I blogged recently about being a sports parent and the challenges. Yesterday my youngest won a NZ title for the 1500m. It was a good effort. She was the youngest in the U17 field and squeaked home in a sprint finish. It was her first national title after 7 podium finishes in road, cross country or track. She was thrilled. She needed to crack 4.32 to make the NZ team for the youth champs in Czech Republic. Would you believe she missed by .29 running a 4.32.29. Even more frustrating is that this is the third time she has cracked the IAAF standard of 4.35. NZ has set the standard higher with the hope that those that make it will get through to the second round. She has a month so here's hoping her day will come.
It is bitter-sweet though; she beat one of her older sisters in the same race! Two years ago the older one was winning national titles but she has grown heaps and has not regained her strength. This is common in female athletes and her younger sister may go through the same challenges. The older of the three daughters ran in the U20 race and did well finishing 7th.
It is a constant roller coaster of challenges, financial pressures and more. If you are a sports parent out there, God bless you, you will need it!