A dedicated passionate competitive skater is one of six South West individuals to be nominated in this year’s WA Young Achiever Awards.
For 15-year-old Andrew Beattie, skating has become his life after first putting on a pair of skates at a birthday party five years ago.
A member of the Bunbury Roller-skating Club, Beattie trains six days a week and said it was an honour to be nominated for the Surge Fitness Sports Award.
“It’s just a freedom, you get to glide, go at high speeds, spin, jump, throw yourself into things,” he said.
“I’m just trying to focus on my training and competing and getting ready for this year.
“Last year I competed in the national championships in Brisbane, I was in six events and I came home with three gold medals and three silver.
“I returned to Brisbane for the Oceania Championships in September and I was in four events and came home with three gold and one bronze.”
Training more than 20 hours each week, Beattie is hoping to compete in the World Championships next year as a junior.
“In April I’m going to compete in Portugal and that will be the furthest I’ve ever competed apart from New Zealand,” he said.
“We are on our way to the Olympics with this sport – not many people know how much goes into it and we want to improve that.”
Beattie made the Australian State Team for the last four years and represented Australia in 2016 in New Zealand for the Oceania Championships winning two gold and one silver medals, competing with a broken arm.
His mum Liz Illingworth is one his biggest fans and said they were hoping for skating to one day be considered an elite sport.
“He lights up when he performs – he lives and breathes skating,” she said.
“It’s his passion, he drives it – he’s the first one here and the last one to leave every day.
“For him it’s his life – we are taking on the challenge of Europe with Portugal to see how he goes on a world circuit.”
The winners of the WA Young Achiever Awards will be announced on May 26.