Peter Murphy has been coaching runners in the Illawarra for over 20 years and never has he seen an 11-year-old as talented, driven and determined as Chelsea Ezeoke.
The 11-year-old was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth Trophy for Athlete of the Meet at the NSW PSSA Athletics championships after winning gold in the 11 year girls 100m and 200m and silver in the shot put.
In winning the 100m and 200m, Ezeoke ran times of 12.72 and 25.96 respectively. She set new state records in both events, and Murphy predicts she has a big future ahead of her.
“I’ve been training for 20 years and coached a lot of national athletes and she is something special.” Murphy said.
“All she’s got to do is wipe off a second and a half in five to six years and she’ll be off to the Olympics and representing Australia.”
Ezeoke’s next challenge is the Pacific School Games in Adelaide later this month, where she will face off against some of the Pacific’s best sprinters.
The Balarang Public School student, who idolises Usain Bolt, showed immense talent in the sport from a young age and started training with Murphy after he spotted her running in the park with her mother. The improvement since that day has been unbelievable, her mother, Kayla Zarebski, said.
“We’re all overwhelmed and couldn’t be any prouder and happier to see her achieve her dreams.” Zarebski said.
“She trains so hard, she wants it and she’s happy and she just deserves everything she works hard for.”
School principal Anne-Marie Hurley said the school was incredibly proud of her achievements and the mature way she has handled the success.
“Chelsea’s an amazing student, athlete and role model.” Hurley said. “The other students look up to her because she’s humble and a great sports woman.”
Zarebski was extremely thankful of the way the Oak Flats school has supported Chelsea’s sporting endeavours and assisted with fundraising for the upcoming competition.