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North Shore's young sporting talent celebrated

North Shore's young sporting talent celebrated

Double world duathlon winner Rebecca Spence was today presented with a special award at her school, Rangitoto College.


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Minister for Sport and Recreation Trevor Mallard today presented double world duathlon winner Rebecca Spence with a special award at her school, Rangitoto College.

Rebecca is the first to receive one of these special school awards, which celebrates her achievement of becoming a double world champion.

"Rebecca is a tenacious, disciplined and courageous athlete whose achievements and maturity are far beyond her years," Trevor Mallard said at the presentation.

He also congratulated the college on its sporting excellence, having 55 students who are national representatives or champions, across a range of sports.

"With talent like this coming through, the future of New Zealand sport stands in good stead. You are important role models for your peers."

Seventeen-year-old Rebecca Spence has many achievements of her own.

She has won the World Junior Duathlon Championships in 2005 and 2006.

In 2005 she was one of only two competitors from outside a European country to gain a podium placing in any of the six elite female and male categories.

In the 2006 World Championships this August in Canada, Spence finished over three minutes ahead of the second place getter - a staggering margin at a world level.

She also won the World Junior Time Trial Cycling Championships this year in Belgium, finishing head and shoulders above the opposition with a winning margin of 22 seconds.

Rebecca joins a select group of only five New Zealanders who have won a World Cycling Championships title, and was thereby given the honour of wearing the coveted 'Rainbow' cycling top.

As a carded athlete, Rebecca Spence receives support from SPARC's high performance network, the New Zealand Academy of Sport.

ENDS

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