We’re shining the spotlight on some of Athlete Development’s alumni who are doing great things in their chosen sport. Meet sprinter Anna Steven, who lets us know her sporting highlights and memories of her time at AD.
How did you get into athletics?
I attended a ‘welcome home’ event for the NZ athletics team that went to the Rio Olympics. During the event, one of the support staff came up to me and asked me a couple of questions about my involvement in sport and then suggested I try athletics. I thought why not give it a go and it all went from there really.
When did you join Athlete Development and what are your favourite memories?
I joined AD at the start of 2017. My favourite memories are getting to know some of the other people who were doing AD at the same time as me. I also really enjoyed the sessions where they split the group into teams and we did a series of mini competitions.
How do you feel AD helped you in terms of your overall strength and conditioning during your teen years?
I think AD helped me to gain a good understanding of how to do different strength and conditioning exercises with correct technique so I wouldn’t harm or injure myself. AD also pushed me to realise my potential and challenge my limits within a safe and supportive environment.
What have been your career highlights so far, and what are you hoping to achieve in the next few years?
Representing New Zealand at World Juniors in 2017 and World Champs last year have been the two big highlights of my athletics career so far, because I was able to wear the silver fern which was such a special feeling, and has so much meaning behind it. Over the next few years I’m aiming to represent NZ again at the Tokyo Paralympics and make some big performance improvements in both of my events (100m and 200m).
What would be your advice to a young athlete (aged 12-16) about balance as a teen who enjoys sport?
I think the most important thing, if you have a lot of things going on in your life, is to try and organise your time well. I think education is very important, so try and keep on top of your studies. Make sure that you are passionate about the sport/s you do and enjoy it because that will make it easier to balance with your other commitments. Also, try and make sure you get enough sleep. It can be a lot to manage, but just do your best and try not to stress too much if occasionally you can’t do things because you have so much on.