Jacob Last’s parents were told their son may never walk or talk, but he defied the odds and now 12 years later, will represent Queensland in the Australian Little Athletics Championships.
Jacob is one of 50 athletes from around the state chosen to represent Queensland, and it is the first time multi-class athletes have been selected to compete at the event.
“I am a surviving twin born at 25 weeks gestation,” he said.
“I have Cerebral Palsy and hydrocephalus, (and I was) told I may never walk or talk but here I am kicking goals.”
Jacob discovered his passion for athletics in 2019 while attending Walkervale State School, when he was selected to represent the Bundaberg Region in the Queensland Schools Track and Field Championships.
Jacob’s mum Kellie Last said as she watched her son overcome multiple challenges in life, she never expected him to become a record-breaking athlete.
Every single time he takes to the field her emotions are high.
“It may seem funny, but every time I see Jacob run – I cry,” she said.
“Jacob didn’t start walking until he was four years old and since that moment he has pretty much ran, he was always on the go.
“He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18 months, doctors couldn’t guarantee he would walk or talk – he used to shuffle around on his back to get around.”
Since then, Jacob has continued to defy the odds and through West Bundaberg Little Athletics he enjoys both running and field events, with discus being his favourite.
It is Jacob’s dream to become a para-athlete and represent Australia at the Olympics.
He is well on the way after attending his first state athletic competition last year where he made four Queensland records in T-35 athletes U13 age group.
Cerebral Palsy affects the Bundaberg State High School student’s balance, coordination, fine and gross motor skills.
But he said he was determined to succeed on the track.
“My legs and hamstrings are tight. My left arm is tight, and my hand is hard to use,” Jacob said.
“I don’t walk or run like other kids but maybe after my operation later this year I might.”
Kellie said it was wonderful the multi-class division was now included in the Australian Little Athletics Championships.
“Inclusion for these kids in sport is so important,” she said.
“To have them included for the first time is really exciting. They all shine in their own way.”
The Australian Little Athletics Championships will be held in 23-24 April, to follow or support Jacob’s journey click here.
Xavier will make his way to Melbourne to compete in high jump, shot put, walks and javelin, to support Xavier click here.
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