Whangārei's youngest athletes have announced themselves on the national stage, earning seven medals at last weekend's Colgate Games in Hamilton.
The athletics event is for about 1400 children aged 7 to 14, to compete against others from either the North or South Islands in two events which identify promising young athletes from around the country.
Whangārei athletes claimed three golds, two silvers and two bronzes as well as many top 10 finishes from the 13 athletes who went down to the event.
Notable performances were 14-year-old Amy Alderton who claimed gold in long jump and silver in the 100 metre race while 11-year-old Frojer Jobel won both the 100m and the 200m in their respective age categories.
In Alderton's 12.59 second run, she had unofficially broken the Northland record for 100m in the 14-year-old and under 16 age categories.
"It was pretty cool to break the record, I just hope they count it," Alderton said.
Alderton had attended the games for the past three years but that didn't stop her from feeling the nerves before the competition.
"It was terrifying, I was pretty nervous before the race because I was hoping to do well but you never know who is going and people keep getting better."
The Whangārei Girls High School student said, in the lead-up to the tournament, she trained every day which was a struggle to fit around her horse-riding interests.
Frojer Jobel said he hadn't expected to win both of his races but he was grateful to his parents who supported and coached him to reach this level of success.
Eleven-year-old Nikita Forsyth, who claimed bronze in the 100m and 200m, said she felt nervous before her races but that her fellow Northland athletes did the region proud.
"I was very nervous, it was like butterflies," she said.
"I reckon everyone did well and did their best, that's the goal."
Whangārei athletics club junior co-ordinator Oliver Tattersfield said it was great to see the children beat those who came from bigger athletics clubs in other regions.
"For a smallish club like this, to produce results putting kids into the top in the country is really good to see."
He said most of the athletes could rely on their own natural ability as well as the fitness and training they received from other sports.
"We are really mindful of kids playing other sports and we like to ensure that the kids are being looked after from that perspective and that they are competing in other sports if they want to."
Tattersfield said the tournament was a key stepping stone to succeeding not just in athletics but other sports too. Northland sporting stars such as All Black Sevens player Scott Gregory and some of the Black Sticks women's hockey team had all attended the games.
Despite the lack of resources, he said the children had given a great account of themselves on the national stage.
"We don't, unfortunately, have the coaching in Whangārei like some of the other bigger clubs do so with that in mind, these kids have done really well."