Natalie Paterson holds a Massey University flag featuring messages of support from University staff members.
Students head to Uni games
Twelve Massey students are part of a 62-strong New Zealand team who will compete at the World University Games later this month in athletics, men’s basketball, swimming and table tennis.
The World University Games will be held this year in China from August 12-23. Also known as the Universiade, the games are held every four years and are the second largest global high performance multi-sports event after the Olympics.
Massey’s contingent includes New Zealand Breakers championship team member Josh Bloxham who will be part of the basketball team.
Josh is heading to the games on a high from his recent achievement with the New Zealand Breakers team that won their first NBL championship title in April. Josh is in his first year of a Bachelor of Business studies at Massey University. On court with him will be fellow Massey student Marco Alexander
North shore swimmers make up a large proportion of Massey’s contingent with eight athletes set to compete. Four members of the team have just finished competing at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai and will now leave and head to Shenzhen for the University Games.
Amaka Gessler and Natasha Hind were part of the New Zealand women's freestyle relay team that broke the national record twice to take a giant step towards the London Olympics at the world swimming championships in Shanghai.
The women's quartet of Lauren Boyle, Penny Marshall, Amaka and Natasha finished eighth in the final in one minute 56.55 seconds. Making the final earned them an invitation for next year's Olympics with a second qualifying time required at the trials in March to secure a berth for London.
Another Massey student, Dehli Commonwealth games finalist Glenn Snyders, completed an excellent world championship, where he was 10th fastest in semifinals of the 200m breaststroke.
The team also includes Manawatu’s Natalie Paterson who has been selected for table tennis. She is now enrolled in her first year of a Bachelor of Education at the University’s College of Education, and is a member of the University’s Academy of Sport.
Natalie was ranked number one for the under-18 girls individual competition last year, and this year has stepped up to the senior division, placing first in the open women’s doubles at the North Island championships. She also came away as the runner up in the under-21 mixed doubles and 3rd in the under-21 women’s doubles at the Australian senior open championships.
She will be representing Massey University and New Zealand in the singles, doubles and as part of a four-person team in table tennis.
The team includes Rotorua’s Sarah Cowley, who has been selected as a member of the athletics team. This will be Sarah’s second visit to the games having placed 12th in the Long Jump in 2005. This year she will compete in the heptathlon.