Athlete’s secrets of her success

Commonwealth Games javelin fifth place-getter Tori Peeters has 70 metres in her sights, she says.

The former St Peter’s College pupil spoke at a Cancer Society of New Zealand breakfast fundraiser in Gore last week.

The event was organised by Longford Intermediate School pupils Ashley Lithgow, 11, Livy Barnett, Addi Grant and Reihanah Abdul Halim, all 12, as part of the community service component of the William Pike Challenge.

The pupils sold tickets to the breakfast at the Thomas Green Public House and Dining House, organised Miss Peeters as the guest speaker and found items for a silent auction and raffle prizes.

Ms Peeters spoke about her journey in the sport and her plans for the future.

The day she threw more than 60m in February in Sydney was ‘‘a special memory and a big part of my journey’’, Ms Peeters said.

She had been aiming for the milestone and was sure she could do it.

Her personal best in the event is 62.40m, which she threw in March.

She believed it was important to keep challenging herself and keep trying to improve herself.

Her next goal is to break 70m.

The world record is held by former Czech athlete Barbora Spotakova, a three-time world champion, who threw 72.28m in 2008.

Success . . . Longford Intermediate School pupils Addi Grant (back left) and Reihanah Abdul Halim and Ashley Lithgow (front row left) and Livy Barnett organised a Cancer Society of New Zealand fundraiser by inviting Commonwealth Games javelin thrower Tori Peeters to speak at a breakfast at the Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room last week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Ms Peeters said there was ‘‘no one model that fits all’’ solution to throwing the javelin further.

‘‘When it comes to the technical component of throwing the javelin, I’m always searching for that one thing that’s going to click for Tori.

‘‘There is the main physics of how to throw a javelin well but also everyone is a different shape and size and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.’’

What worked for other javelin throwers might not work for her, she added.

Ms Peeters also spoke about how her family had helped mould her into the person she is today.

She first picked up the javelin in a physical education class when she was in year 10 at St Peter’s College.

She knew her older sister Stacey had thrown the javelin.

‘‘I thought ‘it can’t be that hard’.’’

As she experienced more success, she started training with Gore Athletics coach Murray Speden.

She enjoyed many other sports at school, including rugby.

‘‘I didn’t just play [sports] — I had to be the best, so doing it and being mediocre wasn’t really enough for me.’’

She had never seen herself as being any less skilled or talented because she was a girl.

‘‘I think that mindset has also really helped shape me today into who I am.’’

As she reflected on her childhood she realised she had high expectations.

It took her a while to realise javelin was the sport she would focus on.

‘‘I didn’t think it would be javelin that I would excel at but I knew it would be a sport of some sort and I always had that passion and competitiveness to be the best, which just translated naturally into that dream of wanting to wear the silver fern and compete at the Olympics one day.’’

The breakfast raised about $4600 for the Cancer Society.

Teacher Gretchen McStay supervises the pupils taking part in the William Pike challenge.

She said she was very proud of the girls’ effort.

The project had taught the girls many skills, including how to organise a fundraising event, she said.

‘‘They’ve worked really hard and stayed focused on what they needed to do.

‘‘They’re amazing young ladies.’’