The Jamison Little Athletics Centre will be well represented at next weekend’s State Track and Field Championships, with 19 local athletes going for gold.
The State Championships, which will be held next Friday to Sunday at Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre, will feature male and female athletes aged from U9 to U17.
It will officially mark the end of the 2016/17 Little Athletics track and field competition season.
Athletes from Jamison Little Athletics Centre will compete across a range of track and field events including the 100m sprint, hurdles, long jump, shot put, discus and long distance running.
Jamison Little Athletics Centre Treasurer, Janeetha Munaweera, said so many athletes qualified for the State Championships after strong performances at last month’s Region Championships in Blacktown.
“Our athletes achieved phenomenal results by winning medals of all colours and achieving a number of personal bests,” she said.
“I put our success down to the hard work of the athletes as well as our dedicated club coach Kate Ryan, who voluntarily trains the kids and helps out around the club.”
One athlete who is no stranger to competing on the big stage is Cranebrook youngster Alysha Pearson, who will compete at her sixth State Championships next weekend.
The 14-year-old St Paul’s Grammar student will contest the discus and shot put events.
“I’ve been competing at the State Championships since I was nine. The only time I missed out was due to a broken left finger a few years back,” she said.
“Every time I’ve competed I’ve made the top eight and medalled three times.
“I’ve won two silvers in discus and one gold medal in shot put.”
While Pearson hopes to do just as well or even better next weekend, she’s looking forward to cheering on some of Jamison Little Athletics Centre’s younger athletes, who will be competing at the State Championships for the first time.
“I’ve been with the club since I was three-years-old,” she said.
“I remember when I was younger going to State for the first time, it was very exciting.
These kids will have a ball and I hope they do well.”
Athletes who perform exceptionally well next weekend will have the opportunity to test their abilities on a national stage at the Australian Little Athletics Championships in April.
“Due to the tough competition not everyone can medal but I am confident that some of our athletes will win,” Munaweera said.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.