Western Leader : March 10th 2011
22 WESTERN LEADER, MARCH 10, 2011 SPORT Have we got NEWS for you! News that you can Read, Hear & Watch! Our amazing new online editions take the news into a new dimension. Reads like a newspaper with easy-to-read turning pages -- and packed with extra features that connect you to news like never before. News coverage that puts you on the scene with Turn the page to a new era in local news -- the total multi media news experience! Just click on "Latest Edition" at www.westernleader.co.nz Turn on to our online editions NOW. The latest local news online -- anywhere, anytime. 272: ;48486 OR I IT O R WEB ITE T WWW.W . . Z enrol now GFWECVKQP HQT GXGT[QPG CKL ND | WH K TĀNE | WH NG REI MT LBERT C MP , IT TED T NITEC ENTRY 1, 95 C RRINGTON RD, B ILDING 8, CKL ND AD1138_WSTNLDR SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE CONDITION PPLY ERTIFI TE STUDY In Te Reo, Business, Tourism, and Foundation programmes (ZERO FEE )* DE REE STUDY Education, Māori Performing rts, and Environment tudies M STERS TO PHD M TER - Māori tudies and Indigenous tudies. PhD in Education, Māori, Indigenous & Environment tudies WE' E GOT WH T YO NEED! FROM FO ND TION TO CERTIFIC TE, DEGREE TO M TER ND PhD PROGR MME . u g gw ucvvj g CUD RQN[HGUV 4233 S TURD Y 16TH - 19TH M R H M UK U SPORTS BOWL M UK U ITY LO TED T THE MĀORI ST E RE , EDU TIO ZO E SITE E & F M KE TE WH RE WĀ O W UIĀR I YOUR HOI E FOR EDU TIO I 2011! High-achieving champ seeks training helpers By AMY MCGILLIVRAY It takes two: Blind cyclist Rob Matthews, left, needs more cycling partners like William Harris to train with. Photo: JASON OXENHAM ' I've always found it difficult to find people fast enough and willing enough to run with me. I thought cycling would be easier ' -- Rob Matthews A world class runner who has set 22 world records and com- peted at seven Paralympic Games has turned his focus to cycling. Rob Matthews, 49, is com- mitted to making it to the top of his new sport but he needs help. The Auckland resident is totally blind so requires cyclists to guide him when he hits the roads. Matthews sits at the back of his tandem bike and leaves the steering to his riding partner, known as the pilot. As I am blind I can't just go out cycling on the roads whenever I want, I rely on guides' commitment to train,'' he says. The sports massage thera- pist and motivational speaker is working towards this month's Tour of Northland and is planning to compete in the Oceania championships, the Para-cycling Road World Cup and the world champion- ships this year. But his focus is on the 2012 London Paralympics. My intention is to win a medal for New Zealand at my eighth Paralympic Games in London.'' He needs to ride upwards of 500km a week in prep- aration for these events. I've always found it diffi- cult to find people fast enough and willing enough to run with me. I thought cyc- ling would be easier,'' he says. But it has proven far from easy. Pilots do not need to be top level cyclists, he says. They just need to be a reasonable cyclist, confident on the bike, able to guide me and willing to give it a go.'' William Harris is one of Matthews' pilots, and says it is different riding tandem but it does not take long to adjust. He's been riding with Matthews for about a year and loves it. It's awesome. It gets you fit,'' he says. Matthews inherited reti- nitis pigmentosa from his father. His sight slowly deteriorated throughout his youth leaving him totally blind by the age of 20. That has only made him more determined. I had a choice to make and I decided to get on with my life and make the most of it,'' Matthews says. The father-of-two repres- ented Great Britain in every Paralympic Games between 1980 and 2004, winning eight golds, four silvers and one bronze. He met Princess Diana four times and has met the Queen three times, one of which was when he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1987. He moved to New Zealand five years ago to marry Auck- lander Sarah Kerr after meeting her while holidaying here. It was after he narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Beijing Paralympics with the New Zealand team that the dedicated athlete took up cycling. I realised there was nothing more that I could really achieve or do.'' He competed in his first triathlon in late 2009 and took part in his first inter- national cycling competition last year. Matthews loves the speed and competition of cycling but says it is also a great way to experience the country. I'd really love to cycle from one end to the other of New Zealand and really get the feel of the country more.'' Email rob@robmatthews mbe.com if you are interested in cycling with Rob.
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