Norwood’s eager to grow his world reputation

Ipswich and District Athletics Club masters achiever and latest monthly sportstar Darrin Norwood

Ipswich and District Athletics Club masters achiever and latest monthly sportstar Darrin Norwood.

 

IPSWICH achiever Darrin Norwood has won his 70 national athletics medals following an alcohol-free or junk food ban leading up to major competitions.

This time it’s all about the beard.

As he focuses on the world masters championships in Perth later this year, the multi-talented Ipswich sportsman has vowed to grow his distinctive facial hair until he competes for Australia.

“The beard is staying to keep my training on track,” he said.  “Probably the day that I fly down is when it will come off.”

His commitment can never be challenged.

As showers swept across Bill Paterson Oval today, Norwood was still warming up ready for one of his regular training sessions.

The personal trainer and Raceview Lifestyle Health Club manager does two to three sessions a day, making an early start before technique training at 1pm and an afternoon weights workout.

But that’s only part of his make-up.

He’s overcome a number of injury setbacks to be ranked among the world’s best in his masters throwing events.

The biggest test of his determination came at last year’s Oceania Masters titles in the Cook Islands where Norwood was diagnosed with a hematoma in his stomach.

Apart from cutting his international campaign short, the mishap left him in agony for hours.

However, the 114kg Raceview-based athlete has recovered stronger than ever, aiming to bulk up to 120kg for the world titles in October.

“I battle through,” Norwood said.

“If something stops me from competing, particularly injury, I’ll work around that injury.  I’ll do other stuff instead.

“But I try not to let anything beat me.”

His most recent success was winning six medals representing Queensland at the Australian Masters championships in April.

Competing in Adelaide, Norwood won gold in the shotput, discus and throws pentathlon.  He added silver medals in the hammer throw, javelin and weight throw.

Norwood, 36, set personal best and new Ipswich records in shot put, weight throw, hammer throw and throws pentathlon.

“Since tearing my groin in October, come January, I just focused on throwing and my distances have just gone through the roof,” he said.

“I’m going to focus on that now for the next couple of years.”

He said recent injury challenges may have been a blessing in disguise, helping him reduce previous marathon programs to more manageable levels.

“When I was doing the decathlons, I thought I had a better chance of winning a world title medal,” he said.

“But after the progress in just a short period of time, I know that I’m a fair chance of a medal in a couple of events in the throws.”

The 2015 Queensland Masters Athlete of the Year is ranked number one in the world for throws pentathlon.

He is ranked number two in world for shotput in his 35-39 years age group.

Since entering masters athletics at national level in 2011, Norwood has been a model of consistency.

The former Ipswich Eagles Aussie rules representative and Brothers rugby league back has won a bag of medals at every national titles he’s contested.

However, before finalising preparations for his first world titles, he’ll represent Australia in Fiji next month.

He’ll be part of the national open team for shotput at the Melanesian Games.

Norwood is the 2015/16 QT-City of Ipswich senior sportstar for April, in the awards backed by Ipswich City Council.

He joins previous winners:  International athlete Johnathon Taylor (March), state hockey player Jade Emblem (February), international bodybuilder Billy Knight (January), cricketer Ben O’Connell (December), weightlifter Erika Ropati-Frost (November), swimmer Leah Neale (September), masters triathlete Greg Lebeter (August) and shooter Scott Dawson (July).  No senior winner was named for October.

Apart from his incredible successes at major events, Norwood does some track and field coaching at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School and supports the Ipswich and District Athletics Club where he has been competing since 1991.