Young stars’ time to shine

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LOCAL SPORTS STARS -

THE best in lo­cal sport and the ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­forts of ju­nior ath­letes across Perth are set for higher ac­claim through Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group’s search for Lo­cal Sports Stars.

Launch­ing this week and pick­ing up on WA’s rich tra­di­tion of pro­duc­ing top ju­nior ath­letes and lo­cal sports stars, the Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group Lo­cal Sports Stars pro­gram will shine a spot­light on the state’s young tal­ent and pro­vide a fi­nan­cial help­ing hand to its win­ners.

And for the first time, our state’s best-recog­nised young­sters will be cat­a­pulted on to the na­tional state to com­pete against the Lo­cal Sports Stars pro­gram medal­lists in NSW, Queens­land and Vic­to­ria, where they could be crowned an Aus­tralian Lo­cal Sports Star.

There are five award cat­e­gories – Ju­nior Sports Star In­di­vid­ual, Ju­nior Sports Star Team, Young Sport­ing Spirit In­di­vid­ual, Young Sport­ing Spirit Team and Ser­vice To Sport – and in great news, there are cash prizes for all win­ners.

As well as the state team star or fu­ture Olympian, the Lo­cal Sports Stars pro­gram cel­e­brates kids who love to play sport, great teams that are the heart and soul of ev­ery week­end sports oval, pool and field and the mums, dads, grand­par­ents, coaches and sup­port­ers who make it all pos­si­ble.

Gym­nast Gabriel O’Sullivan (pic­tured) was among the win­ners of the 2013 Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group Ju­nior Sports Hero pro­gram.

Now aged 20 and com­pet­ing at se­nior level, O’Sullivan has main­tained his de­ter­mi­na­tion to com­pete at the high­est level.

He is vy­ing to rep­re­sent WA at this year’s na­tion­als in May, which will act as a se­lec­tion pre­cur­sor to the 2012 Com­mon­wealth Games which will be held in Queens­land.

Com­mu­nity News­pa­per Group ed­i­tor-in-chief Matt Zis en­cour­aged mem­bers of all lo­cal sports clubs to look within and put for­ward their best and most de­serv­ing for well earned recog­ni­tion.

“Most of to­day’s na­tional sport­ing he­roes were ju­nior play­ers at a lo­cal club some­where and this pro­gram could un­cover the next gen­er­a­tion,” he said.

“This may be the first big award a bud­ding star wins to kick-start a sto­ried ca­reer.

“It’s also a great op­por­tu­nity to recog­nise play­ers or teams that have over­come ad­ver­sity and show ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the hard-work­ing vol­un­teers that our clubs couldn’t do with­out.”

To nom­i­nate a Lo­cal Sports Star, visit lo­cal­sportsstars.

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