Tauranga Girls' College student Amy Robinson did not really try at house athletics day in the long jump event.

She recorded an unspectacular distance a full metre shorter than her personal best of 5.69m. But, as she told a fellow competitor, it was self-preservation that held her back, because she was scared about hurting herself at the rough end of the pit.

Such are the concerns of this gifted 17-year-old Batten House leader, who last year travelled to the Australian Youth Olympic Festival with the New Zealand athletics team. As well, she went to Vanuatu with the New Zealand Under-17 beach volleyball team, and played against the United States for the New Zealand Under-18 hockey team.

Robinson began athletics at Greerton aged 4 then took up hockey the following year at Maungatapu Primary School. Beach volleyball is a relatively recent interest, acquired since she started college.


It may be a case of last-one-on, first-one-off, as Robinson is forced to consider options on the professional scene. Beach volleyball is on hold, with athletics and hockey likely priorities.

"My number one is probably hockey, just because New Zealand is well recognised, but Anita Punt has just opened it up for people to do athletics and hockey at the same time, so hopefully I'll try to do that," said Robinson.

The compromises are already under way, with Robinson excused from Midlands Under-21 hockey sprints because of her athletics commitments. It is not as if she necessarily needs to train specifically to perform. She only does heptathlon once or twice a year and managed to add that age grade crown to her long jump, short hurdles, 300m hurdles and relay titles at the New Zealand Club Nationals in late February.

Robinson is one of a number of exciting female track athletes hailing from the Bay.

Indeed, the Bay has never had so many girls running this fast, this young. Robinson, fellow Tauranga Girls' student Abby Goldie, and Molly Florence train together regularly and are the three quickest for their age in the country.

With that sort of competition there is no telling how rapid or diverse Robinson's rise could be.