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Commonwealth Youth Games 2015

Congratulations to the four athletes from Queensland state schools who competed in the 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa.

Rowan Sutton, Year 12, Beerwah State High School

What sport did you compete in at the Games?
Long jump.

When did you get involved in this long jump?
When I started little athletics when I was eight years old.

What do you enjoy about it?
Being able to better myself and keep achieving goals while having fun and making friends.

Are there any other sports that you're involved in?
Yes. I play touch football for my school, and sometimes club.

What other national and international competitions have you been involved in?
I have represented Queensland in athletics in Years 6, 8, 10, and 11 for school competitions. I have been to the Australian Junior Athletics Championships twice and achieved one bronze (long jump), one silver and one gold medal (both for triple jump).

How did you feel when you were selected?
I was over the moon; I couldn't believe I had been chosen to represent my country. I also felt relief that the hard work had finally paid off.

How do you balance your sporting commitments with school, home and work responsibilities?
I try to work my school work into my training schedule and to help out at home when I get time. It's a struggle sometimes but it's just the way it is, and I like it that way.

Who helps you to be at the top of your game and how do they support you?
My coaches, Ray and Denise Boyd, help me to be at my peak physical form at all times. My parents always help me to get to training and my girlfriend supports me in everything I do and comes to watch me whenever she can. My training squad, especially the guys, all get around me and push me in training to go my hardest.

How do you see yourself pursuing your chosen sport?
Even though there isn't much money to make a career out of athletics, I hope to represent Australia at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and World Championships.

How do you see your sport influencing future pathways?
I hope to be a sports physio, or strength and conditioning coach, which will keep me in the sports arena when I am working.

Harrison Gaffney, Year 11, Rochedale State High School

What sport did you compete in at the Games?
Weightlifting.

When did you get involved in weightlifting?
First year of high school - three and a half years ago.

What do you enjoy about it?
Self-improvement, competitiveness and confidence.

What other national and international competitions have you been involved in?

How did you feel when you were selected?
Overjoyed and overwhelmed. It meant I had accomplished my personal goals in my sport.

How do you balance your sporting commitments with school, home and work responsibilities?
Time management, and full commitment to school, sport, home and work.

Who helps you to be at the top of your game and how do they support you?
My coach always provides support, encouragement, advice, discipline and dedication.

How do you see yourself pursuing your chosen sport?
Going as far as I can - aiming for the International Weightlifting Federation Junior World Championships in 2017.

How do you see your sport influencing future pathways?
Becoming a permanent future pathway.

Taylor-Adeline Mapusua, Year 11, Brisbane State High School

What sport did you compete in at the Games?
I competed in the women's rugby 7s.

When did you get involved in rugby 7s?
I had played a season of rugby league and then a rugby coach at my school suggested rugby 7s would be a better career pathway.

What do you enjoy about it?
The physicality of it.

Are there any other sports that you're involved in?
I am involved in touch football.

What other national and international competitions have you been involved in?
I have competed at Nationals for rugby 7s, and track and field and international at the Sanix World Youth Tournament for rugby 7s.

How did you feel when you were selected?
It was honestly the best news I have ever received in my life. I felt like I won the lotto. Since the age of five I have been extremely competitive with one goal in mind - to seek out the best and challenge them. I have always aimed high to wear the green and gold - first in athletics, then netball. I have found my niche in rugby 7s and it is a match made in heaven for me. This is the one I will wear the green and gold in!

How do you balance your sporting commitments with school, home and work responsibilities?
I time manage and have a good balance with my academics while still managing to contribute to the family household chores. I have great support from my whole family as we work as a team. I come from a very sporty family.

Who helps you be at the top of your game and how do they support you?
My parents definitely, and my sisters. I have a competitive nature which has been instilled into me from an early age, and whenever we travel for competitions the whole family comes and treats it as a family holiday. We believe that the family that plays together stays together.

How do you see yourself pursuing your chosen sport?
I see myself pursuing rugby 7s long-term by training hard, being consistent, playing smart and learning in every training session in my sport, to be the best I can be.

How do you see your sport influencing future pathways?
I wish to become a professional women's rugby 7s player representing Australia to the best of my ability.

For more information about the Commonwealth Youth Games 2015 visit the CYG website.

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This page was last reviewed on 30 Sep 2015

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