Sport

Benalla Sportstar: Pastuszka pushes the boundaries of field athletics

By Meg Saultry

Since starting at Little Athletics two years ago, Anakin Pastuszka has come leaps and bounds in the art of throwing.

The 11-year-old has made it to two state championships in as many years and continues to make the golden circle of the throwing line his own at Churchill Reserve for Benalla Little Athletics.

Anakin’s mother Bechy Pastuszka said the whole family was extremely proud of Anakin’s sporting achievements.

“He’s done really well with his sporting efforts. Everything he’s played in he’s got an award,” Bechy said.

“He tries and always puts in 110 percent no matter what.”

An active kid, Anakin has put his hand up for numerous sporting competitions around the region in recent years, including basketball and squash - in which he won runner-up sportsperson and most improved in each of the respective competitions.

But after discovering he had a talent for field athletics through school sport, the St John’s Primary School student continues to hone his craft almost religiously at Little Athletics.

Making the distance: Anakin and Bechy Pastuszka measure the throw.

Anakin said it was all in the pursuit of improvement, which was his main goal at State Championships earlier this month.

“I want to try and beat my records and see how well I do,” he said.

From practicing every Friday night at his Little Athletics meet to training at home, the Pastuszka family has invested in all the equipment so Anakin can practice at least every second night.

“He’s improved by seven-to-eight metres in his throwing since October,” Bechy said.

But despite the obvious improvements in his results, it’s the internal difference in Anakin - who is described as a happy-go-lucky kid - that Bechy puts the most stock in.

“Two years ago when he made it to his first states in Melbourne, it really changed him,” Bechy said.

“He was not the most confident child and was always down on himself.

“But he’s come out of his shell. It’s been really good to see.”

● Anakin Pastuszka is nominated for the 2019/20 Delatite Steel Junior Sportstar (under-13).