Check out our latest Blog ! Click here


From Waipuk to the World - Lachie Kirk

From Waipuk to the World - story by Chris Proctor

Sometimes odds and records are there to be broken, and everything previously thought to be out of reach is defied. That is the story of Lachie Kirk, an 18-year-old boy from CHB who did just that.

Lachie grew up in the small rural town of Waipukurau, in the heart of Central Hawke's Bay, where at an early age, as a way to celebrate scoring Rugby tries, he began practising how to backflip on the family trampoline. Those were the beginnings of a sporting career beyond what Lachie thought possible. "I never would have thought when I started doing backflips on the tramp all those years ago that I would be competing against world champions."

After mastering the backflip on the home trampoline, Lachie was inspired to go further and, thus, joined the local gymnastics club, where he trained diligently for over five years until he felt he had gone as far as he could. This was when he moved from gymnastics to trampolining, consisting of three disciplines: trampoline, double-mini and tumble track. He moved to a new club to begin learning under Wayne Marsh in December 2017.

Just one year into his new-found disciple, Lachie, managed to win the tumbling event at the national competition - a success he was to enjoy for the subsequent five years, which came as a huge surprise for him. Lachie's surprise went off the charts when he was asked to set his sights on the international stage.

One thing is for sure, though, Lachie's success didn't come out of nowhere. "It's definitely a lot of hard work", says Lachie, who trains three times a week in the off-season and four times in the build-up to major competitions. But that's not all. On the days when he's not in the air or doing Jackie Chan-style flips across the tumbling track, he hits the weights gym as a way to complement his training regime. Balancing school and training sometimes meant he needed to make concessions in order to be able to fit in competitions and training. This year Lachie's NCEA results needed to be based on his mock exams in early September, as the overseas competition was nearing.

However, there were several bumps in Lachie's road to Bulgaria, which set him back quite a bit. The first being Covid, significantly impacting his training and ability to gain essential experience at national competitions. This, however, gave way for another one of Lachie's passions - photography. During lockdown, Lachie gripped his camera and headed out onto the farm, where he experimented with taking different types of shots. This led to him, alongside his family, taking magnificent pictures of silhouettes in front of the moon, which made it into the papers and onto the web. Lachie enjoys this but wants to rediscover later in life, as his training keeps him super busy.

His second major hurdle came from the side effects of medication, which led to a neck fracture after an accident while training. Despite significant setbacks of Covid and injuries, Lachie managed to get back on his feet just in time for the last opportunity to qualify for the international event held in Bulgaria, at the nationals, winning all three of his disciplines, securing him a safe spot in the competition. The weeks and months before the competition, Lachie was training four times a week, studying for exams and working on fundraising the money needed to get him to Europe. With the help of the local community, he managed to fundraise over $12,000 for flights, gear and accommodation.

Lachie has won national titles for his sport and fought his way onto the international arena, gaining 5th in the world for his age group - a tremendous achievement. Now, Lachie is heading to university to study commerce, but his sports career is still very much in focus. He plans to climb up the ranks to even greater heights, saying, "I'm not done yet."