2019 was full on sportswise for Courtney Webeck, having only spent three weekends at home all year. That's the commitment she has, with the love and support of her parents, to cross country and athletics. And it seems to have paid off with a long list of stellar achievements, including being awarded two Hunter School Sporting Association Sporting Blues; one for each sport.
Blues are the highest sporting award Hunter public secondary students can achieve requiring a gold medal win at the NSW Combined High School level. The awards were presented on Wednesday, December 4 in Newcastle, however, Courtney was unable to attend as she was competing in the All Schools Nationals event in Perth where she won silver in the under 18s 800 metre para-event.
Not bad for the 15-year-old who'd had her appendix removed two weeks prior to the competition. The operation meant she was unable to train at all for 14 days.
"I did heaps of training for the cross country this year. I thought it was going to be more hilly and it turned out to be flat, so I guess I was still pretty fit from that," Courtney smiled.
But overcoming obstacles doesn't phase Courtney, being born with a visual impairment that means she struggles with distance and depth perception. To help her prepare for a race, she makes a point of walking the track, usually with her parents, who help point out any inconsistencies with the levels.
"I have a really good memory," she said, which helps her know what to expect.
Her list of achievements in the NSW CHS competition last year was impressive. In cross country, she placed first in the three kilometre event at the State level, second at the All Schools level, qualifying her for nationals, where she came second and also won gold in the 4 x 100 metre relay event. In athletics, she placed first in the 800 metre event and set a new record at the CHS level, as well as placing second in the 100m, the 200m and long jump events. At the All Schools level, she came first in the 800m, third in long jump and fourth in the 200m.
Outside of school, she's very active in the Gloucester Little Athletics Club and finished the 2108/19 season taking out first in the 100m and third in the 800m, shot put, discus and long jump at a State level for under 17s.
After competing in the Athletics NSW Junior Championships, she brought home first in the 1500m, second in the 800m and third in the 400m in the under 20s division, qualifying her for the Australian Junior Athletics Championships. At the event in April, she placed first in the 1500m and second in the 800m, after having claimed first place in the 1500m event at the State Open Athletics Championships in March.