Ngāti Porou girl sets her sight high in weightlifting

The North Island Olympic Weightlifting Championships are taking place in Auckland over the weekend.  One Ngāti Porou youth is preparing to take on the best in her field.

It's not a common sight but for this Ngāti Porou descendant, this is her life.

Kanah Andrews-Nahu says, “I train five times a week, and what keeps me motivated is the fact that I want to represent New Zealand, you know, like Valerie Adams, everybody knows Valerie Adams. I want to be like that.”

At only 14, this young talent has already broken many records.

Her mother, Shahn Nahu says, “She holds 30 New Zealand records U15s and U17s.  She only started competing last September, so it has been quite a fast progression being ranked number one in her weight division, so she has come quite far for such a short space of time.”

The competitive family spirit is one reason for her success.

Shahn Nahu says, “When she started properly training over at functional strength, the first thing she said is mum I’m going to lift more than you.”

Kanah hopes this mind-set will take her far in the sport.

She says, “I want to travel the world, go to the Olympics and rep New Zealand, but for me it's not representing New Zealand, it’s representing Māori as well, and me being a girl.”

In July, Kanah will represent New Zealand at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Papua New Guinea, where she'll test her ability against the best Oceania lifters.