EYES ON PRIZE: Looking forward to representing Rosebank Public School in the forthcoming state athletics carnival are relay runners Tai Williams Kolas, Leo Williams Kolas and Jamilla Rankin. Absent: Lucais Joel-Smith.
EYES ON PRIZE: Looking forward to representing Rosebank Public School in the forthcoming state athletics carnival are relay runners Tai Williams Kolas, Leo Williams Kolas and Jamilla Rankin. Absent: Lucais Joel-Smith. Stuart Turner

Squad take running skills to state schools carnival

ROSEBANK Public School's small playing fields must seem a million miles from Sydney's world-famous Homebush Bay athletics complex, but Leo Williams Kolas and his relay team mates are bridging the gap.

Twelve-year-old Leo will be part of his school's 4 x 100m relay side heading to the Olympic Park centre next month for the New South Wales Primary Schools Sports Association Athletic Carnival.

The group hones skills, including baton changing, in the grounds of the school which has just 48 pupils and little athletics facilities to call on.

Despite their unorthodox training routine, Leo, together with team-mates brother Tai (10), ten-year-old Jamilla Rankin and Lucais Joel-Smith, 12, is hoping to go well.

"It is going to be a lot tougher, but I think we can make the finals," Leo said.

"It will be a lot bigger than we are used to down there.

"I'm not nervous; yet. I'm looking forward to it."

The squad earned its berth for the PP5 contest, which is open to state-wide schools with between 25-54 pupils, after coming through earlier regional and zonal qualifiers.

Mixed relay sides will take part in the contest, aiming to capture the Nigel Bagley Trophy.

With limited training services available, the Rosebank team has been honing fitness levels playing with the school's soccer side.

Leo has been into athletics since kindergarten and said he loved the sport.

"It is fun," he said. "You meet people from other schools and you get to travel to places like Sydney.

"Going to a big stadium like that will be very exciting."



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