English rock climbers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates.
The family is grateful to everyone supporting the event, including Anne Peters of Fayette Catering in Cambridge, who is providing her services for free.
Waikato Diocesan student Zeta Hittmann at the National Rock Climbing series in Rotorua in 2017. Zeta placed first in Lead Climbing and 5th in the Bouldering competition.