Hair fired up for world champs
By day 23-year-old Codie Hair can be spotted around Southland selling paint, but by night he makes the dramatic transformation into a well-drilled and determined fighting machine.
The Southern Paints Ltd sales rep is one of Southland's leading kickboxers and yesterday he was one of six southern kickboxers, and 11 New Zealanders in total who started their journey to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to step on to the world stage.
In Brazil they will take part in the World Association of Kickboxing world championships.
For the enthusiastic kickboxer getting a crack at the world championships is like all his Christmas's coming at once, with the tournament attracting 2500 competitors from 100 different countries.
It is reward for a lot of hard work because what most have not seen is the steep and tricky path he has had to take to fight in Sao Paulo.
For a start Hair opted to drop a lot of weight to get himself to the point where he can fight in the under-71kg division at the world championships.
"I've had to drop 18 to 20 kilos in the last six to 10 months. I have had a clean diet and obviously we train just about every day, there's a lot of running, sprints, but not a lot of weight work because you obviously want to be quick."
The hard work doesn't put Hair off though, in fact it is one of the reasons he loves combat sports.
"You get satisfaction from how hard the sport is, it's not something that everyone does," he said.
"[Also] the commitment needed, and how mentally tough you have to be. The fights are actually the easy part. It's the getting up at 6am, the dieting, it's the runs, the sparring every day when you are sore, that's the hard part."
Hair is confident that hard work can help him and his team-mates produce a good showing at the world championships.
"I've been involved for quite a long time and it's reasonably well known the Kiwis tend to fight quite hard, and the way we train our instructor [Peter Thompson] has prepared us well. When we spar there's no mucking around," he said.
Hair said the Southland contingent heading to Brazil had been well supported by the community with the Invercargill Licensing Trust and Community Trust of Southland stepping in to help fund the trip.
Hair said he had also been supported by many other businesses.
"A huge thanks to Wilson Crosbie from Southern Paints, John Sievwright from Sievwright Auto, Greg Dawson from Road Runner Panel and Paint, and Mike and Tracy Hair from Vibratrain, I could not do it without your help."
He said his clients in the paint selling game had also been encouraging when he showed up a little bruised and batted. "I turn up some times with a black eye, they're good though, they know what I do," he joked.
Josh Jefferis, David Watts, Dana Tempelman, Jamie Henery, and Paul Stewart are the other southern fighters heading to Brazil.
For Watts and Jefferis it will be their second world championships after they competed in the corresponding event in Macedonia in 2011.
The tournament will run from September 28 to October 5.
The Southland Times