Headed for the top

Matthew Aucamp steps up to the podium to receive his silver medal at the NZ Combined Events Athletics Championships. Photo supplied

By Laura Brookes

It’s another victory for 16-year-old Matthew Aucamp who has won second place in the Under 18 category at the New Zealand Combined Events Athletics Championships.

Aucamp competed in ten events over the two-day championship held at Caledonian Ground, Dunedin, from February 18-19 and gained personal bests in five of these.

Of the events he competed in, which included long jump, shot put, running, hurdles and pole vault, Aucamp said competing in 110 metre hurdles was the highlight.

“It’s one of my best events, but it’s also the most fun.”

The enthusiastic Year 13 Elim Christian College student flew back to Auckland late Monday morning, got off the plane at midday, and got to the track by 1:00pm to compete in the last few hours of his school’s athletics day.

Aucamp has a rigorous training schedule, consisting of five trainings per week of up to two hours long at Lloyd Elsmore Park and competitions every Saturday at Mount Smart Stadium.

He always loved athletics as a child but decided to join a Pakuranga-based club two years ago, and now dreams of one day qualifying to compete in the Olympics.

“You’ve got to be consistent across all your events for that,” he said. “With decathlon they add points up, so you’ve got to have that consistency. It’s a lot of training.”

With a supportive family, school and coach, Aucamp is well surrounded by people who encourage his potential, and that’s what makes all the difference, he said.

“The best thing is how friendly the environment is. There’s not many of us [competing] but everyone is super supportive… that’s what makes it good.”

Elim Christian College assistant principal Carol Pottow said the school is very proud of Aucamp and his achievements.

“We’re very proud. He’s a great role model to the younger students, and we look forward to seeing him at the Olympics one day.”

Aucamp will be representing Elim Christian College over the next few months in the Auckland and North Island Championships.