JUMPING HIGH: Kathleen Stevens, 14, from Moura is headed to New Zealand but she could do with some help as she has to pay her own way.
JUMPING HIGH: Kathleen Stevens, 14, from Moura is headed to New Zealand but she could do with some help as she has to pay her own way. Carly Goody - Crinkly Cotton Pho

Jumping and hurdling to New Zealand

MOURA GIRL Kathleen Stevens is jumping and hurdling her way to New Zealand.

The 14 year-old from Moura Little Athletics has been listed an one of the 26 athletes ( aged either 14 or 15) to take part in the New Zealand Development Tour.

The tour takes place in the January school holidays next year and runs for approximately 10 days.

Athletes in the team will spend time travelling and competing together throughout the South Island of New Zealand.

The team takes part in two competitions: South Island Colgate Games, the largest children's athletics games in New Zealand, and the South Island Team Competitions.

The first competition, Stevens will compete in 400m, 800m, hurdles, high jump and discus. In the second meet, she will compete in 200mm triple jump and javelin.

Stevens has been involved with Little Athletics for four years now, mostly practising on weekends and school holidays.

She is looking forward to the international competition and making new friends from all over Queensland.

"It is going to be very fun,” Stevens said.

Long distance is Steven's favourite athletic pastime.

"It is fun to run and feels good,” she said.

Growing up in Moura, Stevens says she "doesn't miss out on miss” despite being in a small town.

This isn't her first time at an elite level.

Last year, she went to States in Brisbane and came fourth in Javelin.

Stevens speaks highly of her coach Cherie Millan.

"She is really good.. she teaches me new techniques,” Stevens said.

Millan said she was "stoked” to see one of her athletes headed for the elite competition.

Having coached her four years, she said she has "good potential”.

"She is self motivated.... she sets a goal every Sunday to beat a person best (pb),” Millan said. "

"Some days she beats it...some days she doesn't.”

There is no other athlete's in Steven's age group in the small club in Moura.

She is our oldest athlete... she only has herself... she has no one to go against,” Millan said.

Millan said she has "come a long way”.

"You watch her grow... come up through the stages,” she said.

”When you look back at our records.... the records she is breaking, she has come a long way.”

Over in New Zealand, Stevens will have a chance to compete with other athletes her age in a higher level competition, while learning, training and receiving professional coaching.

"Hopefully she does good over there and we wish her the best,” Millan said.


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