Just a week out from his 16th birthday, Bargara athlete Hendré Kirchner has been selected to represent Australia at the 2019 Oceania Area Championships.
St Luke's student Hendré was named in the under 18 team for javelin, recently announced by Athletics Australia.
He said he was stunned by the news.
“Since I was in year five it always used to be my goal to compete at a national or international level at any sport,” Hendré said.
“I am grateful that I can go a little bit further than nationals. It’s good to compete against other countries.”
He said he first picked up a javelin by chance when playing with a friend in South Africa. He was instantly hooked and began formal training after moving to Australia three years ago.
“I guess I like watching it fly. It’s really satisfying.
“It’s got a lot of aspects to it. You’ve got to work on sprinting. I go to the gym to be able to generate enough power.
“And then there is the technique and throwing and the rush you get when you compete.”
His current personal best is 58.14 metres, thrown at the Australian Athletics Championships recently.
Coach commends ‘future star'
Coach Les Kuorikoski said the competition would provide valuable experience for Hendré, giving him exposure to the highest level of competition.
“They’ve obviously identified him as a future star,” Mr Kuorikoski said.
“To be throwing nearly 60 metres already at 15 is an incredible achievement.”
Mr Kuorikoski said Taryn Gollshewsky would also compete in open shotput and discus.
Aside from competing in the Oceania Area Championships at Townsville in June, Hendré said his next goal would be to increase his best to 70m before aiming to throw Olympic entry standard.
He said he was grateful to have Mr Kuorikoski as his coach.
“I appreciate that Les is putting so much effort in to us. He’s just doing it because he loves it and he’s good at what he does.”