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Wrestling Hamilton cop set himself goal of Commonwealth Games during Police College

Hamilton is short of one its cops this Commonwealth Games as wrestler Toby FitzPatrick gears up to compete for New Zealand next week.

Four-years-ago during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, FitzPatrick was at Police College.

Instead of studying one night, he found himself on the couch glued to the TV watching New Zealand's wrestlers.

"I thought well shoot, these guys I used to train with and compete with back in the day, maybe this is something I could do," he says.

"So when I got out of college I made the decision to go back to it full time and concentrate on the goal, and getting here today."

Next Thursday he competes in the Men's 86kg weight division and is amping to go.

"The training's been really good, I'm in great shape, I just want to get out there and do it now."

But getting to the Commonwealth Games isn't easy when you're a full-time cop.

"New Zealand Police has been really good, their support for my bid to come over here, I know all of them will be cheering me on as well," FitzPatrick says.

"It's a tough job and a tough sport, but you just got to put on the mahi and keep on keeping on. Shift work can be difficult in terms of training consistently, but where there's a will there's way."

Growing up down the road from the New Plymouth Wrestling Club, Fitzpatrick says watching his brother wrestle was what originally got him into the sport. 

"The toughest wrestling matches and trainings I've ever had have been with my brother," he says.

"You step it up a notch when there's that sibling rivalry."

His siblings will be watching him compete from home on Thursday, but FitzPatrick's mum and dad will be in the crowd.

"I guarantee when I walk out on to the mat for the first time I'll hear their voices over everyone else cheering."