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I sat opposite a bright Ben Closter who I interviewed recently and saw a determined and passionate young man with a burning desire to represent Australia as a Sprinter.

There is no question that this young lad has what it takes to be successful with his dedication and enthusiasm. Ben came 1st place in the Under 13 boys 100m sprint at the State Athletics Championships held in Melbourne in October 2012 and is why he has been chosen to travel to Europe and the UK in May 2013 on an Athletics mentoring program with Neville Sillitoe, and to compete at track meets with The Boys Athletic Tour 2013.

A hidden talent surfaced when Ben, now 13 years old, realised his running ability with great speed when playing local football. He has had an interest in running for the past 2 years, first achieving state level by coming 4th in a 200m race and in School Athletics in year 7 he was a champion.

With admiration for Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter known as the fastest runner ever, Ben is in awe of his 100m and 200m world records. Ben said, “He is someone who has always astounded me with how much he wins his races by and his records held.”

Ben is a member of East Melbourne Harriers Athletic Club and currently trains at Frankston Athletics Club with trainer Phil Williams, dedicating many hours of training per week. He competes at district meets once a month and will compete at the Victorian State Championship 9 & 10 February 2013 at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park in the Under 15’s 100m & 200m. Ben attends Rosebud Secondary and has 3 brothers  and 1 sister. His hobbies include football and of course athletics and when he is relaxing he likes playing his Xbox and hanging with his brother, Boston and their mates.

Ben’s step mum Bec said, “We’re proud of Ben’s achievements and when he started racing he did not even have a decent pair of running shoes or spikes.” When Dad Trev was asked if Ben has the making of an Olympic champion he replied, “With a lot of hard work and commitment Ben has the opportunity to make Olympic standards. His results have been phenomenal” He proceeded to mention that Ben only needs to take a little more than one second off his current 100m recorded time to qualify for the Olympics.”

Bec, a Management Accountant and Business Manager who works at Crittenden Estate Dromana (a supporter and sponsor of RPP FM) is working with local communities and businesses to raise money to send Ben to Europe in May and needs at least $6000. To date she, Trevor and the family have raised $650. Those who have contributed are RADAR Rosebud, Massola Creighton Lawyers Red Hill South, Pizza D’oh Blairgowrie, Jennings Garden Supplies Rye , Solution One Dromana and TJC Lawn Mowing’s clients and family and friends.

Early April, Flatheads Bar & Grill Rosebud West will hold an auction of Goods & Services donated by local businesses.  Businesses include Balin Surfwear, Peninsula Hot Springs, Splash of Color Rye, Continental Hotel Sorrento, Crittenden Estate and TJC Lawn Mowing Services, (Bens' Dad's business). Bec and Trev are seeking more people to come on board to sponsor or donate to support Ben. Cheques can be made out to ‘Ben’s Athletics Squad UK 2013’ and forwarded to PO Box 2333, Rosebud 3939. Alternatively, a direct money transfer can be made to Bendigo Bank BSB: 633-000, Account Number: 1473 -33181, Account Name: Ben’s Athletics Squad UK 2013. Any amount would be gratefully appreciated. Bec can be contacted on 0400 999 236 for more details.

Please get behind Ben and his family to help live his dream.

Pictured Ben Closter in first place taken by Boston Closter at the School State Championships at Lakeside Stadium Albert Park on 12 Oct 2012.
Ben at his home (insert)