By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
TALENTED 16-year-old Rachael Cullen is busy packing her bags after accepting a two-year athletics scholarship at St Hilda's College on the Gold Coast.
Cullen, who on Monday was announced as Chanel College's Sportswoman of the Year for her achievements in athletics has been offered the first athletics scholarship by the prestigious school.
The move to the Gold Coast is a big one for Cullen, who currently lives at Mount Larcom with her close-knit family.
"I am really excited to be going down, to be on the Gold Coast working closer with Sharon is hopefully going to make me a better athlete,'' Cullen said.
This year has been huge for Rachael with a second placing in hurdles at state level in October and two golds at the Australia North Queensland Champion-ships in Townsville. December is also shaping up as a big month for Rachael after her selection in the Queensland team for the All School Nationals and in the Australian team for the Oceania Championships.
These two meetings have ensured she will have to leave home earlier than expected, but Rachael mentioned she would always run for the region and the people who have supported her along the way.
"I would like to thank everyone for the support, including Mr Golding who has helped me heaps and all the people at Chanel and Mount Larcom,'' she said.
The foundation scholarship ensures Rachael has a great chance of achieving her dream to line-up against her idol Jana Pittman in the Olympics one day.
"To be at the Olympics is a dream and it would be great to line-up against Jana.