The South Burnett’s Junior Sportsperson Award has been given to a Nanango hurdler who overcame physical pain and challenging medical issues to compete at a national level.
The Award is presented to a young person 17 years of age and under as at 26 January who has an outstanding record of achievement in sport.
And it has been won by Bree Pogany, from Nanango, who is also the recipient of this year’s Matthew Hayden Bursary.
Bree’s passion for sport and representing her region and school has been alive since the age of nine.
One of her main loves was middle distance running, but when it was discovered she had low ferritin levels which made it difficult to pursue this sport, she swapped to shorter distances and soon discovered a love for hurdles.
Initially, Bree couldn’t jump hurdles. But she trained herself, and through determination and self-discipline made it to the Nationals.
She is now a hurdling coach and travels to Toowoomba a few times each month to continue her development in this field.
Bree is also actively involved in Little Athletics and is keen to help the Nanango Little Athletics Club in the coming season. She also plays soccer for the South Burnett’s Golden Boot team, the Nanango Panthers.
She was selected in the Wide Bay 15 years team to play in the Queensland School Sport Football State Champions. Her team finished seventh on the ladder, and Bree was selected as a shadow Queensland player for the upcoming tour of Japan.
She was also named Sportswoman of the Year at her most recent school awards night, and currently holds Little Athletics Queensland’s record for 300m hurdles.
Last year Bree also achieved some excellent results in volleyball, swimming, cross country, girl’s football and track and field.
But a highlight of her year was a trip to Western Australia in March after she won a place in the Queensland Heat team for winning a silver medal in 200m hurdles.
Other nominees for the Junior Sportsperson Award were:
- Taylor Watt – Taylor is a motivated, enthusiastic and determined young woman who plays cross football, touch football, netball, athletics, soccer and volleyball. She ha participated in state and club championships, captaining several teams, and has also been a coach and an umpire.
Some of her achievements in 2016 included representing the South Burnett in the Wide Bay School Trials for Touch teach. She made the “possibles and probables” in the Under 15 Touch Team, and was part of the Wide Bay team for State athletic competitions. In 2017 she will serve as Kingaroy State High School’s Junior School Vice Captain for the Recreation Committee.
- Madeleine Langan – Madeleine, from Kingaroy, started karate 6 years ago. She now holds a 2nd degree black belt and is one of the top five competitors in Australia for her division. Madeleine is a strong advocate for women taking up martial arts and trains between 4 and 6 days per week, She is using the experiences she gains on her journey as an assistant instructor, teaching young boys and girls around her. She is also looking forward to competing in the 2017 ISKA World Cup on the Gold Coast, where she will be up against competitors from 26 other nations.
- Caleb Dalton – Caleb, from Kingaroy, excels at cross country and in 2016 won the age championship awards at Kingaroy State High School, and the South Burnett and Wide Bay Age Championships. He has also competed in the National Championships in Melbourne and Canberra over the past few years, being placed 17th in 2016 at the Canberra meet. After winning the 800m and 1500m at high school and South Burnett level, he went on to represent Wide Bay in October at the State Championships, where he made reserve for 1500m finals. Caleb also plays soccer, touch football and futsal, is a talented trumpet player and is a member of several high school bands.
- Zak Hartman – Zak, from Nanango, has been pursuing martial arts for the past 8 years and holds a 3rd dan black belt, a great achievement for a 14 year old. He is currently the highest ranked student in his marital arts school; trains 5 days per week; and in June, received his assistant instructor badge and can now assist in training all class levels, including adults. In 2016, Zak competed in 10 tournaments on two different marital arts circuits: kick boxing and karate. He has also qualified for the ISKA Australian team competing at the World Championships in 2017 in Italy.
- Thomas Springate – Thomas comes from Nanango, and plays touch football, rugby league, softball, volleyball, cricket, athletics and swimming. He is the incoming Nanango State High School Captain for 2017 has achieved some personal bests over the past 12 months, including 10 years of service to the Nanango Rugby League Club where he plays, coaches, referees and volunteers; representing the South Burnett in school open boys volleyball; representing the South Burnett and Wide Bay in Open Rugby League; and representing the South Burnett for athletics. At last year’s NSHS Awards night he was awarded 16 years boys age champion for swimming and athletics, and had previously been awarded Senior Sportsman of the Year in 2014 and 2015. He has also represented the South Burnett and Wide Bay for club cricket, and is the only South Burnett and Wide Bay player to be selected in the Central Crows U16 Rugby League team, where he received the Cyril Connnell Coaches Encouragement Award. Thomas is also participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and has already received his bronze and silver awards, and he actively participates in NSHS programs that support and encourage young people to develop.