POCKET rocket Aidan Witt had one request for his father, Jason, on his return from the Australian School Sport Cross Country Championships in Albany: Can you build me a shelf in my bedroom?
If Aidan's early success is any indication, it will need to be a long shelf to display all his trophies after the nine year old claimed his fifth gold medal in less than three months.
The Hervey Bay youngster, who has been deaf since birth, continued his dream start to his cross country career by winning two events in his age group during his first national meet at the weekend.
The blonde curly haired boy charged home in a time of 9min 50sec in the 2km athletes with disability class to capture a gold medal in his individual event and as part of the Queensland time trial relay team.
"It's certainly a good thing for him and it's something he likes doing and while he is enjoying it we will encourage him to keep going," Aidan's father Jason said.
"It will help teach him that if you put the work in to something and can see the result at the other end then it's worth going on with it.
"Hopefully that will be the case."
A quiet achiever who stands just 130cm tall, Aidan has two cochlear implants, but to ensure a level playing field for all AWD competitors, he has to remove his hearing device and race unaided.
This is the Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School student's first year of competition - and after battling to overcome nerves in his first major meet, Jason said his son is becoming more confident with every race.
"This is basically his first year of competition in any form and first year he has had to take his implants off and it doesn't seem to worry him," he said.
"When he's looking at you he can understand what's going on and what you're saying to him.
"It's all going to be a visual thing for him so he just gets out there and does what he has to do.
"When we see him we try to encourage him along when he runs past, but he doesn't directly look at you because he is concentrating that hard and keeps going until the end."
Remarkably, less than eight hours after arriving home from Western Australia, Aidan was back on the track competing at yesterday's 10-12 years Wide Bay School track and field trials in Maryborough.
Although Aidan, who works with renowned coach Rick MacDonald, has never let his disability hold him back, Jason believed it was his determination to succeed and enthusiastic attitude that is inspiring.
"He gets in there and doesn't complain and has a go and loves doing it," he said.
"He likes to tackle new challenges just like any other normal kid does."