Water-skier off to world champs

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YVONNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

Meg Harraway (16) is to represent New Zealand at the Junior World Championships in Spain in August as a member of the U-17 New Zealand water-skiing team.

The year 12 Mount Aspiring College student said she and the other team members would be spending several weeks in America in preparation for the competition in Sesena, in early August.

Last year, Meg ranked 20th in New Zealand in the jump and 17th in the slalom.

Earlier this year, she came third in the New Zealand Open Women’s slalom event.

“I was pretty stoked,” she said.

She has been water-skiing since she was little. Her parents, Michelle and Gerard Harraway, are also both water-skiing enthusiasts, and Mr Harraway has competed in the senior world championships.

Meg started competing at 12 and now spends most weekends during the season from August to May training.

She practises at Glendhu Bay but she and her dad, who is also her coach, spend most weekends driving to lakes near Ashburton or Timaru where she can train on jumps, or for competitions.

“I have also been interested in it from a young age,” she said.

“Even in the off-season I want to get back out on the water and that shows how much I enjoy it.

“I’ve made more friends through it and that keeps me coming back.

“I meet a lot of great people who share my passion.”

“It is a great feeling, especially when I do well.”

She said her goal was to do well at the Junior World competition, where she would be competing against about 30 under-17 girls, many of whom would have access to better facilities, including water jumps.

Eventually, she hopes to win a scholarship to study at an American university where she can also ski.

“I can see myself carrying on right through,” she said.

“I am very determined and willing to work for it.”

In addition to her busy training schedule she also works part-time at the Lakeside Apartments, and babysits.

That is in addition to keeping up with schoolwork, even when she is away competing.

She said she received a lot of support from her teachers.

The money she earns goes towards her skiing, and support from her parents and grants from the Lions and Rotary clubs and the Skegg Foundation also helps.

She also plays netball, rugby and basketball on the rare occasions when she has some spare time.