Queenstown high jumper’s DIY win

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Kiwi ingenuity and hard work have paid off for a Queenstown boy who won an Otago athletics title last week. 

Sam Moore, 11, won his age group in the boys’ high jump competition at the Otago Primary Schools’ Athletics Championships – and he did it with the help of a $9 training kit in his backyard. 

The Arrowtown Primary pupil was second at the recent Central Otago Primary Schools’ Athletics Champs which prompted him to train hard, mum Rebekah Moore says. “Sam never had any high jump or athletics training but once he qualified for the championships his interest heightened and training became a priority.” 

The family investigated getting proper equipment, costing at least $1500 for mats. 

“We bought three old mattresses from the Salvation Army and got two long bamboo sticks and joined them together, and Googled high jumping tips for him. Altogether it cost $9,” Moore says. 

“It’s pretty cool for a kid to be able to help build it all at home – you don’t need the fancy stuff.” 

After practising every day at home, and whenever he got a chance at school, Sam jumped a personal best of 1.4 metres to win the under-12 high jump. 

Meanwhile, Remarkables Pri–mary pupil Sophie Woodham, 10, won the under-11 girls’ long jump with a jump of 3.83m. She’d earlier smashed the Central Otago record with a 4.21m jump at the Central Otago athletics comp. 

“It was really windy and we were running into the wind so none of us jumped as well as we have, but I was still pleased to win,” Sophie says. 

Other results: Arrowtown Primary – Chai Proctor, U-13 boys’ long jump winner, high jump runner-up; Sofie Arhanic, U-12 girls’ high jump runner-up; Jak Jessop, U-12 hurdles winner; Levi Collins, third in U-11 high jump; Alice Robinson, Luca Swale, McKenzie Galbraith and Claudia Watts U-11 girls’ relay, runners-up. 
Remarkables Primary – Lavenda Manulea, U-13 girls’ shot put, runner-up. Queenstown Primary – Akane Suzuki, U-12 75m hurdles winner; Samuel Jones, 12-years-plus shot put, 13-years-plus long jump winner; Georgia Ramsay, U-11 long jump runner-up.