Soccer award from McDonalds
WHEN you’re a teenage soccer star and you get $500 from McDonald’s, it must cross your mind that it would buy a lot of Big Macs.
Yet the reality is that most, if not all, that money will go on travel and myriad other expenses required to turn a talented junior into an elite level senior player.
And so it was at Mortimer Oval in Lismore yesterday as five rising local stars accepted $500 McDonald’s Northern NSW Football Scholarships.
One of the recipients was 15-year-old Sophie Thomson, who was recently named as goalkeeper and captain of the Australian Under-15 All Stars team.
Basically the money is already spent, as Thomson went to the national youth championships at Coffs Harbour, which cost her parents about $800.
“Sponsorship just makes it that much easier for us to travel and pay for things like plane tickets and petrol,” she said.
The Tintenbar-East Ballina player took up the sport only atthe age of 10, and has experienceda meteoric rise.
“I just listen to all my coaches, take it all in and absorb it all, and it has had an impact,” she said.
“I also coach and that gets me to thinking about how to go about things.”
Another McDonald’s scholarship recipient was Lismore Workers Grade 16 player Jaiden Walker.
The talented centre-back captained the Australian Under-13 team last year and has recently played internationally in Malaysia and Japan.
Walker said the $500 would help ‘pursue my career and see how high I can go’.
“The money helps me now and eases what happens in the future,” he said.
Walker admitted to watching one too many games from the World Cup in South Africa and is keen to follow in the Socceroos’ footsteps.
“I watched most of them (the games) and, hopefully, I could be good enough to play at a World Cup in the future,” he said.
The three other scholarship holders are Jason Campbell, Zoe Lattanzi and Kalen Petrie.