Just as Australian Olympic athletes were returning home from Rio, Eaton teenager Hamish Leahy was preparing to represent his country on another international stage – the Oceania Artistic Championships for figure skaters.
Hamish, 15, competed in a quartet event with three of his Bunbury Rollerskating Club team members who all train at The Rink in Bunbury.
The group returned home from the New Zealand-hosted event with a coveted silver medal and high aspirations to return again next year.
> Watch Hamish in his Ninja Turtle-themed routine here.
Hamish’s success in New Zealand followed strong performances at the national event held in Melbourne where he claimed gold, silver and bronze medals.
Hamish received help with travel costs to attend the event from the Shire of Dardanup’s Personal Development Grants program.
Mum Tania Leahy said: “When the skaters get to this level, it starts to become very expensive.
“Hamish trains five days- a-week and also has private and group lessons.
“The amount of pressure his skates need to withstand during jumps and spins means he needs high quality skates imported from Italy.
“He also needs multiple sets of wheels for the different surfaces they compete on and then there’s all the costumes for competitions. “
On top of all that, Tania said there were event fees for regular competitions in Perth and Bunbury plus travel and accommodation expenses for National Championships held in a different Australian capital city every year.
Even so, it sounds like she wouldn’t change a thing!
“We’re so lucky to live in a Shire that values the self improvement that competing at this level provides for Hamish,” Tania said.
“We are very grateful to everyone at the Shire of Dardanup and the shire residents for their support.”
The Shire of Dardanup recognises the financial burden sometimes placed on individuals and families competing at the highest level in their chosen interest.
Personal Development Grants can assist with funding of up to $400 available to help support eligible Shire of Dardanup residents.
Funding can be used to relieve some of the costs associated with competing at a State or National level.
For more information about the Shire of Dardanup’s Personal Development Grants, visit this page of our website.