News & Updates

18 October 2023 • Community

Athletics for Everybody – Tori Peeters

Tori Peeters believed her time at Gore Athletics was critical to her future involvement in the sport. (Credit: Michael Dawson)

As part of our Athletics for Everybody campaign we focus on a number of our elite international performers who recall their club athletics memories. Today New Zealand javelin record-holder and Diamond League Final podium finisher Tori Peeters chats about the importance of her formative years in the sport of athletics.

For New Zealand javelin record-holder Tori Peeters joining her local athletics club was critical in providing her with the tools for her future success.

The two-time World Championships representative who claimed an outstanding podium finish in the 2023 Diamond League Final is now able to mix it with the international elite, but a decision taken to join Gore Athletics Club was to prove pivotal for the course of her athletics pathway.

Tori had competed for the Waharoa Athletics Club in the Waikato “when I was really little” and she has some great memories of her time there.

“I remember winning some certificates for long jump and the sprints, although and jumping in with the older kids to make a proper race of it,” she says.

After the family relocated to Southland when Tori was aged seven, she gravitated to team sports. However, after trying the javelin at school at the age of 14 she was motivated to join Gore and so she launched the second phase of her athletics career.

“For me, it was the beginning of everything,” she says. “That is when I met my first coach Murray Spedan and it if it wasn’t for meeting him through Gore Athletics I probably wouldn’t have carried on.

“I think back to training with Murray behind a hedge to help shelter from the wind and the rain in my rugby boots. It might not sound glamorous, but I loved it and I was so lucky to be able to work with Murray and develop as an athlete.”

Now a member of Hamilton City Hawks, Tori has gone on thrive in her sport. A seven-time New Zealand champion she had made a giant leap forward over the past couple of seasons where she become an international regular. At the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games she finished fifth and bettered her New Zealand record with a 63.26m hurl in Yokohama, Japan in May this year.

Leading into an Olympic year she is optimistic she can challenge the very best in Paris, but she will never forget the key role her time as a club athlete played in her development and she would call on other youngsters whatever their background or sporting aspirations to reach out to their local club and give athletics a crack.

“Everything you learn in athletics there is either a run, jump or throw component, so the skills that you learn are so transferable to any other sport,” she said. “Athletics sets such a fundamental base to pursue any sporting career.”

See what Tori has to say about her involvement in athletics from an early age here. 

***To identify your local club and give athletics a go – find out more here.