A TALENT-rich team of Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitors open their latest state campaigns in Brisbane tonight.
Twenty-two girls and 13 boys are representing the Ipswich club in 73 events at the Queensland Junior Championships, which continue over the weekend.
The hotly-contested junior titles are at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre at Nathan.
Nine competitors tonight line up, including Rochelle Vidler (discus and triple jump), Madeline McGuire (800m heats) and gold medal discus hope Filoi Aokuso.
Exciting sprinter Larissa Chambers is preparing for her under-20 100m and 400m events tomorrow.
International high jumping prospect Cassie Purdon is also competing tomorrow afternoon in her under-20 event.
Events are being held for athletes in under 14, under 16, under 18 and under 20 competitions.
Ipswich club official Vic Pascoe is delighted to see such a large team representing the region at one of the major events of the season.
“It’s excellent,” Pascoe said. “Especially when you’ve got about 75 in the club, including officials.”
Pascoe also praised those involved with Ipswich’s Little Athletics Centre for continuing to develop so many fine young sportspeople.
Among those is former national heptathlete Theresa Stolberg who is assisting parents get more involved in helping young athletes.
“The coaching is getting better and better,” Pascoe said.
“Theresa has done such a marvellous job in Little As, encouraging hers to come along to some of the coaching courses.
“Some of the athletes are so excited. They just can’t wait for the weekend to happen.”
The fantastic nursery of talent is highlighted by 80 competitors from Ipswich’s Little Athletics Centre qualifying for next month’s state titles in Cairns.
A number of regional athletes competing this weekend are also in line to contest the Australian Youth Championships in Sydney from March 12-16.