1 Mar 2024

Bromance blooms for Kiwi athletes

6:37 am on 1 March 2024
New Zealand athletes Tom Walsh and Hamish Kerr


Two of New Zealand's top athletes have formed what could be described as a bromance to help keep each other at the top of their game.

New Zealand high jumper Hamish Kerr has to be having fun and enjoying what he's doing to be competitive and he shares that feeling with champion shot-putter Tom Walsh.

The pair are preparing for this weekend's World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow and have again enjoyed each others company in the build-up.

Kerr and Walsh share a laugh whenever they can. It helps them both cope with the intensity of competition when they enter the arena.

Kerr, the Commonwealth Games champion, said he jumps his best when he's enjoying it.

"We've obviously put a lot of hard work in and we're being very methodical with our approach but ultimately I've just got to enjoy it," Kerr told RNZ.

"There'll come a time this year where all the work we've done an all the numbers become secondary to the fact that I just have to create the freedom.

"When I'm sharing some experiences with the people I love and really enjoy spending time with that's what's fun for me.

"Some of those people are the people I compete with, some are my support people and some are other New Zealand athletes I get to travel with."

High jumper Hamish Kerr at a celebrity golf event.

High jumper Hamish Kerr at a celebrity golf event. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kerr said he and Walsh had caught up more often recently as they had been on similar schedules overseas.

"Over the last few years we've travelled together more and he's definitely a guy I love spending a lot of time with and so and we definitely have similar attitudes towards what performance looks like."

Walsh is one of those athletes who enjoys what he does.

He's earnest during training and competition but makes the most of enjoying the rest of his time.

"It's hugely important for me, we're doing an individual sport and are on the road a lot by ourselves and I'm really lucky that Hamish and I get on like a house on fire so we do spend some time together which takes out that loneliness a bit," he said.

Walsh said the shot-putters in particular are a friendly bunch.

"We compete against each other and don't want to lose but we try and go for a beer or a feed afterwards and talk a bit of smack and just laugh.

"It doesn't matter if you've had a good day or a bad day but things are always a bit easier when you're chilling out and debriefing with some mates."

While shot-putters are known for their calorie intake, Kerr is probably a bit of a lightweight when it comes to bulking up and may struggle to be competitive with the big boys in that game.

Tom Walsh, men's shot-put, Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Tom Walsh, men's shot-put, Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Walsh said he's been lucky enough to talk to a lot of people from different sports and so if anyone is ever seeking advice he's happy to give it, though he said he would always have to be asked first.

While they're both extremely experienced athletes, Walsh and Kerr aren't past giving each other a little help.