Above: Imogen Skelton on her way to bronze in the U20 high jump at the NZ Track & Field Championships. Photo by Alan McDonald / Macspeedfoto.
Commonwealth Youth Games-bound Imogen Skelton is set to feature in both the high jump and 800m in Bahamas. Here the versatile Wellington Harrier answers our Five minutes with questions.
How and why did you start in the sport of athletics?
I started doing athletics at primary school in PE when I was aged about seven or eight. I found that I really enjoyed it and I wanted to learn to do some of the events properly, so when I was ten I joined Wellington Harriers Athletics Club.
What was your first significant win?
It was winning the New Zealand Secondary Schools junior girls high jump. I had never done any big competitions before and so I was hoping to place, but I never expected that I would win. When I did it was really exciting, especially because I also improved my personal best.
What was your first major setback?
I picked up a hamstring injury in 2014 during a dancing class. it was really disappointing because I was out for about four months and missed most of the athletics season.
What is the best piece of coaching advice?
It is to always have a growth mindset. This advice was given to me by my high jump coach, Mike Ritchie. I think it’s really important because it means that rather than think negatively about the things you are bad at you think more positively about how you can improve them.
What qualities do you think every athlete needs to succeed?
You need to be hard-working and to be able to persevere.
What is the most important thing you have learned from your time in the sport?
The importance of setting goals for yourself and being committed to achieving them.
What is the best thing about being an athlete?
It is to be able to visit lots of cool places and meet new people.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
To be able to fly. The sensation of flying would be amazing. It would also be a very convenient form of transport and as a high jumper, it would be cool to see how high I could go!
What is your hidden talent?
I can cook and bake well. I like cooking pasta dishes and baking cupcakes.
What would be your last meal?
What is your karaoke song?
I would never karaoke – I can’t sing!
What is your greatest indulgence?
Ice cream. I like to make homemade ice cream, with berries and mango, but I also love salted caramel. I try not to east ice cream too often, though!
If you could have three dinner party guests, who would they be and why?
Usain Bolt – I’d like the meet the fastest man on earth
Ed Sheeran – I love his music
The Queen – I’d be really interested in hearing her life