Pender a Rising Star in Athletics

Sunraysia Academy of Sport athlete, Rinaldo Pender, has recently returned from a National Training Camp for Athletics.

Rinaldo has been a member of Mildura and District Little Athletics Club for about six years. Last season he was awarded the Mallee Challenge Athlete of the Year. In March he qualified for and attended the South Australian Little Athletics State Championships where he came 2nd in the U14 800m and 4th in the 1500m. Based on these results, Rinaldo was selected to attend the Little Athletics Australia U15 training camp, representing Little Athletics South Australia.

Rinaldo attended the National Camp from the 28th September to the 1st October which was held at the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra. The camp was an opportunity for the best U15 year olds across Australia to be given the opportunity to have specialist training from some of Australia’s most experienced track and field coaches.

Rinaldo’s goal in the short term is to win a state age group middle distance and cross country race. In July this year he competed for St Joseph’s College at the School Sport Finals for Cross Country coming a very creditable 5th in the Under 14 age group.

This year Rinaldo has for the first time been selected in the Sunraysia Academy of Sport Athletics Program and is currently being coached by Chris Van Dijk with assistance from Simon Moran. Simon (Salisbury Athletics Club) has just completed his level 3 coaching accreditation in middle/long distance running and is passing on his knowledge and expertise to mentor local coaches in Mildura. The mentoring that has occurred over the last 2 years will continue this year and hopefully not only benefit our coaches but also young aspiring athletes like Rinaldo now and in the future.

Rinaldo’s long term goal is to medal at a National Championship. He is currently training 3 times a week; two times on the track and once in the gym. His next competition will be this Thursday where he will compete at the Loddon Mallee Secondary Track and Field Meet in Bendigo. Winning an event at this meet will provide Rinaldo with the opportunity to compete at the state finals in Melbourne in a couple of week’s time.

The Academy are extremely proud of what Rinaldo has achieved thus far and look forward to continuing to provide him with the tools required to reach his full potential in athletics.

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