FAMILY AFFAIR: Triathlete Paige O'Connor with her father and coach Steve O'Connor. Picture: Tristan Evert
FAMILY AFFAIR: Triathlete Paige O'Connor with her father and coach Steve O'Connor. Picture: Tristan Evert

Burnett athlete crowned junior sportsperson of the year

AFTER winning the junior sportsperson of the year in 2018 as a runner, Paige O'Connor put the bursary towards a new bike and now two years on has won the award again as a triathlete.

The 14-year-old has competed at both state and national levels for cross-country, but made the transition to triathlon two years ago and hasn't stopped since.

Winning junior sportsperson of the year for a second time is an honour for O'Connor, who said it showed her hard work was paying off.

"I was nominated by the school for my achievements in triathlon over the past two years," she said.

"I have always focused on my running and when I finally gave triathlon a go, I loved it and have never looked back."

"I really enjoy how in triathlons you get to do a bit of everything and it never gets boring."

O'Connor recently competed at the Queensland all-schools triathlon competition, finishing fifth.

A tough swim left O'Connor towards the back of the pack before an impressive ride and a strong run.

 

DIGGING DEEP: Paige O'Connor working hard at the Hervey Bay Triathlon intermediate class. Picture: Contributed
DIGGING DEEP: Paige O'Connor working hard at the Hervey Bay Triathlon intermediate class. Picture: Contributed

 

With few open-water training options available in the South Burnett, O'Connor finds herself travelling all over southeast Queensland.

"I try and train two times a day most days and do most of my swim training in the pool," O'Connor said.

"There's no club in the South Burnett so I compete out of the Redcliffe club and do a bit of training down there.

"It can be tough trying to balance competition and school, but I always seem to manage."

O'Connor will now focus her attention on the upcoming Queensland School Sport triathlon championships in March.