Matthew’s Commonwealth journey an international odyssey
19 July 2022 | News
Lincoln student Matthew Oxenham's jet lag isn't stopping him from training partners to wrestle with in his build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Sports Scholar, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Environmental Science, will wrestle for New Zealand in the U86kg category in his first Commonwealth Games.
The national champion is on the mat six days a week, with supplementary strength and conditioning sessions most days.
He's had a busy year so far, spending two weeks in April in the United States at a camp with wrestlers from Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba and Hungary, and competing in local events.
He will leave shortly to compete at the Polish Open in Warsaw, and then to train in the Netherlands.
Matthew also came second in the Australian nationals and Super Series earlier in the year, in Canberra and Sydney respectively.
Following in the footsteps of his father, he started wrestling when he was eight. He tried his hand at other sports but enjoyed the individual responsibility that wrestling required.
He cited one of his inspirations as Clinton Davies, a coach he had as a youngster, who is visually impaired but represented New Zealand on the world stage in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Matthew's passport already contained few stamps in advance of this year's travels.
He went on a month-long cultural exchange to the United States in 2015 as a part of the New Zealand Secondary Schools team.
"All of the boys selected for the Commonwealth Games squad were on that exchange, and I'm stoked to be joined by some of my closest mates on this expedition," he said.