Closeknit Walloon athletics family - medal-winning sisters Erin and Hayley - with parents David and Victoria. Picture: Vic Pascoe
Closeknit Walloon athletics family - medal-winning sisters Erin and Hayley - with parents David and Victoria. Picture: Vic Pascoe

Family success comes from sticking together

AS a supportive dad, David Wright is immensely proud of his multi-talented daughters Erin and Hayley.

As a focused coach, the Walloon-based father is just as appreciative of their dedication and commitment to training.

Having both teenagers regularly achieving state and national success, David and his wife Victoria have plenty to savour during a difficult time in regional sport.

"You sort of go from dad inside the home and when we go out on to the track, it's like 'righto time to switch on' and we are all very much on our game,'' David said.

David has been working specifically with the girls in addition to their Ipswich and District Athletic training.

"They are very easy to coach, very competitive and always give 100 percent,'' he said.

Erin, 16, is the national under-17 heptathlon champion having won the title with a personal best 4391 points at the Australian Combined Events Championships in Brisbane in February.

She's been a regular on podiums at state and national level in sprint hurdling.

Hayley, 19, came fourth in the under-20 heptathlon at the latest national championships, setting five personal bests. She also won a bronze medal in the under-20 100m hurdles at the national titles.

Although Erin and Hayley have strong hurdling backgrounds, they focused more on heptathlon in the season just finished.

Year 11 St Mary's College student Erin accomplished her national goal with personal bests in high jump (1.51m), long jump (4.95m), javelin (30.56m) and 800m (2.34.14).

"She's had good years all the way up,'' David said.

"She was a multi-talented kid all the way through school so we decided to do a heptathlon this year to break it up. Success came with that.''

Hayley has been studying sports science at the Ipswich USQ campus since finishing her St Mary's schooling. She set personal bests at the Australian Combined Events Championships in 100m hurdles (14.42), shot put (9.45m), long jump (4.89m) and 800m (2.33.88). She equalled her previous best high jump standard of 1.54m.

Like Erin, Hayley also focused more on multi events this year.

"They are really into their hurdling as such but they weren't quite hitting their times so we thought we would break our training up and add a few different events to our repertoire,'' David said.

Hayley is a Queensland under-20 heptathlon silver medallist and won bronze in the 100m hurdles at state level.

She had a limited preparation at times due to some niggling injuries.

However, scaffold company supervisor David was pleased how Hayley responded, while Erin was reaching new heights too.

Registered nurse mum Victoria is also a tower of support, providing some qualified health care when the girls suffer any injury issues.

"She's always there, cheering us all on,'' David said.

Erin and Hayley are having a short break before building up their programs for when athletics competition can resume.

"We're slowly getting back into it,'' David said. "It just keeping our bodies fresh at the moment.''