By Bev Jordan
Youngsters at Hawkesbury City Little Athletics Centre welcomed two-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games high jump champion Brandon Starc to their home turf at Tamplin Field, Hobartville on February 21st.
Starc, a former Baulkham Hills resident and Hills Sports High student is the reigning 2018 Commonwealth Games high jump champion and finished fifth at the recent Tokyo Olympics.
The 28-year-old managed a height of 2.33m, just 0.04m short of the gold medal jump.
Rebecca Broughton from Hawkesbury City Athletics Centre said Starc was very generous with his time, spending about two hours chatting with young athletes and their parents.
“We have so many young athletes who aspire to be the best they can be,” she said. “It was great motivation for the kids to meet and speak to Brandon, he spent so much time talking to them and giving them pointers and tips.”
He also emphasised the importance of warming up and stretching and prepping the body. The high jump champion’s visit to Hawkesbury City Little Athletics was part of the Coles Community Round, a fun celebration of Coles’ partnership with Little Athletics.
Youngsters took to Tamplin Field dressed up in red and white while volunteers dressed up as bananas for various novelty events including banana relay and throwing the banana discus-style.
Starc said: “Having come through Little Athletics, I know how much it means for kids to have a chance to meet an Olympian.
“It’s something you always remember as a kid and it inspires you to reach the next level. I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the kids and volunteers at the different Little Athletics centres over the past couple of weeks for Coles Community Round. It’s been terrific to see all the creative costumes and seeing centres run different Coles-themed relays and activities.”
Hawkesbury City Little Athletics has over 230 youngsters registered ranging in age from three to 17 years old. Around 150 braved the damp conditions to meet Starc who also paid a brief visit to Riverstone and Rouse Hills Rams Little Athletics Centres on Friday (February 24th) but wet weather curtailed some of the planned activities.