Despite Ebony Hay having only just re-started competition after a a sternum injury which made it difficult to train and compete in discus and hammer throw, the Canobolas Rural Technology High School student has had a big couple of months.
On the track, she blitzed the 2018 NSW All Schools Championships, taking out second in both her events to qualify for National titles in Cairns next month.
Off the track, she was awarded the Australian Olympic Committe's Pierre de Coubertin award, which is an award for sportsmanship and showing professionalism.
Both these events took Hay by surprise, but it was the award that the bigger shock.
"I wasn't expecting it at all, it sort of came in the mail and said they wanted me down in the AIS to meet with a few Olympians and that was amazing,” she said.
I wasn't expecting to place in all honesty, I was three centimetres off [first place] in both of them.Ebony Hay
Hay met Shelley Watts, Jarryd Hughes, Jared Tallent, Nicola Zagame and Amy Hetzel Jones, but it was Watts that left the biggest impression, telling Hay about the need to have a life outside of sport.
"I asked her for a bit of help and she had ideas towards school, to be concentrating at school because sport won't pay for everything," she said.
"I've found (that balance) quite hard, six days a week training mornings and afternoon and I've come back from a really bad sternum injury that impacted my performance but physios have been able to help me get ready to qualify for Cairns."
On the track, the All-Schools carnival was held in Sydney over four days.
“It was amazing, got to see some friends from different places, wanted to qualify to get the win."
"I wasn't expecting to place in all honesty, I was three centimetres off [first place] in both of them.”
For that effort, she’s won her place into the top competition in the country, which will take place from December 5-12 in Cairns.
"I'm feeling really ready and looking forward to competing with the best in the country. I think it will be a fun experience to be thrown in with professional athletes,” she said.
"I'm training very hard for nationals, trying to get my school to support me as well to fund-raise because it costs a lot, $1600 is the goal."
She wanted to thank teachers as well as Lee Miller from PhysX Orange and PC Physio Paul Clarke and Simon Lloyd, who “helped me get well enough to qualify for Nationals”.
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