Athletes battle it out on day one of Discipline Games

By Jessica Tyson
Ayla Hoeta with her sons Kaperiera and Mikaera. Source: File

More than 200 athletes are battling it out at Discipline Games this weekend where they’ll be tested in strength, endurance, and functional movement during intense circuit exercises. 

Despite the physical challenges they’ll have to go through, athletes competing in the individual section today say it’s a rewarding experience allowing them to bond as whānau.

Mother of two, Ayla Hoeta of Tainui, has been training for months at Discipline Performance Gym in Auckland to prepare for the competition.

“I've trained really hard, really pushed myself, broken my body. It wasn’t really for this it was, it was just to see what I’m capable of and to really test myself, push myself to my limits,” Hoeta said after competing in the first of four circuits in the individual advanced women’s section.

Cheering from the sideline were her two biggest fans, her twin boys Kaperiera and Mikaera.

"I can always hear their voice. It doesn't matter how loud everyone else is, when I hear them it makes me go harder.  It's really special for me to have my boys share this journey with me.”

Sisters Toni and Sasha Temaru competed today. Source: File

Also competing in the advanced women’s section were two sisters Toni Temaru, 28, and Sasha Temaru, 27, from Grind Health and Fitness in Wellington.

Despite having to go up against each other, they say there's no rivalry between them.

“We're just really close, so we're just happy to have each other’s backs. So I could see every time that I would go to an exercise she was right behind me,” says Sasha who works as a personal trainer at her gym.

“It’s about creating a family environment so that people feel comfortable coming and knowing that just coming is enough and it’s not always hardest stuff and just do your best.”

Owner of Discipline Performance Deach Faafou says the youngest competitor at the games is 17 and the oldest is 60.

One of the reasons he decided to start the games in 2018 was to provide a competition that could incorporate exercises similar to those in CrossFit, but also other more functional exercises. He also wanted to help get more Māori and Pacific people involved.

“I think for a lot of Māori and Pacific the gym can be a little bit daunting to them and that’s another reason why I created Discipline Games because everyone can compete," he says.

Tomorrow the teams will go head to head at the Manukau Tennis Centre from 8am.