Runner and racer take home Oz day honours

Runner and racer take home Oz day honours

Tumut Senior Sportsperson of the Year Brayden Elliott (left) with junior Sportsperson of the Year Jack Gould at the Australia Day awards ceremony

Batlow runner Jack Gould and motorcyclist Brayden Elliott have been named Junior and Senior Sportsperson of the Year respectively at the 2017 Snowy Valleys Council Australia Day celebrations held at Stockwell Gardens yesterday.

Jack is an outstanding young athlete with a great passion for running and has been in involved in the Tumut and District Little Athletics for many years, as well as representing Batlow Technology School in cross country and athletics since 2014.

“I feel pretty honoured, and it’s a very humbling experience,” he said.

Gould is currently the sixth-fastest under 14 boy across 800m in Australia and has improved his time by a whopping 16 seconds over the last 12 months.

It was an extremely busy 2016 for Gould, who represented Batlow Technology School at the following:

  •  Zone swimming carnival
  •  Zone cross country (1st)
  •  Riverina cross country (2nd)
  •  Zone Athletics (1st in 800m, 1st in 100m, 2nd in 200m, and 2nd in 400m)
  •  Combined High Schools State Athletics (3rd in 800m)

He has also just returned from the Country Championships in Dubbo, where despite being unwell in the lead-up to the event he managed to win the 800m under 15s event in a time of 2:17. His younger brother Riley also competed at the event, taking out the under 12s 800m, so there could be another Gould on the shield in the not too distant future.

Other nominees were Kurt Stuenkel (rugby league, cricket, swimming), Edward Dodds (swimming) and Nathan Butt (swimming, basketball, soccer, cricket).

Motorcyclist Brayden Elliott, at just 22, has already enjoyed a stellar career on two wheels and was flying down to Melbourne later in the day, ahead of his big move to the UK to further his blossoming career.

“It’s certainly very humbling, there has been some great past winners and I’m honoured to come down here and be recognised,” he said.

Elliott won four State Dirt Bike Championships between 2009-2014, was the Australian Supersport Champion in 2015 and 2016, in the Australian Supersport Championship in 2016 he finished 6th overall, 1st privateer, and amongst a number of other accolades was named Motorcycle News Magazine Privateer of the year.

Elliott’s father, Grant, fought hard to get a local track made so they didn’t have to travel to Sydney to train, and for Brayden, it seems like only yesterday.

“It’s been a long time coming, I remember I was in primary school and we were going to the council, having meetings to try and get the track approved, it was a long time ago, looking back, but it doesn’t feel that long ago at all.”

Elliott says being a part of the Tumut community has played a big part in his career and allowed him to pursue his passion.

“I’ve grown up here and it’s been a big part of my life. It’s allowed me to focus on what I’m doing, and my dreams. Going overseas, it doesn’t feel like I’m going alone, because I’ve gained so much support from the local community and hopefully I can represent Tumut the best I can.”