By LUKE VOOGT
ROTARY, Lions and Ocean Grove Bowling clubs are joining together to support Ned Weatherly’s quest to be Ocean Grove’s next Olympic champion.
They’re holding a trivia night to help the 18-year-old hammer thrower compete in the World under-20 Athletics Championships this year.
“I think it’s great what they are doing,” said Ned’s proud father Bill.
Ned won a bronze medal in the World under-18 Athletics Championships July last year in Cali, Colombia.
The Bellarine Secondary College student vividly remembers walking into the huge soccer stadium in front of 30,000 people.
“The thought that they were all here to watch me was pretty special,” he said.
Ned first competed in shot put in primary school, coming sixth in the National Athletic Championships.
It was there he was told he “had more of a hammer thrower’s build”. He got a coach and has been training ever since.
Ned’s now the Australian under-20 shot put and hammer throw champion, and holds the national the under-16 and under-18 hammer throw records.
“I love the individuality of it – it’s the ultimate test of speed, strength and balance,” Ned said.
“You can be short and a bit smaller than a shot putter.”
Ned has written his ambition to compete in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 on his bedroom wall.
“They’re something I’m really aspiring to,” he said.
The World under-20 Athletics Championships take place in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in July.
Rotary and Lions are seeking donations or auction items for the trivia night, which takes place at 7pm, 14 June.
To book a table of eight, contact the Ocean Grove Bowling Club on 5255 1540.