Para-athlete superstar wins at Pan Pacific Games

Luke Small took home a gold medal in the 800-metre race at the Pan Pacific Games.

Luke Small took home a gold medal in the 800-metre race at the Pan Pacific Games.

Luke Small’s motto is ‘get out there and give it a go’.

And that is exactly what he did at the Pan Pacific Games in South Australia last year.

Not only did he give it his all, the Ruse teenager also took home a gold medal in the 800-metre race.

The 14-year-old has a disability called achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism or short stature.

The youngster has been competing in athletics for five years.

Luke’s father Michael said his son enjoyed the competition side.

“Luke likes to see his friends that he has made over the years at competitions,” he said.

“He believes, ‘if I’m doing it, then you should get out there and give it a go’.

“Luke is not trying to prove anything. He just enjoys running.”

Mr Small, who is also Luke’s trainer, said his son dreamed of competing in the para-athletics division of the games and was proud to do so well.

“Luke doesn’t show how happy he is on the outside after winning a race probably because his short stature brings him enough attention,” Mr Small said.

“But I think he feels happy and proud inside.”

Mr Small said his son broke the under 16, 18, 20s and Australian record for the 800-metre race at the Pan Pacific Games.

The Magdalene Catholic High School student qualified for the games after competing in state athletics in October last year.

Mr Small wanted to thanks Wests for their support over the years with Luke’s transportation, uniforms, competition entry and accommodation.

The Pan Pacific games are held every four years, providing opportunities for approximately 4,000 school-aged students to participate in 11 different sports at the highest level.

Students aged between 10 – 19 years from at least 15 countries, including every Australian state and territory.

Sports featured in the games include basketball, diving, football, goalball, golf, hockey, netball, softball, swimming, touch football, and track and field.