Waikato-based athletes Tori Peeters and Danielle Aitchison are backing Athletics NZ's Athletics For Every Body campaign in an effort to get more Kiwi kids to join their local club this summer.
Cambridge-based Tori, the New Zealand javelin record-holder, believes the skills she has learned through athletics can act as the key foundation for all sports.
"I would encourage youngsters to try athletics because it's a sport that helps to develop all skills - running, jumping and throwing, which are such basic fundamentals transferable to all sports," says Tori.
"Through trying all these skills, I believe it contributes to making you a more well-rounded athlete as it allows you to improve your speed, power, strength and endurance."
Tori, 27, started athletics at the Waharoa Athletic Club "aged 4 or 5" and loved giving every event a go. However, over time her focus shifted as team sports such as netball and rugby became the priority.
Nonetheless, she feels athletics gave her the basics to excel at all sports and when she later "rediscovered" her passion for athletics again at the age of 16 she felt well prepared for the next step.
"I guess that is the great thing about the sport we can give so many different events a go! Regardless of whether you have a favourite event or whether you don't think you are good enough for a certain event it really doesn't matter. The skills you learn and develop through athletics will stay with you for life."
The Athletics for Every Body campaign is encouraging Kiwi kids to give athletics a go – a sport that can be embraced by everyone regardless of their ability, size, shape or height.
Double Paralympic Games medallist Danielle Aitchison is also hugely supportive of tamariki joining their local athletics club this summer.
The 20-year-old Hamilton-based athlete, who won 200m silver and 100m bronze medals in the T36 classification at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, started out competing with her siblings at Te Aroha Athletics Club before later reconnecting with the sport at high school.
"I would encourage youngsters to try athletics because it is a fun sport with lots of different disciplines for everyone," says Danielle, who hails from Patetonga. "I would say for any person try every event because you never know if you will like it or be good at it."
"Athletics has given me so much and allowed me to grow as a person and become more independent and organised."
Athletics for Every Body is a nationwide campaign to encourage Kiwi kids to give running, jumping or throwing a go. Athletics is a sport that embraces everyone regardless of ability, size or shape.
To find out more about the campaign click here.