To represent New Zealand on a world stage is something Troy Garton is still coming to grips with.
“Once and a while I'll have a think about it and I'll go ‘Oh my goodness, I'm going to the Commonwealth Games and there's going to be some tough competition’. I think the news will set in when I go no doubt and I thrive off the news,” claims Garton of Ngāti Hine descent.
Troy, age 29, is a member of the New Zealand team that will represent NZ at the Commonwealth Games, held on the Gold Coast, which commences next month. Something that this new boxer didn’t even think of.
“When I turned amateur two years ago I never thought I would be going to the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and it was only about a year ago me and my coach thought maybe we should give it a go, it's good to aim high right? Honestly, we just trudged along, and now, we've done it,” laughs Garton.
It’s been a short four years when she had her first fight, as an employee of Les Mills she took part in their annual Fight Night, a corporate charity fundraiser.
“I saw the training programme for the fighters at the fight night and thought ‘yeah I’ll do it, I can get fit’. I gave it a go. Since then I've just been doing my thing you know, I've really enjoyed fighting, I loved the training, learning new skills. I just kept going and we decided a few years ago let's go amateur and give it a go, and then this happened, I kind of pinch myself you know,” reflects Troy.
But it wasn't unexpected for her coach, Terry Reid-Batchelor.
“Obviously I was happy, but I wasn’t surprised because throughout the years she had competing she had been overachieving what was expected of her. Not from our point of view but from a lot of people's point of views. She won silver at the Nationals, she beat a lot of experience girls that was in her first year, then she went to Australia and beat all these girls, they probably had 100 fights and she probably had only about 20,” says Terry.
She will travel back to Australia next month, to compete at her first Commonwealth Games. The 29-year-old will continue training until the games to show her rapid rise in boxing.