Versatile Olivia jumps to it

Versatile athlete Olivia Ridley mid-flight in a triple jump.
Versatile athlete Olivia Ridley mid-flight in a triple jump.

The Mercedes College student is the current National Champion for Triple Jump in the Under 14 age group, has represented WA at Sports Acrobatics, Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics WA and Little Athletics teams and netball in various competitions.

Describing herself as a dedicated and enthusiastic athlete who trains hard, the 13-year-old has at times juggled injury to achieve at an outstanding level.

‘After representing WA at gymnastics and sports acrobatics I decided about a year ago to quit and instead do athletics after doing well at my interschool carnival,’ Ridley said.

‘After only a few months I was selected to represent WA at the Australian All-Schools championships in Hobart in November 2012.

‘I went on to have a very successful 2012-13 season and further represented WA at the Australian Junior Nationals in Perth in March this year where I became National Champion for Triple Jump, jumping 10.54m.

‘I also finished fifth in both the long jump and 80m hurdles at the National Championships setting personal bests in both events.’

Ridley said her love for athletics came from the close-knit community within the sport and her passion for the triple-jump was partly because athletes had more than one chance to get it right.

She also hoped to represent Australia at the World Junior Championships and then go on to represent Australia at a senior level at the Olympics in heptathlon.

‘One of my favourite sportspeople is Kim Mickle who recently won a silver medal at the World Championships in Javelin,’ she said.

‘She spoke at our school athletics camp and I was amazed at her determination to overcome injury and setback.

‘She started off in the same way I did, representing WA at all-schools and the Little Athletics National Championships and now represents Australia.’