Editorial: Grace Hegh going places

By Craig Cooper

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Grace Hegh
Grace Hegh

Monday morning, New Zealand.

And with the country's shades yet to be fully drawn on summer, already we are consumed by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw's thumb. His broken thumb, to be precise.

McCaw will recover, no doubt with one eye on 2014 and the other on the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Maybe, at some point, he will need to make some tough decisions about his playing future.

Northlander Grace Hegh has had to make some tough decisions recently about her chosen sport.

Grace will never be an All Black. But she has world-class potential as a cheerleader, as a tumbler, and knows about coming back from injury. Last November, the inflatable track that she was performing on was caught in a gust of wind. She was tossed into the air and landed on her head, on nearby concrete. Just over a month later, she was cleared to resume tumbling and has been working hard on her skills, as well as raising money to get to the All Star Games in Las Vegas in April.

In the United States, cheerleading is a professional sport. And if you are a professional cheerleader in America, they treat you like an All Black.

Grace has a wonderful opportunity to perform on what is effectively a world stage in April. And her profile, her recognition within cheerleading circles, has been heightened by her nomination as one of 20 "ones to watch" by a leading sports apparel manufacturer. If adidas nominated a Northland rugby player as one of 20 players in the world to watch, we'd be beside ourselves. How about we get alongside Grace, clearly a potentially world-class athlete, in her bid to get to Las Vegas and pursue her dream of being a professional sportswoman?

- Northern Advocate

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