Giants player Sam Dempster has been enjoying spending extra time with his sons Nash and Koda. Photo: Supplied.

Nelson’s sports stars make the most of lockdown

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Sam Dempster, Basketball.

The Giants veteran has been enjoying spending time with his young family in what would otherwise be a hectic preseason training regime.

“It’s been pretty stressful so it’s nice to just relax and spend time with kids, we had a big day yesterday, we built a hut outside and have just been doing puzzles and keeping busy.”

However, Sam admits he will inevitably miss being on the court.

“Not playing is tough.We have gone from training almost every day to now no basketball at all, which is pretty tough, and there is none to watch on TV.”

With the parks and courts out of action and no hoop at home, Sam has been forced into his driveway to practise his ball skills.

“I won’t be shooting but it’s quite nice for a change get in the driveway with the wee fullah for dribbling and passes.We are just making do.”


Nelson sprinter Micayla Whiti has had to get creative with her training. Photo: Supplied.
Nelson sprinter Micayla Whiti has had to get creative with her training. Photo: Supplied.

Micayla Whiti, Athletics.

Before the lockdown, Micayla Whiti was busy breaking sprinting records and affirming her status as one of the most promising young athletes in the region.

Micayla broke a 38-year-old record for 100m sprint at the recent Nayland College athletics day to become the fastest female in the school’s history.

However, after a blockbusting start to her college career, her season has been thrown into limbo. With Saxton Track closed, Micayla has been forced to train on grass.

“I love going there and seeing my friends so that has been hard, but I have been doing some hurdle drills in the backyard and sometimes going to Saxton Fields.”

The 13-year old says she has been using the lockdown period to work on her running style and deep breathing techniques.

In between training and schoolwork, Micayla has even found time to help the less fortunate.

While walking her dog she saw a homeless man living in his car and offered to cook him dinner.

“It was cold and windy, so we cooked him some toasties and tea with snacks, so he had food for later.”


Jordan Yong with his partner Casey Hamson, son Ralph and dog Denzel. Photo: Supplied
Jordan Yong with his partner Casey Hamson, son Ralph and dog Denzel. Photo: Supplied

Jordan Yong, Football.

Nelson Suburbs star Jordan Yong has been using lockdown to rehabilitate from injury and spend time with his young family.

The mercurial midfielder and his partner Casey recently gave birth to their first child Ralph.

“Ralph’s coming up to five-months-old, so it’s been great spending my time with the two of them and our dog Denzel.”

Jordan was battling a back injury prior to the lockdown and was forced to sit out Suburbs’ last MPL fixture.

“I had a good rest and then started back fitness once it was pain free.”

The 29-year-old says he is in much better shape now that before the Mainland Premier League was put on hold.

“I’ve been doing a lot of running and we got ourselves into a bit of a routine of going out for a walk as a family around lunchtime and taking the dog out for a good run.”

He says it’s been nice to reflect on himself during the lockdown period and set some personal goals.

“To be honest I haven’t really missed much. I’ve got my little family at home with me and that’s all I need for me to happy. It will be nice to get back and see the boys and the banter side of things and doing what I enjoy which is playing football and training again.”