Mon 27 Apr 2015

Hannah's off to Turkey!

Elite triathlete champion Hannah Sturmer, was on top of the world after being selected to compete in the Gallipoli Games during the Anzac centenary celebrations.

But only days before she was to fly out came the news that the Games were being postponed because of the political unrest in Turkey.

Hannah, who is a year two nursing student at WITT, was philosophical about the last-minute change.

“Finding out that the event was forced to be postponed was disappointing news, but considering the political issues going on over there, it seemed appropriate,’’ she said.

“I look forward to hearing further developments on the event and hope I still get this amazing opportunity to represent New Zealand in triathlon.’’.

That would appear to be a certainty. Organisers of the Games, which now are held in August or September, when there is more stability in the Middle East.

Ironically, the theme of the Games is one of peace, bringing together university students from the seven countries, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, France, Great Britain, India and Germany, involved in the conflict 100 years ago. It is planned to hold the event every two years.

Hannah successfully juggles her nursing studies with the hectic schedule of a top triathlete and a champion beach sprinter in the sport of Surf Lifesaving.

Associate Head of WITT’s Nursing School Jessica Knight was full of praise for Hannah.

“She’s a lovely and intelligent young lady. We’d put homework on hold, so she could concentrate on her event.’’

Jessica said they were quite happy to help Hannah achieve outside the course, as well as in it.

“A big part of her is her sport, and if we support that side of her we believe it helps them become better nurses. We try to support the students on their own personal journeys. Let’s face it; we live in a busy world.

“I encourage them as an academic to fit in as much as they can into their lives. Hannah is a phenomenally hard worker in her sports and is also a great student.’’