Teenager gets ready for global challenge

DETERMINED: Shellharbour teenager Rosie Boyland steadies and prepares to launch her next discus throw. Picture: Robert Peet
DETERMINED: Shellharbour teenager Rosie Boyland steadies and prepares to launch her next discus throw. Picture: Robert Peet

She's got a steely look in her eyes and is ready to sparkle on the world stage. Shellharbour's Rosie Boyland is just 18 but is already proving to be an all-round athletics talent.

The talented teen has impressed in discus, shotput and the hammer throw. Her dream is to compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

But for now, Boyland is preparing to show her wares at the INAS Global Games in Brisbane from October 12 to 19. The Games are the world's biggest sporting event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

Boyland competed at the Games in Bangkok two years ago. Her best performance was a fourth place in the hammer throw and she said she would love to win a medal this time around.

"I'm truly honoured and grateful for this opportunity to represent Australia again," Boyland said.

"I'm hoping to get a personal best again because I got a PB in the shotput last time. I've been throwing a lot better this year. Competing at the Global Games is more special this time because it's on my home soil and my family can come and support me."

Family is crucial for Boyland. Parents John and Agnes Hardie have provided invaluable support, travelling all over the country to take her to athletics events.

She also regular trains under the guidance of her dad, which complements her work with coach Mark Rewling. Boyland's dedication has paid dividends and her rewards include winning countless medals at the Australian All Schools Championships.

"I've liked meeting new friends from all over Australia. We've stayed in contact and talk pretty much all the time," she said.

"But Mum and Dad are the biggest blessings in my life. I love them with all of my heart and I'm just so grateful for them. Everything I've done is because of them."

Agnes Hardie said the hard work was all worthwhile and her daughter had shown great commitment to her training.

"We've done a lot of travelling, but we're very proud of her," she said.

"It's not just athletics either. Rosie started nippers when she was five years old and did soccer in Shellharbour for 10 years. She also plays rugby league for the Berkeley Eagles."

A couple of rugby league stars have provided the spark for Boyland's career.

"I'm inspired by my cousin Kane Linnett [former North Queensland Cowboys player] and Brisbane Broncos NRLW player Chelsea Lenarduzzi," she said.

"I also admire [New Zealand shotputter] Val Adams."

After the Global Games, Boyland said she would shift her focus towards qualifying for a major competition next year.

"I want to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics," she said.

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