Wyatt has heart set on athletics
WYATT Smith only started competing in athletics this year.
You wouldn't have guessed it.
The 11-year-old Tinana State School student has taken to it like a duck to water – just look at the progress he's made already.
Smith, who competes in the athletes with a disability division, has been selected to represent Queensland for the first time in the Australian Primary Schools Track and Field Championships in Victoria later this month.
He'll give it his all in two events – discus and shot put.
Smith earned his selection after finishing second in discus and third in shot put while making his debut for Wide Bay in the Queensland Primary Schools Track and Field Championships in Townsville.
Before he got the chance to shine for Wide Bay in Townsville, Smith had to get through another test – he passed it with flying colours.
He represented the Maryborough Zone for the first time in the Regional Championships in Gayndah.
It was his performance there that paved the way for Smith to have a crack at five disciplines – 100m, 200m, long jump, discus and shot put – for Wide Bay.
It comes as no surprise that Shannon Smith said his talented young son is feeling over the moon by what he's achieved in such a short time.
“It's amazing really,” said Shannon, who went to Townsville to watch his son in action.
“He really cannot believe just how well he's gone since he first said he wanted to have a go at athletics.
“He'd only played Aussie rules before – this was a whole new ball game and he's really taken to it.
“I can tell you that I had a few tears in my eyes when I heard his named called out in the Queensland team – we are all so proud of him.”
When Smith heads off to the nationals in Bendigo, he'll have a familiar face with him on Queensland duty.
Tinana State School teacher Richard Franklin is one of the Queensland coaches.
Franklin knows first-hand just how hard young Smith has worked this year.
“Wyatt has been a keen as mustard since day one – he's been to every training session we've had at school,” Franklin said.
“There is no doubt that he has trained his little heart out and worked really hard on every discipline he does.
“It's been a fantastic effort to get picked for Queensland for the first time and he deserves it.
“He's been so dedicated all year and he always gives 110%.
“You couldn't ask for more.”