Nationally ranked Ipswich hammer thrower Elliott Housden has qualified for the 2018 Oceania Melanesian Regional Athletic Championships.
ATHLETICS: Ipswich Grammar School student Elliott Housden has overcome a nasty setback to display his determination and underline his athletic ability.
So much so that some American colleges are monitoring his progress.
Housden, 16, has been selected to represent Australia in the under 18 hammer throw at the Oceania Melanesian Regional Athletic Championships next month.
He is one of a handful of talented young athletes from the Ipswich region that will represent Australia at the championships from May 9-11 in Vanuatu.
In July last year, Elliott was identified as a future Olympic prospect when he was selected to train with the Athlete Development Squad at the AIS in Canberra.
The Chuwar teenager was involved in training camps to develop techniques and educate the potential Olympians in recovery and nutrition.
However, in mid-February this year, fate struck Housden a cruel blow. He broke a bone in his foot while playing volleyball at school.
Despite being unable to train and prepare for the National Championship ― as well as the pain and discomfort ― he finished in second place at the U18 hammer event in Sydney last month.
Housden’s best distance of 61.19m was only 31cm behind the winner’s throw.
“It was a fantastic achievement by an athlete with a broken foot with little to no preparation for a national competition,” his proud dad Scott said.
Housden trains with the QEII Track Club where he has been coached by Des Davis for the past five years.
He also competes in discus and shot put.
At the latest national championships, he finished ninth in under 18 shot put, 10th in under 18 discus and fifth in the under 20 hammer. That was using a 6kg hammer as opposed to a 5kg hammer in under-18 competition.
Housden is now the number one ranked under 20 hammer thrower in Queensland, to go with his number two under 18 ranking in Australia and for the Oceania region.
Among other previous successes were coming second in the under 18 hammer at the Down Under Championship, competing against American and New Zealand athletes.
He came first in under 18 hammer, discus, shot put and weight throw at the North Queensland Athletic Championships, coming second in the javelin at the same zone titles.
Housden started his athletics aged seven at Colleges Little Athletics.
His first state competition was at under 11 for shot put where he finished eighth.
Since then, he has medalled at all state championships in either shot put, discus or hammer throw.
The IGS student has qualified for the past four National Athletic Championships in various cities around Australia, collecting medals in the previous three for hammer throw while also competing in discus and shot put.
“For the last three years Elliott has focused more on hammer throw in training and competitions and it is in this discipline that he was selected for the Athletics Australia Development Squad at the Australian Institute of Sport,” his dad Scott said.
“A number of American colleges have been monitoring his progress throughout the year with a view to offering Elliott a scholarship once he has finished Year 12.”
However, to represent Australia in Vanuatu next month will cost $3000, leaving Elliott only weeks to raise the necessary funds.
His family has set up a special site for anyone able to assist the teenager pursue his Oceania and future Olympic dreams.
Check out the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/4v-budding-olympian