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Jake leaps up a level

Tuesday, 18th October, 2011

DETERMINED: Eleven-year-old Jake Bennett if off to compete in the long jump at the NSW PSSA State Carnival this week. DETERMINED: Eleven-year-old Jake Bennett if off to compete in the long jump at the NSW PSSA State Carnival this week.

By Erica Visser 

Burke Ward schoolboy Jake Bennett will travel to Sydney to compete in the NSW Primary School Sports Association State Carnival this week.

Jake, who turns 12 next month, leapt 4.9 metres in his event, the long jump, to make the grade and will take to the field at the carnival tomorrow and Thursday. 

For a young fellow, he has had plenety of experience.

“I’ve been doing long jump since year three,” Jake said. 

“This is the first year I’ve even got past the Broken Hill section.” 

Jake’s mother, Andrea Dodds, said that it didn’t take much for her to decide to pile three kids into the car and make the long trip to Sydney for the occasion.

“We’re just taking him for the experience,” Ms Dodds said.

“His biggest jump is one of their mediocre ones so people said ‘Why are you taking him?’, but it’s not about that.”

Ms Dodds said that there was a need for more athletics in country schools and in communities such as Broken Hill as a whole.

“It used to be a big thing where three or four kids would go with one family or be billeted out but now I think it’s kind of died off,” Ms Dodds said.

“There isn’t as much opportunity.”

The national record for the long jump set by an 11-year-old boy was 5.6 metres in 1998. 

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