SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR NOMINEE: In 2017 Luke Beutel achieved his goal of pulling on a Queensland Country soccer jersey for the first time.
"It was really good to put on a Queensland jersey,” Luke said.
He played at the National Youth Soccer Championships in Coffs Harbour, where his team finished second in their pool.
"We got along with each other really well,” Luke said.
"The best part of being in a team is playing together and when you win, you win together and when you do it feels really good.”
In the regular soccer season Luke plays in the National Premier League competition as a member of the elite South West Queensland Thunder club.
This involves him travelling from his home in Blackbutt to training in Toowoomba two nights a week as well as travelling for games played anywhere between Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.
"I like being in Thunder because we have got a lot ofskilful players and it is good to play teams all throughout Queensland,” Luke said.
On the field Luke can be found on the left or right wing.
"You get the ball a lot and assist many goals and score many goals and get to show skill and pace,” he said.
On top of his success on the soccer pitch Luke is a high-achieving all-round athlete.
He was selected in South Burnett teams for swimming, athletics and cross-country and came away with age champion for South Burnett athletics.
At the recent Queensland School Sport track and field titles in Brisbane, Luke placed fourth in his heat for the 400m event and placed sixth in his heat for 800m.
He ran a personal best time in both races, which are his favourite track and field events.
"The 100m is too short but in the 400m I have good stamina and speed so I can use that at the same time,” he said.
South West Queensland Thunder coach Scott Teakle speaks highly of Luke's determination and commitment to achieve his goals within the sport.
"He is a pleasure to coach because he absorbs everything that I throw at him and attempts to do everything that I ask,” he said.
"He knows what he wants and knows how to go about it and he knows there are no shortcuts.”
Teakle said Luke's greatest advantage on pitch was his speed, which is an element of his game he works on with personal trainer Laura Gill.
Gill has been working with Luke since 2016, with a focus on athletics and his overall fitness.
"He has made phenomenal progress,” she said.
Over this time Gill has observed that Luke has started to recognise the importance of nutrition and rest and recovery.
"It is not just soccer but overall lifestyle for him to be an athlete,” she said.
Gill admires Luke's attitude despite his success and willingness to share his passion for sport.
"Even though he is very elite he is so humble in what he does and the younger kids are in awe of him and he wants them to love it and as much as he does,” she said.
"There is always a soccer ball in tow with Luke, even at his personal training session, and he thrives on that it can go from something that he loves to something that he can be successful at.”
Luke, who was nominated for the award by his mum, Dee, has aspirations to play professionally and looks up to Real Madrid's Gareth Bale, who plays the same position.
"I like his speed and how he uses skill while he is so fast and can use both at the same time,” Luke said.
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