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Junior Sports Hotshot - Winner June 2017
Emily Stellino was a quiet 13-year-old girl who had been bullied – until she hit the taekwondo mat.
That was the day she found herself.
Now aged 17, the Campbelltown girl is a skilled black belt in the sport and is healthy, strong and brimming with confidence.
So much, she is part of the Australian team competing at the World Championships in Korea on June 22-30, competing alongside Olympians.
Indeed, Emily’s own goal is to represent Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The John Therry High School student is the latest winner of Campbelltown Catholic Club’s Sports Hot Shot award, receiving a medal and $500 prize.
She’s excited about the challenges ahead in Korea.
“I will be competing against the best athletes from around the world,” she said. “I want to gain experience and learn new skills.”
Her record speaks for itself. In the past four years, Emily has been state and national champion several times but it has been the last year that Emily has excelled.
Her first international competition was in Canberra where Emily won gold qualifying for the Oceania championships in Fiji, then she took out the national championships and qualified for the Junior World Championships in Canada. But, being selected for the Australian senior team in Korea is her best moment yet.
Her proud mum, Robin, admitted her motivation to enrol Emily into taekwondo was to learn self-defence against bullying.
“Emily was a quiet kid and lacked confidence, she never felt she fitted. From her first kick, she was accepted immediately. Everyone around her encouraged her and for the first time she felt like she belonged.”
Emily trains for 14 hours a week at Global Martial Arts at Prestons under coach master Ali Khalil, a two-time Olympics coach.
Emily's commitment to her school work and to her training and the support of her family have all played part in Emily's success.
The Club’s Sports Hot Shot award encourages young sportspeople to share their story online for the chance to win cash every month.
It’s simple for any talented young local sportspeople to enter. Just click here and share your sporting story in 250 words (or less) about your junior ‘Sports Hot Shot’. Every month the Club will Award $500 for the best entry.
Stories don’t just have to be around sporting achievement. It could be about participation, overcoming personal adversity or you may have had your own ‘Steven Bradbury’ moment where you had an unexpected win against all the odds.
Entrants must live in Macarthur and the nominating parent must be a member of Campbelltown Catholic Club.
Sports Hot Shot must be 21 years of age or younger. Management’s decision shall be final and no correspondence will be entered into. If you’re not already a member and want to take part in this program, you can join Campbelltown Catholic Club membership for as little as $8 per year.
Article and Photography by Jeff McGill