Woolgoolga has its own Hercules
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
WITH two North Coast Primary School's records to his name, Woolgoolga Primary student John Welna is well placed to put on a strong showing next week at the PSSA State athletics championships in Homebush.
In the senior boys section, the 12 year-old grabbed the region's discus record with a throw of 35.12m and smashed the shot put record by 35cm to record a massive put of 11.94m.
"I went on the internet and looked at the results from all the regionals and I think there was one person who went better than me," Welna said of his chances at the State titles.
"I'm still confident about my chances and I've been training hard so I think I'll go better."
Welna has proven himself to be a well rounded athlete as he has also qualified to run in the 200 metres next week and he might also get a run in the 100 metre dash if other North Coast students pull out.
The year six student is a member of Woolgoolga's Little Athletics club but he receives his coaching in the throwing events from his father, Chris.
This will be Welna's first time at Homebush and he admits that the prospect of competing at the Olympic Stadium is an exciting one.
"I'm really looking forward to competing and seeing the stadium itself," he said.
"It's going to be good competing against the best in the state."
When Welna does go to Sydney he won't be lacking any support from home with everyone wishing him the best.
His school principal Kevin Cross says that Woolgoolga Primary is extremely proud of his efforts.
"He's a quiet champion who we feel will do really well in the State championships," Cross added.
"John's a great role model for all the kids in the school and he's a good all round student as he also does well academically."