POCKET ROCKET: Faith Pittman has returned home to Rappville with a well-deserved bronze medal in the long jump at the All Schools State Championships in Sydney and now heads to the nationals in Canberra.
POCKET ROCKET: Faith Pittman has returned home to Rappville with a well-deserved bronze medal in the long jump at the All Schools State Championships in Sydney and now heads to the nationals in Canberra. Jamie Brown

School girl flies high

PINT-sized long jumper Faith Pittman, from Rappville, has earned huge accolades in Sydney, placing third at the All Schools State Championships in Homebush.

She will now pack her bags for the nationals to be held in Canberra in December.

Faith's mum, and skills coach Robyn, said she was incredibly proud of her 12-year-old daughter, who has proved a talent in the 100 and 200m.

Member of Little Athletics

A keen member of the Casino Little Athletics Club, Robyn said Faith put in a lot of hard training to get to where she is today.

And mum's nose for quality information from a variety of coaches throughout the district certainly has helped.

"She has a great natural ability but a couple of years ago she had trouble hitting the board so we got some advice of coach Joel Stewart, who was with training a small squad in Lismore at the time," Robyn said.

"We also found good information from former Lismore now Kingscliff coach Phil Newton, who actually coached Joel when Joel was younger."

In the past seven months Faith, having had smart coaching, has increased her jump almost a metre, from 3.96m to 4.70m at Sydney.

"The only thing bigger than her jump is her heart," Robyn said.

Sponsorship to improve amenities

Meanwhile, the proud mum is calling for sponsorship to improve the amenities at Queen Elizabeth Park so aspiring athletes can train on a synthetic surface, or practice throwing discus with the safety of a cage, this allows them to spin and gets better distance out of their throw.

Spinning is not allowed in school sport competition without a cage.

"Training on grass is fine but being able to measure out their run- up for long jump and getting used to a competitive track surface would be great," she said.

Robyn will often drive to Lismore three times a week so Faith can use the long jump facilities at Riverview Park.

"I don't think it's fair that our country kids miss out on going further because they have fewer facilities," Robyn said.

"Little Athletics in Lismore have kindly lent our Casino club two temporary cages for discus. But this means the volunteers have to put them up each week and pull them down until we can afford permanent ones."

Anyone who can help with fundraising should contact the Casino Little Athletics Club.



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