SPORTING youth in Tannum Sands are stoked about the installation of quality new cricket and long jump facilities at the local high school.

An Olympic quality long jump pit and three cricket nets were unveiled at Tannum Sands State High School on Thursday.

The facilities are built to international standard and may be open for broader community use.

"There are not many of these in central Queensland," said parent Colleen James. "In this area, the closest one is Bundaberg."

Fourteen-year-old athlete Sophie Simpson studies at Tannum State High School, and enjoys competing in long jump, triple jump and sprinting.

She also plays a bit of soccer, netball and touch football on the side.

Sophie said the new facilities would allow her to train before events.

"It's really heaps better, because our old long jump pits were really unjumpable," she said laughingly.

The former long jump pit required students to jump over rocks, according to 15-year-old Maddison James, whose dedication to the sport has seen him break a regional long jump record.

"Knowing that the pit has been created, it made me feel so happy," he said.

"I'm hoping to get to the nationals, so this could help me."

Maddison said he hoped to see more competition as a result of the new facilities and encouraged students to give the sport a go.

The long jump pit is the first of its kind in the area, and means students can train for athletics competitions.

"To have an Olympic standard jumping pit gives the kids here a real equality with those elsewhere, like in the south-eastern corner," said Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham, who attended the opening ceremony at the Tannum State High School grounds.

Collaboration with local business was key to the success of the project, according to Tannum Sands State High School community liaison officer Carol Shuttleworth, who also credited government grants and the Parents and Citizens' Committee.

The Sands' sales manager, Erin Phillips, attended the opening ceremony and said she was delighted to be able to support the school and provide valuable sporting assets for current and future students."



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