15-year-old Rowan Sutton is the winner of the Staminade Go Harder competition – and an up-and-coming champion in Australian athletics as well!

Rowan Sutton was 10 or 11 when people started telling him he was good at athletics. He’d always been good at sport – and fast, but he didn’t start competing in events until he was 11. His first trip away took him to the nationals in Sydney where he ran the 100m and ended up 6th in Australia.

That’s Rowan in the middle above – the pic was taken at the State Championships in Brisbane in October 2013 after he won the 15 year old Triple Jump and broke the QLD record with a jump of 14.19 metres.

In grades 8 and 9 he started taking athletics seriously, and in the middle of grade 9 kicked off his first ever training schedule.  Some of his mates who were a bit older put him on to their coaches Ray and Denise Boyd who have been helping him improve (rapidly) ever since.

Though Rowan still competes as a sprinter, he’s now focusing on Long and Triple Jump which are the events he excels in.  A Mooloolah Valley resident, he trains three times a week at Sunshine Coast University athletics track, with spring training sessions Monday, Wednesday and Sunday and jump training on Monday and Wednesday.

Of course he couldn’t do it without the support of his parents Neil and Cassy – they ferry him to and from his training and events across the country whenever they can, taking time off work without pay and buying him the equipment he needs for training and competitions.

Though he’s been very successful in athletics, he’s also an excellent student. The hardest part about being an athlete at his age is being able to cope with schoolwork, tiredness, trying to find a part time job and training/competing – all at the same time.

But the best part is the big feeling of relief when he’s finally achieved the results he’s aiming for after putting in so many hours of hard work.  Being mates with most of the guys he competes against helps to keep it fun too.

So what’s Rowan up to this summer?  From 6 to 8 December he’ll compete in the Australian All Schools Championships in Brisbane.  On 14 December he’s in the Qld Relay and Qld Little Athletics Relay Championships.  He’s also got the Qld Junior Championships in February in Brisbane, the Australian Junior Championships in Sydney in March and the Qld Little Athletics State Championships in Cairns in March.
His dream is to qualify for the World Youth Championships in 2015 for Long and Triple Jump. And after that, he wouldn’t mind being selected for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Wish him luck!

Team Staminade