Laura Littlejohn | Sport2021
I swam my first swimming race the day after my 7th birthday. From there I have been fortunate to be guided by my coach Graham Smith who takes a strong developmental approach, slowly helping me to build my skills each year. Last year I was selected for the New Zealand Junior Swimming team and this year have achieved two National records. I strive to chase my goals. I am a positive, happy, focussed and determined person.
Swimming is just a part of my life and is not who I am. For 8 years I have volunteered at Riding for the Disabled (now Waikato Equitherapy) helping look after the horses and support riders. This helps me to keep perspective, do something completely different to my sports and gets me outside with animals and awesome people. I attend a school that focusses on developing all aspects of a person which is giving me more opportunities to get involved in service programs with the local community.
I have been encouraged to and have played lots of different sports including athletics, netball, waterpolo, badminton and cross-country. A highlight has been competing at the National Finals for the Get to Go Challenge which required teamwork, problem solving, and a lot of effort which ended in a hugely rewarding week on Great Barrier Island.
There have been many disruptions and uncertainty in 2020. I have taken this opportunity when unable to be in the water, to develop other aspects of my training especially nutrition, strength and recovery.