Young stars an inspiration to all youth
WHAT a huge day it is for young cricket star Phillip Hughes, who now vies with rugby league's Greg Inglis for the title of Macksville's favourite sporting son.
Hughes, aged just 20 and in a sport where players don't reach their peak until close to 30, will become Australia's youngest Test cricketer in a quarter of a century when he plays against South Africa in Johannesburg tonight.
It is the latest in a long list of milestones the son of banana farmer dad, Greg, and mum, Virginia, has achieved in his rocket ride to the top level.
In his pressurised role as an opening batsman, he is a relative babe in terms of experience, but those who have seen him progress from the backyard in Macksville to playing in local competitions, from Australian junior teams to debuting for NSW, from being the youngest scorer of a century in a Sheffield Shield final, to his selection for Australia will have no doubts about his maturity to handle the challenge.
And the emergence of Hughes, after the likes of Inglis and Beijing triathlon bronze medallist Emma Moffatt, should prove an inspiration to youngsters playing sport on the Coffs Coast and dreaming of the day they too will climb their sporting mountain.