Kavinda Herath / Tips
James Hargest, campus junior student, Cooper Gough and his mother Kylea Gough after recently winning a track cycling series title at Invercargill and becoming a black belt in taekwondo.
Cooper Gough has equaled his brother and sister as the winner of an Invercargill track cycling series, but his success is very special.
12-year-old campus junior student James Hargest suffers from type 1 diabetes and needs to constantly watch his body, especially when training and competing at sporting events.
Cooper emulated his brother Hunter and sister Madeleine by winning the Under-13 section of the King House Removals sponsored Track Cycling Omnium Series at the SIT Velodrome in Invercargill on November 19. The next day, Cooper had a three hour evaluation to receive a black taekwondo belt.
He was “very happy” to win the cycling title and receive the black belt 24 hours apart.
“I was very proud of myself.”
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His mother Kylea Gough keeps a close eye on him during sports training and competitions.
“I follow him everywhere to make sure he’s okay,” she said.
“There were days when it was touch and go, but we just have to adjust things, whether it’s more insulin or more food, just to keep it good.”
Copper won three national taekwondo titles in 2019 for his age, weight and belt. The cancellation of taekwondo events in the past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, had denied him the opportunity to earn more.
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 18 months ago.
“Since then we have had difficult times [with the condition] but he always held his head up high and I’m proud of him, ”his mother said.