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weight lifting

Kanah Andrews-Nahu, Weight Lifting Pioneer

REVIEW: Kanah Andrews-Nahu is a NZ Weightlifter who has achieved a lot in the sport already and is only 19 years of age.

by Jan Zabawski     I     15 May 2020

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Kenah Andrews-Nahu

The young weightlifter has been all over the world competing and has had many successes including a third place at the youth olympics, over 100 New Zealand records and gold in the youth, junior and senior U75kg weight divisions at the 2018 Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Noumea. She’s the first NZ Youth athlete to win a senior title at this competition.


I first met Kanah through her mum and family who joined our family CrossFit box Zealous CrossFit many years ago when she was only 11 or 12 years old. Her mum Shahn and aunty Anya were both strong athletes, so I wasn’t surprised when Kanah put up some impressive numbers when she started lifting. 


As a coach, there was a defining moment I remember with Kanah as I watched her effortlessly front squat 85kg with near perfect form. The thought of “this kid was something special”, not just another strong maori/polynesian kid that walked through our doors, she was on another level.  I was amazed and thought the skies the limit for this kid if she wants it.   


After Kanah competed in her first competition at the age of 13 and broke 9 New Zealand records, she took weightlifting more seriously and joined the club Functional Strength where she would be coached by three time olympian Richie Patterson who have since then formed a great relationship on and off the platform.


Since Kanah moved on to fully pursue weightlifting we have bumped into each other at various places and I have supported her and her career from afar.


With this episode, I really enjoyed catching up with Kanah because over the years we have had some brief interactions but were usually cut short as we were both on the move, so this was a treat having no time frame of rush to be anywhere.  The last time I saw Kanah in, you guessed it, KMart with her mother; it was a great opportunity to invite her on to the show.


I was impressed with Kanahs poise and how much she had grown over the years. She was so much more sure of herself and confident in her speech.


The whole conversation was really smooth, relaxed and a lot of fun joking with her as a young adult because our conversations were a bit different to when we first met.  


Not only was it cool to hear about her weightlifting journey but it was also fun getting to know her better and hear about her life in general, how she’s juggling training, studying at University and everything else that comes with being a young student athlete.


In my opinion, Kanah is one of the best Weightlifters to ever come out of New Zealand and she's still only very young. 


I believe in 10-15 years time we will all look back and see Kanah as someone who helped pioneer Weightlifting here in NZ and especially with our female lifters.


I will obviously continue to support her and her career from a far and wish her all the best in all her pursuits! Until next time, take care and Godbless!


Click on this picture to listen to the full interview on the ZEALOUS STATE OF MIND podcast

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