Talented teen’s juggling act

In March, the 13-year-old Butler resident represented the surf club at the Junior State Championships where he won four medals � gold in the under-13 boys beach sprint, beach relay and all-age beach relay and bronze in the beach flags.

One week later, he competed at the State Track and Field Championships where he won silver in the under-13 boys 80m hurdles and bronze in the long jump.

Another week later, he attended the Joondalup Little Athletics Club end-of-season function where he was named the under-13 boys hurdler and jumper of the year, champion boy and received a trophy for most personal bests for the year.

�It felt great (to win these trophies) because I was unaware of all my achievements and it was good to know that the hard work had paid off,� he said.

Following this success, Dane was one of 38 children to earn a place in the WA national training squad for little athletics.

After two weeks, this squad was reduced to 22 (11 boys and 11 girls) to make the WA team for the Australian Little Athletics Championships, which were held at the WA Athletics Stadium in April.

Not only did Dane qualify for the team, he was made the boys captain.

�This was amazing because I really wanted the opportunity, but at the same time it was also quite scary as it was a massive responsibility,� he said.

Dane went on to win bronze in the under-13 boys 80m hurdles and silver in the 400m relay.

For the first time since the national competition started 45 years ago, WA won the Trevor Billingham under-13 overall trophy and then also claimed the Alan Triscott handicap trophy.

�I was so stoked since it was the first time in history that WA had ever won and exciting to be a member of the winning team,� he said.

And with no sign of slowing down, he has now turned his attention to his winter sport � rugby union � where he trains twice a week with the Joondalup Brothers Rugby Union Football Club and plays every Saturday.

He is also training for his school athletics carnival at Irene McCormack Catholic College at the end of July and has just been invited by Surf Life Saving WA to take part in the 2015-16 high performance program.

�It is extremely hard (juggling school and training) since I have to keep my grades up, but I also have to train to keep fit and to keep doing well,� he said.

In summer, Dane trained twice a week with the surf club and four to five days a week for little athletics, with competitions on weekends.

�It was so hectic,� he said.

�Both sports need a lot of attention.�