Date: Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Emma Cumming 2013 Track ChampsEmma Cumming has taken a different path in sport from her parents.

Her mother Sharalyn played netball for Southern Sting and father Sid, who owns World Health and Fitness in Invercargill, has mixed it with the world's best in multisports.

Fifteen-year-old Emma concentrates on track cycling in her time away from Southland Girls' High School in Invercargill.

"Netball is too hard on the ankles and body," she said.

"I tried triathlons but got sick of swimming and running."

She was introduced to track cycling by former Olympic and Commonwealth Games cyclist Glenn McLeay.

About 18 months ago McLeay organised track sessions for Girls' High students at the Invercargill velodrome on Tuesday afternoons.

Cumming became more involved in the sport and rode in the second year under 15 grade at the track nationals in Invercargill last year.

She gained two silver medals and a bronze.

Her expectations for last year's Yunca junior tour of Southland weren't high.

"I got walloped every day . . . I didn't do any training for it."

Cumming was back among the medallists at the track nationals in Invercargill in February.

Competing in the first year under 17 section, she bagged four medals, three silver and a bronze.

She is coached six days a week by Stu MacDonald, who used to train the New Zealand women's track cycling team.

"If you want to do good at something, you've got to put your head down and go for it," Cumming said.

The Yunca Junior Tour of Southland and ILT Junior Track Carnival are her goals on October 4-9. Cyclists from all over Australasia will compete.

The Southland championships in December are also on her summer programme.

"It's not a boring sport, there's always something happening."

Enjoying life is most important to her, said her father Sid.

"She'll only do something if it's fun . . . it's all self-driven." 

- © Fairfax NZ News



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