Teen throws down gaunt­let with dad’s guid­ing hand

Whangarei Report - - SPORT -

For star Whanga¯ rei ath­lete Niko­las Kini, train­ing doesn’t end when he steps off the field.

Kini, 16, is coached by his fa­ther Sa, and de­spite re­quest from other coaches to be in­volved in Niko­las’ train­ing, the fa­ther/son part­ner­ship seems to be work­ing.

“It’s re­ally cool hav­ing my dad coach me. When we’re home and eat­ing din­ner, we’ll be talking about it so there’s al­ways some­thing to talk about. Re­ally nice to spend time with him,” Niko­las said.

At the Ocea­nia Poly­ne­sian Re­gional Champs in Tahiti on Novem­ber 24-25, Kini won the U18 shot put, dis­cus and ham­mer throw events, set­ting an Ocea­nia re­gional record for shot put. He was awarded male ath­lete of the meet.

“I was quite hum­bled when I won the events. I reached my goals and I was quite proud of my­self,” he said.

“I don’t re­ally think about win­ning. If I hit my per­sonal bests, I’m happy be­cause you’re not al­ways go­ing to win so to set a goal for my PBS and not just to win, I think that’s the best.”

Niko­las, who started ath­let­ics as an eight year old, said he was pleased he had beaten older op­po­si­tion be­cause it showed his com­mit­ment to suc­ceed­ing.

“It’s about ded­i­ca­tion be­cause I don’t think about age. At some stage you’ll all be throw­ing the same so it’s just ded­i­ca­tion to your train­ing and prepa­ra­tion.”

Niko­las trains twice a week at Kens­ing­ton Park with other ath­letes and uses sprint­ing and the gym through­out the week to main­tain fit­ness. Work­ing with other ath­letes helped him when it came to com­pet­ing.

“I don’t want to sep­a­rate my­self too much from the other guys train­ing here be­cause I like so­cial­is­ing when I’m train­ing. It helps be­cause when I’m throw­ing, they are talking and mak­ing noise, so then you learn to block them out and throw.”

Niko­las said shot put was his favourite out of the three events be­cause it was a good way to re­lease anger and nerves.

“I do like shot put be­cause when you get an­gry you can put more ef­fort into it. My first throw is al­ways when my nerves get to me but I’ve been taught to use my nerves to my ad­van­tage.”

His fa­ther said coach­ing his son now re­minded him of when he raised his chil­dren.

“It’s like coach­ing them when they were young show­ing them how to walk.

“We spend a lot of time to­gether when he was grow­ing up and now he’s 16, we are still to­gether. The thing about him is that he doesn’t give up eas­ily, he’s got that fire in­side him.”

Sa said he made sure he was hon­est with his son so Niko­las knew how hard he needed to train to achieve his goals.

“If you want some­thing, you’ve got to go and get it. No one is go­ing to give it to you. What you put in is what you get out. It’s about be­ing hum­ble.”

When he first got into ath­let­ics, Niko­las didn’t per­form as well as he does now, but his fa­ther said this was what gave Niko­las the mo­ti­va­tion to get bet­ter.

“When he started when he was young he would al­ways lose but now he’s re­ally hun­gry to train so maybe the losses were good for him to bring that hunger out of him.”

Sa said he was very proud of his son’s achieve­ments and hoped his son could make a ca­reer in ath­let­ics.

“As long as he’s happy with what he’s do­ing, I’ll be happy. I hope he can go re­ally high, like go to the Olympics, that’s the num­ber one hope.”

Niko­las and fa­ther Sa have a good re­la­tion­ship in and out­side of the ath­let­ics arena.

PHO­TOS / JOHN STONE

Niko­las Kini prac­tises his favourite event as he looks for­ward to a bright ca­reer in ath­let­ics.

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