Young Prebbleton para athlete off to Oceania champs

A promising young Canterbury para athlete is training hard to improve his shot-putting technique.

Rorie Poff is heading off to Australia next week to compete at the Oceania track and field championships. 

The 17-year-old Prebbleton athlete has been training hard for the pinnacle athletics event due to be held in Queensland. 

He is part of a large New Zealand contingent heading to Australia, but admits he personally still has a few things to work on.

"It's not where I want it to be at the moment, but I reckon we'll get there."

The talented shot-putter has cerebral palsy, which he says impairs his co-ordination and balance.

"Some days it's worse than others, but I try and control it the best I can."

In a world-first for international athletics' competitions, para athletes will be competing at the same time as able-bodied athletes at the Oceania event.

They will still be in different categories, but all athletes will be competing for medals at the same venue.

Poff says world-class Canterbury shot putter Tom Walsh and Kiwi Jacko Gill are his inspiration - and he hopes to reach their level one day.

- By Geoff Sloan
- Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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