An up-and-coming South Canterbury athlete is having the biggest season of her life after her recent selection for two major international sporting events.
Lauren Bruce, 22, has been selected in both the hammer and discus for the Athletics New Zealand team heading to Townsville, Australia for the Oceania Area and Combined Events Championships in June and the World University Games to be held in Naples, Italy, in July.
Bruce, who has already represented New Zealand on three occasions, said the World University Games will be the biggest event of her career and that representing New Zealand was a great opportunity to show off the talent that this small country has to offer.
“It’s a great chance to go out on the world stage and show what we are producing here in New Zealand.”
Bruce, who started athletics at the age of eight and began throwing after her coach told her to give it a go, said throwing was not her first interest in athletics.
“I used to be terrible at throwing,
“I quite liked jumping and running but I still gave it all a go.”
Since moving to Christchurch four years ago for study, she has teamed up with former Australian Olympic thrower Dale Stevenson, who is also the coach of Olympic shot putter Tom Walsh. This new combination has kept Lauren’s motivation for the sport high.
“I love the challenge in figuring out how to throw further and it’s good fun. You get to spend time with some pretty cool people, which makes it enjoyable.”
Despite this, Lauren said her selection for the Oceania and World University team is only the beginning of the aspirations she has for herself in athletics.
“Definitely making finals at world unis and there are world champs this year so if that happens it happens, that’d be really cool and then there are also the Tokyo Olympics next year.
“I am in a really good space right now with how I am moving along, so I will just stick with that and see what happens.”
By Christina Ryan