By Karen Denby

I will be crossing the finish line for my heavenly mates. All whose games ended far too early.

Athletics, Tennis, squash and netball I played from an early age.  Playing hockey, tennis, swimming and athletics while representing Horowhenua College in Levin. I was a proud team member. Running with my relay team and winning at the Inter- Collegiate sports was a thrill never to be forgotten. The roar of the crowd still echoes in my mind. I can remember the adrenalin pumping through my body as I headed for the finish line & breasted the tape first.

Every time a mate dies a little part of me goes with them. To accommodate my grief I get physical.  I hop on my cycle & ride as fast as I can.  I am reminded of the wonderful feeling of being alive & with sweat & tears I yell to the heavens to take care of my departed mates.

I love yoga, cycling, swimming and speed walking. Sport has been a passion all my life.  The thrill of your team winning. The frustration of your team losing.  The one point lead to the crushing blow of a tie. The exaltation of the one point win & the disappointment of the one point loss.  All emotions of strength & stamina which has made me the person I am today.

I am hoping to pass on my love of all sports (except boxing) to my grandchildren.  I want them to feel the grandiose feelings of being a winner but to retain an empathy for the loser.  To have the dignity to remain humble when passing the finish line first and to have the strength to know that all is not lost when you are last at the finishing post.  To honour your body & treat it with the utmost care & integrity knowing that the body is a temple to be revered and with care it will not fail even in the darkest hours.  

They joy of participating in any sport either as an individual or a team member is never forgotten.  If you are young or old the excitement is retained in every memory.

In 2017 I will be 70 years of age.  My grandson will be 5. The same age when I won my first 50 yards dash.  I would love to enter the Masters Games & have my grandchildren cheering for me as I breast the tape with the thrill of remembering my long gone mates.  I know they will be spurring me on from the grandstand in the heavens.