Jenny-May Clarkson to compete at World Masters Games, a year after having twins

By Ophelia Buckleton

The proud mum will team up with her husband and the boys' dad, Dean, and a third team member, Anthony Woodcock, to compete in a triathlon event. Photo / Supplied
The proud mum will team up with her husband and the boys' dad, Dean, and a third team member, Anthony Woodcock, to compete in a triathlon event. Photo / Supplied

Twelve months ago TV presenter and former netball star Jenny-May Clarkson was preparing to give birth to twins.

A year on and Clarkson - a ONE News sports presenter, a host on Maori TV and a performance specialist coach of the Northern Mystics - is getting ready for another major milestone; competing in April's World Masters Games.

The proud mother of twin boys, Atawhai and Te Manahau, the 42-year-old will team up with her husband and the boys' dad, Dean, and a third team member, Anthony Woodcock to compete in a triathlon event.

TV presenter Jenny-May Clarkson is a former Silver Fern netballer. Photo / Supplied
TV presenter Jenny-May Clarkson is a former Silver Fern netballer. Photo / Supplied

"The games are an opportunity to try something new," Clarkson said.

Team Clarkson will be tackling the triathlon sprint team event, with the ex-Silver Fern vice-captain taking on the 750m swimming leg of the race.

"I¹ve done quite a lot of open water swimming which is why I put my hand up for the swim leg. I'm leaving the cycling to Dean and the run to our third team member, Anthony Woodcock," she said.

Auckland father-of-two Woodcock won an online competition to become Team Clarkson's 'third wheel' earlier this month.

Clarkson, who was the vice-captain of the Silver Ferns in 2001, will be trying her hand at the triathlon sprint in the World Masters Games. Photo / Paul Estcourt
Clarkson, who was the vice-captain of the Silver Ferns in 2001, will be trying her hand at the triathlon sprint in the World Masters Games. Photo / Paul Estcourt

When asked how training was tracking, Clarkson responded "it's not".

"We're going to follow our team slogan, 'nothing beats experience'.

"Seriously, we will step up our training over the next couple of months," she said.

Clarkson said she was looking forward to sharing the experience with her husband and 25,000 other athletes from 108 countries around the world.

"And to having a whole lot of fun and not taking things too seriously."

Clarkson said she was a firm believer in the ethos of masters sport as a way of reconnecting with old friends and team mates and "the thousands of other athletes who will compete simply for the love of it".

All Black great Bryan Williams said his main goal is to participate and have fun at the Games. Photo / Paul Estcourt.
All Black great Bryan Williams said his main goal is to participate and have fun at the Games. Photo / Paul Estcourt.

Clarkson certainly isn't the only high profile Kiwi set to take on the World Masters Games.

Former All Black Bryan 'Beegee' Williams will trade the oval-shaped ball for bowls and a golf club when he competes in the Games.

While Williams said his main goals were to participate and have fun, he admitted his competitive drive would kick in.

"I could see great merit in people of my age getting involved not only for the competitive side but camaraderie as well.

"The competitive instinct still comes out but if [a win] doesn't come along, I can live with it."

The 66-year-old said he had played golf and bowls for a few years "albeit pretty badly" due to his "iffy" knees and having undergone more than one hip replacement.

Williams said he is well past his rugby days but looks forward to competing in golf and lawn bowls, both of which he has played for a few years. Photo / Andrew Warner.
Williams said he is well past his rugby days but looks forward to competing in golf and lawn bowls, both of which he has played for a few years. Photo / Andrew Warner.

Williams is also the face of the Games' volunteer programme, a role that reflects his long-term commitment to grassroots rugby as a coach and supporter.

He sees the Games as "pretty special" for New Zealand.

"It's a wonderful opportunity. It is going to be a huge boost to the economy and tourism industry.

"It also sets a great example as people from diverse countries and ethnic backgrounds can come together. The people aspect is often what makes these things," he said.

Also competing are Olympic gold-winning triathlete Hamish Carter, swimmer Anthony Mosse, surf lifesaving Ironman Cory Hutchings, athletics' golden girl Allison Roe and former Silver Ferns captain Anna Stanley.

A secret star will be announced in March.

The World Masters Games is the world's largest multi-sport event, held every four years to encourage sportspeople of all abilities and most ages to get active.

Athletes will compete in 28 different sports and 45 disciplines, at venues in Auckland and Waikato from April 21-30.

www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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