Olympic dream in Denny's sights
MATTHEW Denny has no intention of joining a long list of athletics stars who have opted for footy or cricket after Year 12.
The Allora throwing star has already won six gold medals in his age group at state and national level this year and can’t wait for the chance to compete for his new school, Toowoomba Grammar School, in the annual Greater Public Schools (GPS) athletics competition.
“It will be awesome to compete at GPS,” Denny said.
While he will throw the shot in GPS competition, Denny is considering concentrating his training in the hammer and discus, two events where he has personal bests of more than 64 metres.
In 2009, Denny won the player of the final award playing front row for the Wattles Warriors under-14 side which won the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League premiership.
He is training for the Toowoomba Grammar A/B under-15 years squad in rugby union where he hopes to be considered as a flanker or number eight.
Speed is as important in the footy back row as it is in field events.
“In throws, you need to build your speed up quickly and have explosive power at the end (release),” he said.
Denny isn’t worried about making a decision between athletics and footy.
“I want to make an Olympic team and win an athletics medal,” he said. “I prefer athletics and am worried a footy injury could put my athletics career in jeopardy.”
Next month, he heads to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for two athletics camps.
While he enjoys team sport, Denny said if he performed badly, it was all his fault in throwing.
“If you win something, it is all you. I enjoy the technical side of it.”
Denny enjoys flying around the nation for athletics meets but admits he was freaked out when he was caught in a jammed lift in Melbourne with his brother, Joff.
Toowoomba coach Grahame Pitt has guided Denny’s career while he was a student at Allora State School and long before he moved to boarding school in Toowoomba.
While the Olympics is his dream, Denny first wants to compete for Australia in the World Youth Championships.
“I was hoping to make it to this year’s championships but have been told even if I qualify, they won’t select me as I am too young,” he said.
Medals this year:
Gold in under-16 discus
Gold in under-16 hammer
Gold in under-18 hammer
Gold in under-18 shot put
Silver in under-16 shot put
Silver in under-18 discus
Gold in 16 years hammer (record)
Gold in 17 years discus
Silver in 17 years hammer
Bronze in 16 years discus
Bronze in 16 years shot put
Bronze in 17 years shot put