BATHURST'S Will Curtin has a golden opportunity to take his skills to the next level after being named in the Little Athletics Emerging Athlete Program (LEAP).
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The new program, which starts at Curtin's the under 12s age group, brings together the best NSW Little Athletics members across all events to take part in two camps to be held at the Sydney Academy of Sport & Recreation Centre at Narrabeen.
Curtin has been recognised for his efforts in the triple and long jump events and will now get to develop those skills with the help of top level coaches and athletics staff.
The first LEAP camp will take place from September 28 to 30.
Only 10 athletes per discipline have been invited to the camps, putting Curtin among an elite group of the state's best juniors.
Curtin said he's excited to have an opportunity to learn from some of the state's top specialist coaches.
"I'll be able to work on a lot of things, including my run up, because there will be national jumpers and coaches there," he said.
"We don't have any coaches out this way and we don't have the proper track and facilities out here either. I rarely get to run on synthetic so this will be really good for me.
"I was really excited to hear about making this because it's a camp, and camps are great fun."
The LEAP program has been designed to provide members access to nationally accredited, recognised and respected coaches and athletes, plus a pathway to towards next level opportunities such as ALAC and the national under 15s camp
Guest appearances by senior elite athletes are also scheduled.
Curtin father, Mike, said it's wonderful to see athletics administrations putting time and money into developing promising juniors in the wake of Brisbane's successful bid for the 2032 Olympic Games.
"They're very keen to try and retain a lot of athletes. In many other sports they have big representative pathways, and as they build towards the Olympics in 2032 there's a lot more money flowing into sports like athletics to retain some of the more talented athletes out there," he said.
"Those Olympics are only 10 years away so the under 12s athletes will be 22 or 23 by then, so that will be the beginning of their international athletics career if they're good enough to reach that level.
"Before the Sydney Olympics we saw a lot of interviews with people who were under 12 at the time watching Sydney be awarded the games. I think athletics is really making a positive trend towards finding athletes and looking to keep them in the sport.
"Athletes tend to drift off to team sports because athletes can be a lonely sport. It's very individual at times. Getting these kids into a team environment where they're pushing and supporting one another is very important."
The second camp has been scheduled for mid-January.
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