Medal-winning ways

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New WITT Te Pūkenga ākonga Sasha Al-Dazhani (pictured in white top) is bringing her winning attitude to her new studies. Sasha is an accomplished track and field athlete, most recently winning a gold medal in the 400m race in the Para Open division at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships held earlier this month in Wellington. She has also participated in New Zealand Secondary Schools Track and Field event last year winning a gold and silver medal and setting a national time record.

A former New Plymouth Girls’ High student and member of the Egmont Athletics Club, Sasha is juggling her training commitments alongside starting a New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4). She hopes the programme will help with her own aims to represent New Zealand in the Paralympics and pathway to further training and a career in rehabilitation.

“Already I can see benefits for Sasha learning about strength training specific to runners and in turn she is sharing a lot of her own real-world experience as an athlete in class for everyone to benefit from,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Exercise Tutor Tessa Nielsen.

Sasha moved to New Plymouth from Russia with her mother and sister in 2018. While she has not found any fellow Russian students on campus she is finding it easy to make new friends.

“I am enjoying meeting new people, the staff are really nice, but it is very different from a school with only girls.”

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