Fielding taking on world’s best

Jade Fielding  trains at the OUSA dance room earlier this week as she prepares for the FISAF...
Jade Fielding trains at the OUSA dance room earlier this week as she prepares for the FISAF world fitness championships in the Netherlands. Photo: Linda Robertson
Landing a jump in the splits and catching a fall in a push-up are just two things Jade Fielding is set to do on the world stage.

Three weeks after being crowned New Zealand FISAF aerobics champion, the 18-year-old is ready to compete against the best of the best.

She leaves for Leiden, in the Netherlands, this morning, where she will contest the FISAF world fitness championships, otherwise known as competitive aerobics.

Competing in the senior individual women’s category alongside 18 others, she has one two-minute routine to impress the judges.

Performed to music, the routine combines flexibility, strength and agility.  Judges score  competitors on skill, artistic, technical and aerobic components.

After that, the top 12 would be taken through to the semifinals,  then the top five progress to the final.

Having begun aerobics as a Bayfield High School pupil in 2012, a switch to a higher level in FISAF, from NZCAF, opened the door to competing on the world stage.

"I’ve kind of always wanted to represent New Zealand in something, but I only started FISAF last year," she said.

"So that’s when the goal really came into perspective and was like ‘this is actually possible and something I really want to do’."

A first-year physical education student at the University of Otago, Fielding is one of four New Zealanders travelling to the Netherlands.

The team — which also includes Emily Lawn, Rebecca Fisher and Pia Rogers — was selected after the athletes submitted videos tracking their progress throughout the year.

Fielding had not competed internationally before, but was excited to do so.

Having edged Lawn and Fisher for the senior women’s individual national title in Christchurch — her first in FISAF — Fielding was taking confidence into the championships.

"I’m expecting to see a lot of talented athletes.

"I just want to perform the best routine I’ve ever done.

"My absolute goal?  It’d be amazing to get through to semifinals, but you never know what the competition is going to be like.

"So I just want to get over there and give it everything I’ve got and see some amazing performances and do that myself."

Fielding trains six times a week and is coached by former New Zealand representative Tessa Mullins.

Her sessions were intense, often performing her routine multiple times with limited rest in between.

That was to help  with the fitness component, while there was also a lot of strength-work involved, as well as refining the skills used in the routine.

While the exact time of the competition  depended on several factors, Fielding thought it  would be  about  5am on Wednesday  (NZ time).

She will be the second competitor to perform.

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