About Me

Earlier Days

Born into an orienteering family, I attended my first club event at the tender age of 3 days. Ever since then I've been a proud member of Wellington Orienteering Club, growing up running up, down and around the countless hills that surround the city.

Like many of today's NZ elite orienteers, my development as an orienteer was driven through grass-root level support - School and club level training, the invaluable annual National Junior training camps, and later, NZ Secondary School team trips to compete in Australia. Central to my development however has been family - a perfect mentor in my Mum, Gillian (former NZ WOC rep and still top of her game!). Dad, Malcolm, as a coach ("Inghams always run up hills!"), and my older brother Chris, spurring my competitive spirit with sibling rivalry! ;)

A trip with my parents to WMOC in 2004 opened my eyes to the sheer scale of orienteering in Europe, spurring me on to represent NZ at 4 consecutive JWOCs from 2005 through 2008. World Games in 2009 and World Cup races in 2010 were another real eye opener to the jump in level required to race in international elite grades, making me realise that a change was required in order to make that step up to be competitive.

Present Days

Following the completion of my BSc Hons. in Physics and Maths at Victoria University Wellington, I began to look for Masters courses in Europe that would allow me to advance, both academically and in orienteering. In an unseen twist however, I ended up at the Australian National University, Canberra, doing a PhD! It may have been an unplanned move, but it's been the best decision of my life to date. In Canberra I've found a great orienteering community, with the training mates and competition that have helped lift me to the next level. Alongside that, I'm incredibly fortunate to have found a such great family of friends outside of orienteering, who keep me grounded and in the 'real world'! :)
 My 11th (Sprint), 13th (Long) and 18th (Middle) results on debut at WOC 2011 came as a complete surprise to me, along with the realisation that, just maybe, with a lot of hard work, I might be able to foot it with the best at an elite international level! The last 2 years I've spent working towards this goal, with the highlight to date being a 3rd place in the New Zealand hosted round of the World Cup in 2013. I've also made slow progress towards that PhD Thesis!

Future Days

With a little bit of luck, I'll be completing that thesis towards the end of 2014. That's the aim anyway! If there's anything the last 3 years has taught me, it's that I can, and want, to be an orienteer. For me, the next few years are about creating and making the most of my opportunities, to see just how close I can get to the top of that World orienteering podium. For that to happen, there will have to be a move to Europe. It'll be hard to leave Canberra, and to move further from home rather than closer. But hey, why do kiwis have wings, if not to fly? ;) 2015, watch this space Europe!

"New Zealand's Future"
Getting in some early face-planting practice.
(With my Brother to the R, showing me how it's done!)

No comments:

Post a Comment