Hawke's Bay shotputter Nick Palmer has been named New Zealand team flag bearer for the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.
The 17 year old is the New Zealand 2017 Youth Men’s champion and also won the Youth Men’s division at the 2017 Australian National Athletics Championships. Palmer is ranked third for under 20’s in Australasia and has a personal best of 19.97m, which he hopes to better in the Bahamas.
The year 12 Karamu High School student is honoured to have been named flag bearer and says he plans to represent New Zealand with pride on and off the field.
“This is the biggest thing that I’ve done so I’m pretty happy with this, I'm very proud to be here and hopefully I can bring a gold home for New Zealand," Palmer said.
“It’s something not many people get to do, so to get to do it at my age and at one of the highest levels you can is pretty special."
New Zealand Team Athlete Support Leader Kristy Hill says Palmer was chosen not just because of his outstanding athletic record but also because of the discipline and leadership he displays across the board.
“Nick has a very impressive ability to excel at a range of disciplines while being a team player and an inspiration to others”, Kristy said.
“He exemplifies all the attributes that are key to being both a successful athlete and one New Zealand can be proud of. He has a big future ahead of him.”
The announcement was made at a function held for the New Zealand team in the Bahamas which was attended by around 60 team members and supporters.
Palmer was nominated by Athletics New Zealand and selected by Athlete Support Leader Kristy Hill and New Zealand Olympic Committee Team Services Co-ordinator Toni Kidwell.
Ahead of the Commonwealth Youth Games the Hastings Athletic Club Member was training six days a week, often twice a day, while still maintaining his studies. He is coached by Dale Stevenson who also coaches Olympic Bronze medallist Tom Walsh.
Outside sport Palmer is a leader at school and in cultural activities. He is a member of Karamu High School Elite Choir and is a regular performer in groups on vocals and guitar.
Palmer believes he’ll gain invaluable experience from competing in a multi-sport environment against some of the best throwers in the world. His ultimate goal is to compete at the Olympic Games.
“This is my future, I want to go the highest you can in New Zealand, I want a push at being the best in the world, I don’t think any good sportsperson out there doesn’t want to be the best in the world," Palmer said.
As flag bearer Palmer will lead the 33 strong New Zealand team at the opening ceremony on the evening of Tuesday July 18th (Bahamas time).
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