SINGLETON swimming star Billy Moody has gained further recognition for his incredible efforts over the past 12 months, having been given funding from federal member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon.
The recently-turned 14-year-old was one of just 50 sportspeople within the electorate to be selected for the Local Sporting Champion (LSC) grant, which will help cover the cost of his trip to Melbourne for the School Sport Australia (SSA) Championships that took place in July.
Although it was just $650, Moody said it meant a lot to be identified as one of the region's finest young performers.
"It's just another big confidence booster, and it's really good motivation to keep me interested in swimming knowing you have people that believe you can do good things," he said.
He also took the chance to thank his teacher from Singleton St Catherine's Catholic College, Matthew Edwards, who notified Moody and his family about the opportunity to apply for the funds.
It just about caps off an incredible year for the swimmer, who dominated the SSA Championships and NSW Country Championships, winning five gold medals between the events.
He took home two at the former, standing atop the podium for the 50 and 200 metre butterfly, posting a time of 2:09.79 on the longer distance, which ranks fourth best in the nation's history for his age group.
Picking up a hat trick of golds in the latter event was also a great effort by the emerging aquatic star, who that time showed his strength in the 100 and 200m butterfly, as well as the 100m freestyle.
Despite these achievements, he's not satisfied yet and is focused on his upcoming 2020 campaign.
"This April we have club nationals and I hope to succeed when going away to Perth," he said.
"I hope to use swimming as a career and progress further with it into the future too."
When asked what he believed his key to success was, there was no hesitation in recognising the contributions of others.
"I've got a really good group of people, I wouldn't be able to do it without my coach or my friends and family who keep me motivated," he said.
"My mum and dad always want to come and watch me swim so it's motivational because it gives me someone to try and make proud."
Mr Fitzgibbon was full of praise for the recipients of the grants and the athletes' support networks.
"The recipients of the LSC grants demonstrate the outstanding sporting talent we have in the Hunter electorate," he said.
"It is also important to acknowledge the parents and carers, sporting coaches and the many volunteers that are behind the scenes and helping these young athletes reach their best."