Bundaberg's rising sport stars will this week have a chance to put their athletic abilities to the test in the hope of gaining a spot at the Brisbane 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.
The Queensland Academy of Sport is on a mission to unearth and develop the state's most talented athletes and prepare them for success through the Youfor2032 program.
Talent coaches will be visiting Bundaberg PCYC on Saturday 16 July and Sunday 17 July to perform physical athletic testing and more as part of the initiative.
Sport Minister and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Sport and Engagement Stirling Hinchliffe said Youfor2032 was Australia’s largest ever athlete talent identification program.
“Initially, the QAS anticipates up to 50,000 Youfor2032 registrations with talent scouts selecting 20,000 young Queenslanders for comprehensive athletic testing,” he said.
“Each will be assessed for speed, endurance, agility, resilience, cognitive ability, winning mindset and determination for gold in 2032.
“Youfor2032 expects to discover around 400 athletes, giving them access to great coaches, excellent facilities and expert support to accelerate development across 17 sports, from triathlon to sprint canoeing.”
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Waves Falcons Rugby Union Club Secretary Jeff Messitt said members from the sporting organisation had already been testing their skills in the lead up to the Olympic trials.
He said Waves Falcons had rolled out a fitness and agility program for young athletes, 13 and 14 years of age, to finetune their abilities in the lead up to the trials this weekend.
“The idea for our club was to upskill our kids in fitness, agility, strength and speed, so to give them a better chance at these trials,” he said.
“We kicked off a specific program to develop the kids over an eight-week period in the lead up.”
As part of the program, Jeff said ex-international rugby and Rugby 7s coach Michael Hooke visited the region to host a workshop.
“Hookey passed tips to the kids and tweaked individuals on what to work on,” he said.
“He focused the session on ‘balance to be better with agility and speed' using training activities to change direction with balance and control and hand-eye coordination and more.”
Jeff said having Olympic and Paralympic trials available in the Bundaberg Region was a great opportunity for regional athletes to be recognised.
“These Youfor2032 Olympics talent identification trials are about you competing against yourself, but will also give you an equal opportunity on a level playing field,” he said.
“Any kids that have taken part in our program have given themselves the best possible chance at the trials.
“These 13 and 14 year olds could be identified as the next Olympic athlete, representing Australia on the world stage after a humble beginnings in Bundaberg.”
If you are aged between 13 to 23 years old (Olympic sports) or 13 to 30 years old (Paralympic sports) you are eligible to register for Youfor2032 via qld.gov.au/youfor2032.