Golden Aims Games for Gisborne Intermediate
IT was a golden AIMS Games for Gisborne Intermediate pupils Jodiesha Kirkpatrick and Ollie Egan.
They were just two youngsters from Tairawhiti who excelled at what has become a large and high-profile international championships for intermediate and middle schools.
Jodiesha, a swimmer, won gold medals in three breaststroke races — 50 metres, 100m and 200m — and set AIMS Games records in the 50m and 100m breaststroke events.
She also won a silver medal in the 200m individual medley and bronze medals in the 50m and 100m butterfly.
Ollie paddled his way to gold medals in 100m, 200m and 500m kayaking races.
Sailor Lucy Millar, another Gisborne Intermediate pupil, claimed a silver medal in the open skiff.
The 16th AIMS Games were held last week in Tauranga.
The event is for Year 7 and 8 pupils and attracts more than 10,000 competitors from New Zealand and invited countries.
They competed in 23 codes this year.
Ollie, 12, said he had been paddling for a year.
“It was a real honour to go to the AIMS Games and test myself against other athletes from all over New Zealand,” he said.
Poverty Bay Kayaking Club coach Liz Thompson helped him prepare for the event, he said.
“I am proud of my results and it has given me the motivation to continue paddling, with a view to joining elite kayaking squads in the future.”
Jodiesha, 13, said she was focused on achieving personal bests.
She also participates in winter sports, so hadn’t done a lot of swimming training, but she stepped that up in preparation for the AIMS Games.
“I had a competition the week before the AIMS Games and I was quite close to my personal bests, so I was looking forward to competing at AIMS to see how I would stack up against other top swimmers,” she said.
“After the competition, I was really happy that I was meeting my personal bests and racing my hardest.”
Jodiesha was also pleased that, in the finals, she was able to improve on her times from the heats.
“Moving forward, I’m excited to compete in a national competition in the holidays and try to continue improving.”
Gisborne Intermediate principal Glen Udall said the AIMS Games were a large event and getting gold medals there was a big deal.
“As a school, we are very proud of these students but all credit for preparing them goes to the athletes themselves, their families and their clubs,” he said.
“We simply get the pleasure of celebrating and sharing their success with our school community.”
More Aims Games coverage to come