Little athletes ramp up training before regionals
A HOT and sticky morning had Gladstone Little Athletics packing up earlier than usual on Saturday but not before a good training session looking towards the regional championships in Bundaberg.
The conditions made the athletes work extra hard to run, throw and jump, needing to push themselves to good performances.
It was what the club needed heading towards the regionals on February 7-8.
Emily Wood has been to Athletics Regional Championships three times. She knows what it is all about.
Which means she knows how to achieve her goal of getting through to state level.
But she was not in the mood to give up too many secrets, simply saying "I have the speed".
Which means Emily, 14, is targeting the short, sharp events when she gets to the regionals in Bundaberg on February 7-8.
Her main hopes are qualifying for the long jump and 100m. "I will do triple jump, 200m and javelin too," she said.
"Hopefully, I will go the same as the past few years. I am hoping to go to states, probably javelin, long jump and 100m."
To do so, Emily will have to quickly adjust to the tartan track surface in Bundaberg.
The change shouldn't be a problem, with most Gladstone athletes finding it an easier surface to run on.
But if the weather is anything like Saturday, hot and humid, Emily thinks she will be up against it to reach her optimum level.
"You just can't really perform at your best," she said.
"It depends on how hot the other places get whether we will be better used to it."
Regardless of track and weather, Emily will be in with a shot of getting through to the state level.
An athletic teenager, playing soccer as well, one day she would love to make something involving sport a major part of her life.
"I am hoping to get into something sporty when I leave school."
Ky Hall has under three weeks left to prepare for his first Regional Athletics Championships, a fact which isn't fazing him at all.
The 12-year-old is more excited than nervous.
But he is unsure what to expect, heading to Bundaberg, and a different surface, which could either help or hinder his performance.
"I am excited because it is my first time on a tartan track and it might feel different," Ky said.
"I will try my best and it will be fun."
Ky is in five events in Bundaberg on February 7 and 8.
After five years in the sport, his attitude is slowly turning more serious as he aims for higher levels of competition.
"I have been improving a lot," he said. "I have been focussing on what I have to do to get there."
Most of Ky's events are over quickly. Preferring running to the field events, he doesn't have a lot of time to think about anything before the finish line.
But he may settle in better than other first timers, soaking up advice from experienced athletes and parents.
"Stacey Gould said to get 7mm spikes for the tartan track," Ky said.
What the future holds is uncertain. But Ky is not looking too far ahead, with a focus on one challenge at a time.