State cross country
JULATTEN nine-year-old Jemma Morrison has swapped her soccer boots for trainers, ready for the Cross Country State Championships in Ipswich.
Reaching the state championships for ages 10-12 years is no mean feat for the primary school student, who managed to beat the 10-year-old group in the Douglas district championships, and qualified at the Peninsula regional championships recently.
Because Jemma turns 10 at the end of December, she is competing against the same year level of mainly 10-year-old females.
‘‘I came fifth out of 81 people who were a year older than me, it was pretty good and very hard,’’ Jemma said.
‘‘I practised a bit at school and just stayed the same pace to get me through.’’
While soccer is still the number one favourite sport for Jemma, cross country is a close second and she has been training hard for the state championships, which are being held in Ipswich on July 14-15 for 10-12 years.
‘‘We are running up and down the range and around our farm,’’ she said.
‘‘I prefer the long runs because you can keep the pace.’’
Jemma needs sponsorship to get her to Ipswich in July and also for accommodation. IGA in Port Douglas is helping out with a donation tin and raffle tickets for purchase at their service desk.
‘‘I’m flattered to be representing Douglas,’’ she said.
‘‘I’m going to Ipswich for Cross Country and I would like it if people want to sponsor me because it costs a lot of money and I’m travelling a long way.’’ Meanwhile, this weekend Jemma will be competing in a representative female soccer team for North Queensland in Innisfail.
Jemma Morrison has qualified for the state cross country championships