Horton to fly flag at World Masters

Thursday April 20, 2017 Written by Published in Other Sports
Ruth Horton will represent the country at the 21st World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. 17041913 Ruth Horton will represent the country at the 21st World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand. 17041913

Track and Field Club (TFC) Rarotonga president Ruth Horton is the lone athletics representative from the Cook Islands to compete in the 21st World Masters Games which starts today in Auckland, New Zealand.


The event, which kicks off with an opening ceremony at Eden Park Stadium, is expected to draw 27,000 athletes from 100 different countries, competing in 29 sporting codes over the next nine days.

Cook Islands will be represented only in the women’s 50-plus age group on the oe vaka team of six, and Horton.

Horton, who will be making her debut at the World Masters, is competing in the 100 metres, long jump, triple jump and javelin events.

Kevin Iro was expected to compete in the men’s masters events but pulled out due to work commitments.

Horton said qualifying to the event was not an issue but training while juggling personal and professional life had proven tough.

“Finding time to train in our busy lives is the major challenge, so I tried to use my daily gardening activities to train for my events. Like throwing maniota sticks as I cut them, running up and down the land with the lawnmower and arm strength exercises with my steel digging stick,” she said.

“The second most challenging aspect was to not get injured or pull a muscle before the event, from weeding, transferring rocks, coconut husking and tree mulching.

“Too often as working mothers, we substitute the personal time we set aside for ourselves for the needs of others.”

Horton hopes her participation at the World Games will help inspire others who belong in the masters grade to represent the country in the future.

Last year, she and former Olympian Erin Quirke set up TFC Rarotonga.

The duo has been holding training sessions at the BCI Stadium every Monday afternoon for people aged 10 years-plus, teaching them all aspects of track and field events.

They are also planning for a regular competition to be held every three weeks, starting in May this year.

Horton trains the 14 years and over age group on Wednesday and Friday afternoons.

She is planning to include masters athletes into a health and fitness programme after returning from the World Masters.

Horton is keen to share her knowledge and passion for athletics with people of all ages and stages of health and fitness.

“I believe athletics, track and field events, is an easy and fun way to achieve a ‘healthy masters’ population.”

Horton holds a degree in Physical Education from Otago University and is a Level 1 IAAF trainer qualified to coach level one and two athletes.


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