A young Ngāti Maniapoto teenager is quietly ecstatic after being selected for the New Zealand cycling team to compete at the Oceanic Track Championships in Australia next month.
Fifteen-year-old Mya Anderson, the current national scratch race champion for Under 17 Girls, will join an experienced squad for the New Zealand Under 19 women’s endurance team.
“It’s big excitement for me to be finally chosen in a New Zealand team. It was a lot of work, time and money and it’s finally paid off. But I still know there’s a lot of work still to come but I’m very excited,” she says.
The Cambridge High School student was a member of the Waikato Under 17 Team Pursuit last year who went on to break the New Zealand record. She says riding with older women certainly pushes her level of performance.
“All the riders I compete against are all a year or two older than me so I believe being a 15-year-old is a good thing because it challenges me to have to keep up with the older riders.”
Mya has always been challenged by older riders from an early age. Her granddad Sonny Anderson was a Te Awamutu club cyclist.
“He has been my inspiration right from the start. He used to do cycling on Tuesday and my sister and I would see him before he raced and really from there I thought that’s what I wanted to do and I started cycling.”