Supermum grabs challenge

By David Ogilvie

Anjelica McGuckin had a new arrival on November 25 - baby Tamina.

Just nine weeks later she aims to start a New Zealand Masters Games campaign of up to 12 events.

McGuckin describes herself as naturally competitive - and happily, "naturally fit".

Thus she can't see any great problem in getting herself fit enough for the Masters, where she will captain The Avengers netball teams - in outdoor, indoor and mixed - and throw in also the mixed touch, the gnarly guy/gal event, and a 5km event, either the run or walk, with the 4 x 100 relay on the track.

There could be more, but she has to figure out the timing. All told, McGuckin has an ambition to get to 12 events, but event clashes may help prevent that happening.

McGuckin and her partner, Cole Broughton, have four children aged 18, 12, 3 and 3-week-old Tamina.

Broughton practises the Brazilian martial art of capoeira and the older children have "played a bit of rugby" and her 3-year-old does gymnastics.

She has only done the 2011 Games in Wanganui, where she played netball and touch, so the step up is big.

Her sports history, nonetheless, shows she has ability and drive.

"I ran track for Sacred Heart, the 400 and 800m, and trained with Alec McNab," says the 37-year-old. "I went to national secondary schools champs but never did that great - I should have done better, but missed the odd training ...

"I had a life then."

She also ran cross-country at school, and played netball in the third form before having to decide between that and athletics - and athletics won until she returned to netball in the sixth form.

Athletics disappeared after she had her first child, when she was 18, and moved to Wellington.

The Avengers are a grouping of former Tech netballers with a touch of Kaierau, and the mixed ratio comes from the girls' partners/husbands.

McGuckin says becoming pregnant with Tamina never came close to stopping her plans to compete in the Masters.

"I'm quite competitive, and I was always going to do it. I've been for a few walks and started gym this week. I'm naturally fit; it will take a couple of weeks to get a bit fitter."

Though women are advised to wait six weeks to get back into exercise, she started just two weeks after the birth of Tamina.

"I don't really give advice, and for me I know my own body. I guess you do what you can."

Tamina is a good bub and she takes her to training.

"I take her down to training in the pushchair and if she cries, she cries. I feed her before I go down to training and then she's not due to be fed again till after training - so it works out most days."

Wearing a sports bra over a maternity bra makes things as comfortable as possible for a breast-feeding mum.

With four children, and a home to run with partner Broughton, she finds time to train where she can.

"I train just where I can fit it in, often with the older kids at school. My mum [Novena McGuckin] lives across the road, so that makes it easier. Usually, it's training in the morning and a walk in the afternoon."

She's started back at Boxfit, run out of the Fight Fit gym in Wilson St by Paul Berridge. She'd done it for a couple of years but got a shake-up when she became pregnant with Tamina.

"I was not able to train or do stuff for seven or eight months. This time I was too exhausted. The pregnancy was quite different, which was a shock to the system ... I'm a pretty full-on person, and I was not able to do much, which was disheartening."

Ask what sport does for McGuckin, and she says she "wouldn't be able to function if I wasn't doing anything. It's general fitness and wellbeing, but I also love a challenge."

Soon she'll add another string to her fitness bow.

"At the end of December, I'm going to start doing body-building with Jamie Rickard. She asked me if I would do it, and I'm always up for anything."

She would prefer body sculpting.

And, from February 1, there's the Masters Games.

As for those who may be thinking they should be in the Games but haven't done anything about it, she has this message:

"Anyone can do it."

The 13th New Zealand Masters Games will be held in Wanganui from February 1 to 10.

For more information about the sports or to register, go to:

- Wanganui Chronicle

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