Gold medal success for Urangan student
LATE last year Matthew not only represented Queensland in the All Abilities section of the Pacifica School Games in Adelaide, he won a gold medal and broke a national record.
Matthew said he was thrilled to have won the gold medal for the 4 x 100m relay, as well as breaking a national record by 11 seconds when he crossed the finish line of the 800 metres in second place.
He didn't stop there either. The multi-skilled athlete was fourth in shotput, sixth in the 200m race, eighth in long jump and 12th in the 100m race.
Matthew started training at the age of 10, and since then the 12 ("turning 13") year-old has won more than 100 medals.
"When I was 10 my Dad and Mum said 'well, do you want to start racing?' and I said 'OK, I'll do the school cross country at Torquay', and then I just went to the Queensland team," Matthew said.
The Pacifica Games wasn't the first time Matthew has broken a record, but each of the three times he's broken one it's been for the 800m - his favourite event.
"I'm more of a long distance runner, not a short," he said.
"I start off at my normal pace and then I just work my way up."
His teacher, Marnie Fader, said Matthew chose to compete in the all abilities section, but given his talent he could compete against anyone his age and win, which he has done many times.
While Matthew doesn't think he has a heavy training schedule, it's more than many of us would care to do.
"Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday I do from six until seven o'clock and I do park run Saturday morning," Matthew said.
"Then I do soccer Saturdays."
It only takes this little champion 22 minutes to do the Hervey Bay Park Run.
He knows he wouldn't have achieved these accomplishments without the support of those around him, especially his mum Julene Polzin and dad Paul Taylor.
"I was training with Rick McDonald and my parents said 'go dude you got this' (the Pacifica Games)," he said.
"I started by doing training with Rick and I'd done park run and now I do soccer, so it's just sort of fitness stuff I do."
Marnie said it was a progression from small school events and training that landed him at the Pacifica Games.
"He competed at the school events, then the district, then Hervey Bay, then Wide Bay, then state, then it was the national Pacifica Games," she said.
Marnie agreed his parents did everything to help Matthew achieve his goals.
"I remember talking to them about the cost involved," Marnie said.
"They have to put quite a bit into it financially getting him to all these places but they do it.''