Taylor on the football field.
Taylor on the football field. Contributed

Passion leads to success

SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR NOMINEE: Introducing Taylor Watt, the first nominee for the South Burnett Times' 2017 Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Taylor is an avid sports lover, whether it be stopping goals on the football pitch, clearing the bar in high jump or passing on her knowledge through coaching.

Taylor's biggest sporting passion is football and she aims to go far in the

sport.

"I really want to keep focussing on my soccer and really improve and one day play for the women's Brisbane Roar team and maybe one day the Matildas,” she said.

This season Taylor, a Year9 student at Kingaroy State High School, played for the Kingaroy Gunners cadet team and the Gunettes, the club's women's team.

She was named best and fairest for the Gunnettes this season and was awarded the South Burnett football rising star for women.

Kingaroy Gunners cadet coach, Sam Macri, speaks highly of her ability to play the game and bring the best out of her team.

"She is a really good player to train,” he said.

"She is always punctual and on time and doesn't do anything half-hearted.

"If you ask her to concentrate on something she will try and bring it to her game.

"In general she is well composed and keeps her cool.

"This year she united the team and played a senior role in the cadets

team.

"She does a lot of talking with the goal keeper and letting people know where they should be and giving a lot of direction.”

Taylor also represented Wide Bay and played in the South Burnett Stingers soccer team where she was then selected and played for South West Queensland at the Gold Coast Youth Cup in September where they were runners-up in a competition including teams from New Zealand, NSW and throughout Queensland.

Taylor excels at preventing the opposition from scoring in her position, central defence.

"It's a good feeling to stop the ball going through the goal and chasing the attackers down,” she said.

Taylor also competed in the recent Queensland School Sport track and field state titles where she finished 15th in high

jump.

Kaylene Kapernick from South Burnett Little Athletics said her fitness from her other sports helped with her high jump.

"She doesn't like to give up and if you suggest something she will try it,” Kapernick said.

Taylor also gives back to her community by coaching a junior side at touch and assisting weekly with Little Athletics and volunteering for school sporting

events.

"I like to teach the younger kids the skills I was taught when I was younger that I still use today and it is good to see them having fun,” she said.

Taylor has had to find a balance between managing her sporting commitments with her academic aspirations.

"At the end of the soccer season I had ladies training on Tuesday and cadets training on Thursday, each for one hour as well as two games on Saturday, one in morning and one in afternoon, and also training in Toowoomba with the South West Thunder team,” she said.

"I love it a lot and playing touch on a Monday night helps my fitness.

"I have a pretty great mum to help me run around.”

Taylor's mum Linda, who nominated her for the award, admits she is busy taking Taylor and her two siblings to training and games but the kids' enjoyment is the most important thing.

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