Almost one year since we first heard about the coronavirus and so many teams have had to reimagine training strategies. We might be nearing the end of the calendar year, but down in New Zealand, summer is warming up and race teams are getting ready to get back in with their training plans. We catch up with Buba Martin and the multi-WRC title holders: New Zealand Open Women’s team.
We asked Team Captain Buba what it’s been like living in New Zealand with the pandemic escalating around the globe:
New Zealand has been relatively lucky with very low COVID numbers, much of the country went into a level 4 lockdown for 4 weeks, since then we have fluctuated between level 1- 2. The borders to New Zealand were shut, which meant nobody could fly in, this is the reason the COVID rates have stayed low. We have appreciated the advantages of being an island during COVID. New Zealand is also self sufficient for commodities and foods so we have been very fortunate for life to stay relatively unchanged.
For our R4 women teams, COVID stopped the world champs from going ahead. For the team this was a disappointment, we were really excited to head to the IRF R4 World Rafting Championships in China, so we decided to take a break from training. All of the team members are keen water sport enthusiasts, surfing, flat water, white water is what we do in our spare time so we all keep paddling and on the water in some way or another.
We are looking forward to good news concerning the World Rafting Championships going ahead next year and we will definitely be keen to attend the R4’s in China next year. Summer is rolling in down here and we will sort our training in the next couple of months, fingers crossed the world gets back to normal.
Fellow long time team member Nikki Whitehead had this to say:
COVID meant that two of our international races were cancelled this year and with social distancing in the early stages it was impossible to train together. It has always been a dream of mine to go to the Futa so I hope that one day I make it there in the future. Now looking back it’s been a good opportunity to slow down, reflect and give the body a rest from rafting. I am looking forward to getting back into a boat and having a competition to train towards.
And last but not least Kelly Woods with some positive thoughts to get us all going once life returns to (a new?) normal:
So Covid for me has put to rest any idea of overseas travel as well as any international rafting competition for now. And I cant imagine it will be a priority any time soon with all that is going on in the world. So raft training has gone out the window and the momentum with it. Which is a bummer but in the big scheme of things it’s all good with a pandemic going on. It has really just taken me down a different path focusing on other sports and events in New Zealand. I miss the rafting team and all the slappers and the events and hope that one day it will return to some sort of new normal when we can paddle internationally again.
Catch up with the team and follow them on Facebook: @nzwomens.rafting
Have you had to reimagine training strategies?
Has your team had to change the way you train or plan for future events? Get in touch to share your story with us.