THROWING: Chantelle Chippindall, 13, has been selected in the Queensland side for four events at Perth.
THROWING: Chantelle Chippindall, 13, has been selected in the Queensland side for four events at Perth. Greg Miller

Gympie student off to national little athletics carnival

THIRTEEN-year-old James Nash student Chantelle Chippindall qualified for the national championships in Perth for Little Athletics last month despite collapsing after her 400m race.

Chippindall was diagnosed with diabetes at age six but that has not stopped her from following her passion for track and field.

Her mother Alison said such a collapse would normally not happen but due to delays from a thunderstorm the race was pushed back, meaning her daughter had not eaten for five hours.

Chippindall said after the first 200m she felt dizzy and sick before everything went blurry and she began stumbling.

She did not give up until the end, walking over the finish line before collapsing.

She said she constantly has to wear an insulin strap and only takes it off when competing.

Chippindall competed at the McDonald's State Championships for Little Athletics in March at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Brisbane, making the qualifying times and distance in four events.

Although having to walk to the end, she was still able to make the qualifying race for the 400m as her time in the heat would have placed her third fastest in the final.

She also placed second in shot put and fourth in javelin, making both qualifying distances and was able to make the distance for discus, despite not competing.

She said it was exciting to stand on the podium while receiving her silver medal in shot put.

Chippindall said the U13 Australian Teams Championships only allow for 22 athletes (11 boys and 11 girls) so she either had to compete as a jumper or a thrower.

She is both excited and nervous to compete at nationals as it will be her first time travelling further than Brisbane for the event.

The athlete will leave on April 23 to compete on Sunday, April 26.

It is the second time Chippindall has made it to state level, qualifying through school athletics two years ago.

She trains up to four days a week, coached by Lesley O'Connor and competes every Friday evening at the Gympie Little Athletics Club competitions.

"We owe her (Lesley) big thanks for the time she has put into Chantelle," Mrs Chippindall said.

Mrs Chippindall said since Chantelle was six years old she has been a part of little athletics, following in her sister Helana's footsteps who was competing at the time.

"I am very proud of her (Chantelle) since only a small select groups could qualify out of hundreds of athletes to choose from," Mrs Chippindall said.

Gympie Times


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