Athletics NSW and Bellata high-jumper Bella Stewart has been one busy athlete during the past 12 months.
And the 16-year-old has been extremely successful, so much so that she won the Narrabri Shire’s top sporting accolade sportsperson of the year at the annual awards night on Saturday, November 11.
Bella was unable to attend, as she was in Sydney for the NSW Target Talent program.
She arrived home the following Monday, before departing for Canberra just two days later.
Bella, the daughter of Greg Stewart and Sonia Gordon, spent three nights in the nation’s capital where she was a part of the Athletics Australia under-17 development squad camp.
She was one of only two female high-jumpers in the country to be selected for the camp, and was the only one to attend, alongside two male high-jumpers and athletes from other athletics sports.
During the camp Bella was trained by national high jump coach Sandro Bisetto and retired Australian long-jumper Nicole Boegman.
Tim Vaughan, who runs his own personal training company in Narrabri and assists Bella with training, also travelled to Canberra to assist her at the camp.
Bella said that the camp was a major learning curve.
“I realised that I’m doing so many things wrong with my jumping which I can improve on,” she said.
“And that’s what I really want to do.
“It’s really exciting to know that I have a lot to improve on when I’m already doing good heights.”
Bella said that the camp broadened her knowledge of many aspects of the sport, and that she returned home feeling motivated about her future.
“I learnt a lot about how to prevent injury, about nutrition - there was a lot of different things which will help me,” she said.
“I now feel really motivated.
“Over the next two to three years I want to continue and keep improving, get more heights, and enjoy it.”