Upper Hutt College’s Amania Mafi top athletics season is recognised

Amania Mafi’s shot putting talent was recognised with her winning an Athletics Wellington’s Award last week.

The Upper Hutt College 14-year-old took out the Girls’ Junior Thrower regional title after a season of success and promise.

The young star won the shot put at the Hutt Zones meeting. She then won a College Sport Wellington regional meeting with a record throw for the annual event of 13.06 metres.

Later, at the Wellington Junior Champs, Mafi won gold with a 13.07m effort, a distance which set a record for 14-year-old females at the capital’s competition, and remains her personal best.

She also performed well at the New Zealand Track and Field Champs in Dunedin against much older athletes. Representing the Upper Hutt Athletics Club, Mafi finished fifth in national under-18 competition.

A Year 10 UHC student, Mafi is only in her second year of serious shot put competition after first trying out the sport casually at Maidstone Intermediate.

Mafi is a regular at the Sola Power Throwing Academy in Moera under the eye of the highprofile coach Shaka Sola.

‘‘I will keep training there through the winter,’’ she said.

The Athletics Wellington Awards dinner was a glitzy night and Mafi said she was a little relieved she did not have to make an acceptance speech.

‘‘It was pretty good fun but I was a bit shy too,’’ she said.

Mafi already harbours ambitions of a professional sporting career. Not unexpectedly the champion Valerie Adams is her number one sporting hero.

‘‘She was in Dunedin when I was there but I didn’t get to talk to her,’’ she said.

Hutt International Boys’ School middle-distance runner Finn Seeds and Heretaunga College high jumper Chris Gillespie were both junior award finalists.

Gillespie, 15, bettered a 20-year record when jumping a personal best 1.85m at the Hutt Zones meeting and finished the season as College Sport Wellington Intermediate boy’s champion. He also won gold at the Wellington Junior Champs.

Seeds, 12, is unbeaten in 800m and 1500m racing in his age-grade and set record times for both at this year’s Hutt and Wellington meetings.

Colin Williams
Upper Hutt Leader
1 June 2016