Hav­ing a go was the win­ning path for Wil­lie

Townsville Bulletin - - News - Antony Ste­wart Townsville Bul­letin

TRAIN­ING: Wil­lie Tonga help­ing stu­dents from An­nan­dale State School pre­pare for the up­com­ing TRY­athon JUST hav­ing a go is what turned Wil­lie Tonga into the NRL su­per­star he is to­day.

As a child, if there was a sport to be played the Cow­boys rep­re­sen­ta­tive cen­tre had a crack and it’s what he hopes to in­spire hun­dreds of other kids to do when the Weet-Bix Kids TRY­athlon rolls into Townsville. From May 22, he wants them to put down their com­puter games, turn off the tele­vi­sion and get phys­i­cal.

‘‘ That was all I did when I was younger, I was never in­side watch­ing TV, I was al­ways out with my mates play­ing sport, whether it be bas­ket­ball or cricket or any­thing, just to stay ac­tive,’’ T o n g a s a i d . T o n g a , a Queens­land and Aus­tralia player, led by ex­am­ple yes­ter­day morn­ing when he trained with chil­dren at An­nan­dale State School, t a k i n g t h e m t h r o u g h stretches, games and some health ad­vice.

T h e W e e t - B i x K i d s TRY­athlon is for chil­dren aged be­tween seven and 15 years old, fea­tur­ing swim­ming, cy­cling and run­ning legs of vary­ing dis­tance de­pend­ing on age.

While a race, the em­pha­sis is on fun and par­tic­i­pa­tion, with all com­peti­tors re­ceiv­ing a medal and a cer­tifi­cate.

Tonga

said

hav­ing

a

go could be the path to some­thing great.

‘‘ I never imag­ined when I was younger I would be in this po­si­tion . . . it was all fun and games up un­til I turned 16 or 17 . . . and ( then it) got se­ri­ous,’’ he said.

On­line reg­is­tra­tions are at www. weet-bix. com. au.

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