TERANG para-athlete Caytlyn Sharp is looking forward to representing her country in her chosen sport next week.
The 17 year-old will don the green and gold of Australia for the second time when she competes in her debut INAS Global Games in Brisbane.
The Terang College student is jumping out of her skin about the competition, and will be well supported by her mum Cindy at the event and her sisters back home.
“I’m quite excited about it,” Sharp said.
“Hopefully I can just do my best and make them (my family) proud.
“There are a lot of nerves but I’m excited.”
Sharp has qualified for six T20 events at the games, but is likely to reduce her load on the back of her previous experience competing in the same events at the INAS World Championships two years ago.
“I’ve qualified for the 100 metres, 200 metres, long jump, triple jump, high jump and the relays but I’m dropping the 100 because it is too much,” she said.
“And at this stage I’m going to try and drop out of the triple jump as well because six events is too much over four days.
“I did it in 2017, I qualified for all the same events and competed in all of them but none of them were where I was at, I didn’t get good results.
“But this year I thought if I dropped a few I might get better results.”
Sharp is hoping she can repeat one of her 2017 performances when competition gets under way, while she also has her eyes set on a bigger goal.
“I’ve always said high jump is going to be my best chance,” she said.
“I won it in 2017 so I would like to win that again and I’m hoping to make the final in the 200.
“In the long jump I’m just trying to get my Paralympic pathway and get qualified, I’m not looking for a place or a top five (finish), I just want a massive PB to get qualified.
“I’m really hoping to get to the Paralympics next year but if not I’m definitely going to try for 2024.”
Sharp’s hopes of achieving a personal best have been enhanced significantly by the work of her new coach Jeremy Dixon from Warrnambool.
He has spent the past seven months coaching Sharp and will be trackside for her events in Brisbane.
Sharp said his presence would be a massive boost to her campaign on the back of the improvements she has made in her trainings with him.
“He’s improved me out of sight,” she said.
“My distance in the long jump, which is my Paralympic pathway, has improved 40 to 60 centimetres in seven months just through intense long jump training.”
Sharp flies to Brisbane tomorrow (Friday) with competition starting on Monday. She will joined by Cobden’s Drew Semmens at the games.