FIRST PLACE: Summer Millard took out the 2km race walk event at the 2020 New Zealand Athletics Development Tour. (Picture: Contributed)
FIRST PLACE: Summer Millard took out the 2km race walk event at the 2020 New Zealand Athletics Development Tour. (Picture: Contributed)

Nanango athlete walks away with win in NZ

NANANGO little athlete Summer Millard is back on home soil after representing Queensland at the 2020 New Zealand Athletics Development Tour where she claimed first place in the 2km race walk.

The 15-year-old has represented Nanango at both state and national levels and now adds another accolade to her already impressive sporting resume.

A race walk specialist, Millard said she also competed in several other athletic events.

“It was such a great experience and I had so much fun,” Millard said.

“I finished with a gold in the 2km race walk, 6th in the 1500m, 4th in the 800m, and 3rd in our team medley event.

“I definitely grew as an athlete and my confidence has received a massive boost.”

TEAM PHOTO: The 26 athletes who represented Queensland at the 2020 New Zealand Athletics Development Tour. (Picture: Contributed)
TEAM PHOTO: The 26 athletes who represented Queensland at the 2020 New Zealand Athletics Development Tour. (Picture: Contributed)

Millard has been competing in race walking for more than four years and trains under dual Olympian Dave Smith, who said she really loves the sport.

“Summer usually trains with me once a week and we really focus on developing her technique,” Smith said.

“She works hard and loves learning and developing.

“From my perspective as a coach, I love seeing kids achieve their goals and I love helping them reach levels they didn’t previously think was possible.”

Millard left the country knowing only one other athlete and said she has returned home with 25 new friends.

“It was really great getting to know new people and we all got along so well,” Millard said.

“All of the athletes were so supportive of each other.

“We also got to go jet boating and visit Queenstown, which is a really fantastic place.”

Now the school year has started, Millard is back training with Nanango Little Athletics and has turned her focus to regionals, states and nationals coming up at the end of March.