Kelso is the next sports finalist
THE January winner of the Sports Star of the Year award Joel Kelso takes home a $100 McDonald's gift voucher and Cooloola Fitness Centre vouchers for his monthly win.
Kelso will line up against 12 other young sports stars for a share of more than $3000 in prizes and trophies in July.
He may be only eight years of age, but he already has an Australian championships under his belt and is fearless on his 50cc dirt back.
Kelso joins tenpin bowler Stephen O'May, hockey player Patrick Barnes, futsal player Ella Flack, javelin thrower Liam O'Brien, enduro rider Peter-Daniel Allan and barrel racer Tamika Anderson as the seventh finalists in the prestigious awards.
The Gympie West student rides for the Husqvarna Racing Team and he competes in dirt track motor cycle racing competition in the seven to nine-year-old class.
Joel's results in 2011 were nothing less than out standing.
He was first in the Casey Stoner Cup in March, held at Kurri Kurri, in NSW; first in the Central Coast Cup in May, held at Somersby, NSW; first in the Queensland Long Track Title in June, held at Townsville; first in Australian Long Track Title in July, held at Brisbane; first in the NSW Long Track Title in September, held at Raymond Terrace, NSW; first at the NSW Dirt Track Title in September, held at Somersby, NSW; and first at the Australian Dirt Track Title in October, also held at Somersby, in NSW.
Kelso is well on the way to realising his dreams of one day riding professionally after winning the Australian title.
He said he won by half a straight.
Kelso trains in Maryborough twice a week with coach Craig Jung.
The whole Kelso family - including his mother Nayelle, dad Kane and his sister Courtney - travels with Joel to race meetings all across Australia.
The Gympie Times has teamed up with the Sportsman's Association and generous sponsors Apex, Zinc FM, McDonald's, Nestle, Cooloola Fitness Centre and Charlies to run the annual competition. There are three major prizes in the Sports Star of the Year award.
The overall winner takes home $1000 plus a trophy.
The Junior Sports Star of the Year award winner gets $500 and a trophy.
The All Rounder receives $300, a trophy and 12 months gym membership at the Cooloola Fitness Centre.
It is possible one lucky athlete will win all three awards and take home more than $1800 in prizes.
Readers of The Gympie Times and association judges will vote.