23 Aug Nayland’s top athletes gather for a taste of olympic gold
Seven national sports representatives were honoured at a special assembly last week, with certificates and awards presented by world champion rower and olympic gold medalist Joseph Sullivan.
Sullivan, an Olympic ambassador, shared his experiences as a young athlete who succeeded despite frequently being told otherwise.”I got told no pretty much my whole career and I was stubborn enough to keep going,” he explained. He went on to reach the very top of his chosen sport, earning five gold medals at the world championships and gold at the 2012 London olympics with double sculls partner Nathan Cohen.
His advice was both timely and pertinent for Nayland College’s top athletes, who are forging their own paths in an incredibly diverse range of disciplines. Current national representatives include: Finn Sweetman (Judo), Riley Power (Softball), Mae Merrit (Volleyball), Tayla Nesbitt (Table Tennis), Mitsuko Nam (Artistic Roller Skating), Rocky Smith and Zoe Risner (Ultimate Frisbee). These talented students are all part of national age-group teams or have represented New Zealand at events overseas.
Nayland’s director of sport, Mark Cochrane, explained that the College aimed to help every student succeed, whatever their chosen sport. “Often these athletes don’t want to shout about their success but representing New Zealand is a big deal. If we celebrate their achievements it encourages others to go for excellence.”