One of my most memorable results of my Little Athletics participation was running in the 400m finals at the NSW State Championships in 1982. There was a photo finish at the end and I missed out on winning gold by only two hundredths of a second!
An exciting result of my Little Athletics participation was being chosen to be part of the ACT Representative team to compete in both the 400m and 800m at the Australian Championships in Adelaide in 1986. I was leading in the 800m right until the end. Unfortunately, I think I thought that I had the race won and got passed by three other competitors towards the end, finishing fourth. Mum and Dad were right up at the back in the stands and they say that if they'd been closer to the track that they could have cheered me on that bit more! Of course, winning is not what it's all about but Dad did drop his video camera in his excitement as, if I'd been first across the line, then I would have made it on to the Junior World Championships in New Caledonia.
Another highlight of my Little Athletics participation was being invited to compete at an Australian Institute of Sport's (AIS) meet in 1987 where I won Gold in the 800m. I was invited to train at the AIS during that year but, unfortunately, a knee injury meant that I was unable to do so. I was in and out of surgery for years with a shattered cartilage injury which put a halt to my running career. It was quite heart-breaking.
Good old Dad was my coach: he is still an amazingly fit man and used then run with me mornings and nights. Half the time, I'd be running in bare feet and it was only later on that I progressed to spikes. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into my training and competing. I remember losing a bit of motivation at one point and had to work really hard to build it up again-at that age, you sometimes need encouraging and 'pushing' a little bit. Mum and Dad had to take me into Canberra twice a week for training and to camps, and participated at Little Athletics trainings and meets doing time-keeping, long-jump marking and so on. They deserve my success as much as I do. Dad built a trophy room for my ribbons, medals and trophies which was a bit embarrassing. There were quite a lot of them (Mum tells me that during my time in Little Athletics, that I won 17 Gold, six Silver and three Bronze medals at State level, with over 70 ribbons in sport from Primary School). I also enjoyed competing at State level in multiple sports in High School such as Athletics, Basketball, Cross-Country and Touch Football.
I remember it all. I had a competitive streak and probably wanted that Gold! I sometimes think that without the injury and with the help of the AIS that I could have gone much further.