Taylor headed in the right direction
ATHLETICS: For 14-year-old Fraser Coast sportsman Jhairah Taylor sacrifice, determination and hard work lead to success in life.
The quiet and shy athlete has a busy weekly sporting schedule combining athletics and football. Since last year Taylor has been home schooled and completes distance education with local school, Riverside College to focus on his sporting journey.
A normal training week for Taylor includes nine training sessions and at least one game of competitive football.
Last weekend Taylor's sport commitments included competing in the Queensland Athletic Championships in Brisbane and football in Wide Bay.
The Queensland under-15 years 100 metres competition was held on Saturday but Taylor was not there.
His priority is football and he chose to play in the U14 Buccaneers game against the Sunshine Coast Wanderers on Hervey Bay.
He scored two goals to help the Buccaneers under-15 team to a 2-1 victory and keep their position at the top of the table.
On Sunday, Taylor travelled to Brisbane to race in the Queensland under-15 200 metre race.
He recorded a personal best time of 23.13 seconds.
Taylor won the gold medal for the 200 metres and with the win has been selected to represent Queensland in both the 100 and 200 metre events.
The national titles will be held in Sydney next month.
What makes this remarkable is that Taylor has only been focused on athletics since September last year.
Taylor credits his success on the track to his coach Penny Van Dijk.
"Penny has done so much for me. There is no way I would have done as well as I have without her,” Taylor said.
Taylor has short, medium and long term goals for his footballing career including selection in the Queensland Country Football team, moving to the UK to play and becoming a professional player.
Taylor understands that life does not always go to plan and has different options mapped out to ensure he reaches his goals. Proud parent Stuart Taylor encourages his son to pursue his dreams.
"Jhairah is a self-motivated person who sets his own goals,” Stuart Taylor said. "My wife and I put no expectations on him.”
Buccaneer general manager Peter Guest has high praise for Taylor.
"He is a talent above his years,” Guest said.
Taylor and the team travel to Logan this Sunday to play the Logan Lightning in round seven of the under 15 Football Qld Junior Premier League.