Nelson sports star Jess Drummond keeps up with her resistance training with nephew Toby Drummond. Photo: Supplied.

Nelson’s sports stars make the most of lockdown

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With sporting events across the world cancelled, reporter  Jonty Dine catches up with Nelson’s stars who have been  trying to still stay active in lockdown


Ashley Belk, Boxing.

One of the most promising young boxers in the region, Ashley Belk will not let the lockdown stifle her progress and has planned out her lockdown training schedule.

“Consistency and staying in routine are really important to me, mentally and physically, so it was a priority for me to get my training organised immediately.”

Ashley says the biggest challenge for her is training without coaches and other boxers. However, the young fighter says it can also be used as an opportunity.


Nelson golfer Lizzie Neale has been making the most of her space at home with a chipping net. Photo: Supplied.
Nelson golfer Lizzie Neale has been making the most of her space at home with a chipping net. Photo: Supplied.

Lizzie Neale, Golf.

Nelson’s most promising young female golfer, Lizzie Neale, is using her time in lockdown to work on the psychological aspect of her game.

Golf is one of the most mentally challenging sports to play and Lizzie says the quarantine provides a chance to increase her psychological strength.

“It’s a good time to work on that sort of stuff, it’s something I lack in so I’m taking this opportunity to really better myself.”

She is also making the most of her limited space with a homemade chipping net.
Claudia Green, Cricket.

Central Hinds cricketer Claudia Green was gearing up for the indoor world cup in Melbourne before the national lockdown.

The tournament was subsequently postponed until next year and though disappointed, the 22-year-old says this provides her the chance to improve her game for 2021.

“It’s a shame to have everything on hold, it’s just the way things are at the moment, globally. The flip side of that means there’s an extra year to train and improve.”

To stay fit she has been lifting paint tins as weights.

“It’s amazing how much can be done when you get creative.”

Jess Drummond, Netball.

The timing of the national lockdown couldn’t have been better for Nelson athlete Jess Drummond.

The rugby and netball star is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child and was set to miss majority of the season anyway.

“It has actually worked out quite nicely because I won’t get FOMO (fear of missing out) not playing anymore.”

She says while the resistance side of her training has been a struggle, Jess has improvised by lifting tins of baked beans and even squatting with her nephew on her back.
Keegan Hornblow, Cycling.

Nelson cyclist Keegan Hornblow is learning to enjoy riding his bike without the pressure of training for a race.

The 18-year-old is in lockdown with his family on a lifestyle block near Mapua giving Keegan plenty of room to get out and cycle.

“It’s a bit more of a luxury than people in town so I’m pretty lucky.”

Keegan was in the midst of training for a four-month stint in Europe before the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s pretty gutting, I will maybe look at going toward end of year.”


Tysxun Aiolupotea has been practising his skills in lockdown. Photo: Supplied.
Tysxun Aiolupotea has been practising his skills in lockdown. Photo: Supplied.

Tysxun Aiolupotea, Basketball.

Nelson Giant Tysxun Aiolupotea had his biggest season to date cut short by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Nayland College star guard, who led his side to an unlikely spot at nationals in 2019, has hopes of becoming a regular for the Nelson Giants this year.

Tysxun says his trainings have obviously changed from what he would usually do because he can’t leave the house.

“Before the lockdown, my trainings would consist of more basketball related training. Now, I am doing more fitness training and boxing in order to stay in shape.”

Tysxun says the biggest challenge of the quarantine is not having a proper basketball hoop to train with.
Noah Malpot, Sailing.

Nelson sailor Noah Malpot is longing to get back on the water. The 14-year-old was enjoying a stellar season before the national lockdown, winning the optimist class at the eighth annual Sir Peter Blake Regatta as well as second at the Auckland Championships in early 2019.

His success saw him qualify for both nationals and the world championships at Lake Garda in Italy.

However, both regattas have been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“You can do a bit of fitness and tactical training.”

Noah says he has been compensating with online sessions with coaches as well as a virtual regattas hosted by the yacht club.

“It’s a lot of fun but not quite the same.”