Merriwa athletes Thomas Hunt, Cody Bates, Dylan Keane, Rihanna Hunt and Darcy Taaffe set to attend intensive training camp in Sydney... but they need some financial assistance

Merriwa athletes Thomas Hunt, Cody Bates, Dylan Keane, Rihanna Hunt and Darcy Taaffe are hoping to attend an athletics training camp in Sydney next month if the club can raise sufficient funds to get them there.
Merriwa athletes Thomas Hunt, Cody Bates, Dylan Keane, Rihanna Hunt and Darcy Taaffe are hoping to attend an athletics training camp in Sydney next month if the club can raise sufficient funds to get them there.

FIVE talented Merriwa athletes are looking forward to improving their jumps, running and throws next month at an intensive training camp in Sydney. 

The only catch is, they haven’t quite raised the money they need to get them there. 

Thomas Hunt is a gifted high jumper, Cody Bates and Dylan Keane fearless sprinters, Rachel Hunt excels in short distance while Darcy Taaffe loves long distance running. 

Together they have become important role models and mentors inspiring junior members of the Merriwa Little Athletics Club. 

Club president Tash Taaffe said she wanted to see these athletes receive the experience they need to reach their full potential. 

“Rural athletes shouldn’t be disadvantaged but they often are,” she said.

“It is not a matter of getting in the car and driving down the road 20 minutes to an athletics carnival, ours have to travel three or four hours. 

“For parents it often means taking time off work, driving down the night before and paying for accommodation.

“Before you know it, a ‘free’ event can quickly add up to a $300-400 investment. 

“The track is also a challenge, ours is only 347m (not 400) so when athletes get to a carnival they are always confused about where to start and how to pace themselves. 

“The extreme dry conditions this year have meant we have had to take buckets of sand from the long jump pit to fill in the cracks or close off parts of the track altogether. 

“We make do, but we want to make it better.

“These athletes have the talent, no questions, they just need experience and this camp will help them get that.

“When they come back I know they will pass what they have learned on.”

The Little Athletics NSW camp will take place at the Academy of Sport, Narrabeen, on December 15 and 16.

Merriwa Little Athletics needs $1650 to get these athletes to Sydney.

If you’d like to help, contact Tash Taaffe at tashholden@bigpond.com or go to the Merriwa & District Little Athletics Facebook page.