Brayden after cross country national title

Brayden McCarthy is hoping to get to Queensland at the end of the month to compete in the Australian Cross Country Championships.

HOPEFUL: Ballarat Specialist School student Brayden McCarthy has made the Australian Cross Country Championships. Picture: Kate Healy

HOPEFUL: Ballarat Specialist School student Brayden McCarthy has made the Australian Cross Country Championships. Picture: Kate Healy

The 17-year-old Ballarat Specialist School student has qualified to compete in nationals after finishing second in state competition in Bundoora and first at regionals in Warrnambool. 

In two years of pursuing the sport, McCarthy said making the national championships was his greatest achievement to date and the first opportunity to run outside of Victoria. 

“I started running when I was about 11 at my old school back in Melbourne,” he said. 

“But it didn’t go so well. When I started getting older and moved to Ballarat, I had a fresh start at a new school.”

While McCarthy persisted with cross country because of the enjoyment, and as a way to keep himself active and push himself, his commitment has seen results fall his way. 

But McCarthy only qualified for nationals after just missing out of the state title at the end of July. 

It means he only has four weeks to find enough funds to get to Queensland.

McCarthy is hoping the community can get behind him and help him achieve his dream.

Already Ballarat Specialist School has chipped in, helping him with registration fees and uniform and will hold a fundraising footy colours day on Friday.

But donations or sponsorship is needed to help cover the cost of the airfare.

“I hope the community can help me and support me so I can go a long way,” McCarthy said.

“I want to try and make a Special Olympics one day.”

McCarthy hopes to run a 3km course at the Sunshine Coast, Queensland on August 25. To help get him there contact Phil on 0429 363 064.