If running 60 to 80kms per week, and traipsing up and down hills as part of your weekly training regime sounds like hard work, you’re not Kurtis Shuker.
The 18 year old Waiuku College student has been selected to represent New Zealand as part of a four strong team, competing for the Southern Cross Trophy at the upcoming 2017 Australian Schools’ Orienteering Championships, and he will be training hard to ensure he’s at his best.
The Australian event will be held later this month in Bathurst, New South Wales. Teams from each of the six Australian states, plus ACT, will tussle it out with the Kiwis for Southern Cross supremacy, over distances ranging from 2.8kms to 7.3kms.
Kurtis trialled for selection during the Queen’s Birthday “Orienteering 3 Day”, hosted by Canterbury. His results from three races and current form led to his successful selection for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Team.
Asked if he had to sacrifice normal teenage fun in order to fit in his training around schoolwork, he answered, “I get real satisfaction out of trying to better myself and really enjoy being out there and pushing myself when I’m racing. I don’t see it as a sacrifice, I just prioritise my training and events, because I love doing it.”
Being selected to represent New Zealand at the Junior World Orienteering Champs in upcoming years is a lofty goal Kurtis is aspiring to. With an attitude like that, anything could happen.