Athletics: Coach encourages young throwers

Aaron (left) and Bradley Tarleton at Taieri College. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Aaron (left) and Bradley Tarleton at Taieri College. Photo by Gregor Richardson.
It was inevitable. As soon as Bradley Tarleton was coached by Raylene Bates for the shot put, it was certain he would soon be throwing the hammer as well.

It worked for Tarleton when he won his first New Zealand title in the youth under-18 hammer throw title in Wellington in March.

He also dominated the secondary schools championships in the event and won the Otago, Otago-Southland and South Island senior boys titles.

He smashed the records at the Otago (52.55m) and Otago-Southland (49.18m) meets.

Bates is one of the best hammer throw coaches in New Zealand and encourages members of her throwing squad to try the event.

''Raylene's helped me a lot. She knows her stuff. The hammer throw is a technical event and I couldn't have done it without her,'' Tarleton said.

Bates has one of the best throwing squads in the country and New Zealand champions pop up all the time.

''It makes you want to perform because people around you are performing well.''

His aim is to win the New Zealand secondary schools senior boys hammer throw title in December, and to represent New Zealand at the Oceania championships next year.

In November last year, his best distance was 50.03m. Just four months later, he improved by 3m when he won the national youth title with a personal best 53.04m in Wellington.

''There was a hammer festival in Dunedin and the best coaches in New Zealand were there and gave me a few pointers,'' he said.

''They told me to stay low in the circle.''

Aaron (14) Bradley followed his big brother into the hammer throw and won the boys under-15 titles at the Otago, Otago-Southland and South Island secondary schools championships.

He broke the record at the Otago-Southland event by a massive 11m with his throw of 35.80m.

''Bradley did it, so I went along to the training as well,'' Aaron said.

''It's fun and I like challenging and pushing myself.''

He admitted that it was a bit scary at first ''spinning round with a metal rod with a ball on the end of it.''

He had a few problems to overcome before he mastered the event.

''I'm small and the hammer is big. It's hard for me to throw it far. It often puts me off balance.''

His best throw with the 4kg implement is 38.40m.

Aaron enjoys competing and training with his big brother.

''It's pretty good. He keeps me in my place. I want to beat him and push myself harder.''

The Bradley brothers are small, compared with the bigger Pacific Island pupils they will compete against at the national secondary schools championships in December.

Boys of the same age will be 20kg to 30kg heavier.

The challenge for the Tarleton brothers is to train harder and smarter and be more technically skilled. 



Names: Aaron (14) and Bradley (17) Tarleton.

School: Taieri College.

Sport: Athletics.


Bradley: NZ under-18 youth hammer throw champion, third in under-20, Otago secondary schools senior boys champion (record 52.55m), Otago-Southland secondary schools champion (record 49.18m), South Island secondary schools champion.

Aaron: Otago secondary schools under-15 hammer throw champion 2014, Otago-Southland secondary schools champion (record 35.80m), South Island secondary schools champion.

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