Fourteen-year-old Para-athlete Jackson has returned home to WA after successfully competing at his third national athletics event: the 2017 Australian Athletics Championships in Sydney.
Jackson threw 42.48 metres in the U16 Para discus to break the national record in the F12 Para category, which has stood for twenty years. In the U16 Para throw events Jackson picked up silver in the U16 Para Shot Put, before claiming gold in the U16 Para Javelin, throwing a huge 33.74 metres, breaking his own U16 Australian F12 record.
After his success over East, Jackson plans to continue training hard and competing locally in the hope of being selected for the Australian Talent squad later this year. Jackson says “I will continue competing and training as I’m hoping to qualify for World Juniors in Switzerland and the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020”.
Jackson trains four times a week and takes part in the Strive competitions with Athletics WA. When asked if his intensive training and competitive schedule has an impact on his studies, Jackson replied “Yes it can. Sometimes I need to rest after school as my eyes get sore from focusing all day. Then I have to concentrate at training, so some nights it can be tough.”
Jackson attended a series of lectures as part of the Talent ID Program with Athletics WA, where he learned tips on how to stay focused during an event by keeping warm, and continually practicing his technique on the sidelines. “I picture what I’m meant to be doing in my head,” Jackson says. “And I listen to music to help me relax.”
Jackson, a successful recipient of the Fred and Lorna Craggs Excellence award in VisAbility’s 2016 biennial awards, says:
Always believe in yourself and never give up. If you love doing something then keep on practising it and go for it.
We wish Jackson the best of luck for his future endeavours.