Move over snow sports champions — Wanaka has a water-skiing star in Meg Harraway.
Harraway (20) grew up skiing on Lake Wanaka but has just moved to Cambridge to be closer to her coach and training facilities.
Last month, after her first day in a new sports retail job, she learned she had been selected for the New Zealand water›skiing team to compete in Australia in November.
‘‘It is pretty cool to be in the team. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting it and I am just coming back from knee surgery,’’ she said.
Harraway injured her knee two years ago and had surgery last year.
Training for water-skiing involved plenty of gym strength and conditioning work, backed up by three sessions a day on the water, when lake conditions permitted.
‘‘On a flat day it usually takes about two hours a session for us to take the boat out and train. At the moment, it kind of has to be the middle of the day.’’
Harraway also plays netball to keep fit.
Cambridge was a warmer place to train in winter, she was closer to coach Duncan Hancock, there was a club at Lake Karapiro and she had more water-skiers to train with, she said. It had been ‘‘quite cool’’ to make water-skiing her thing after leaving school. Wanaka had a lot of potential to establish the sport in summer but it was harder without a dedicated facility to train in safety without worrying about other boats and weather, she said.
Water-skiing is a popular recreational activity in Wanaka, but the Wanaka Waterski and Wakeboard Club is small and trying to build its membership.
The club recently reincorporated to support and encourage members and has a Lion Foundation grant to maintain slalom courses in Paddock and Parkins Bays.
Members travel the country in summer to take part in competitions.
Harraway first came to national selectors’ attention as a junior.
She competed in the 2018 under-17 junior world water›skiing championships in Spain, and in five New Zealand v Australia challenges between 2017 and 2020.
This year, Harraway achieved excellent results in the open category of the New Zealand Waterski Nationals in March, and at the New Zealand Junior Masters in April.
She will represent New Zealand at the IWWF 2022 Waterski Oceania Championships, to be held in Mulwala, Victoria, Australia from November 17-20.