Thursday, November 30, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The recent Athletics North Queensland Awards saw 16-year-old Toby Rule win the prestigious Junior Athlete of the Year Award for his achievements in middle-distance running.
Toby's accomplishments from October 2022 to October 2023 were highlighted during the recognition process. This included accolades from school-related track-and-field and cross country competitions, as well as his contributions to the Queensland Athletics team in national cross country events.
Toby secured his first national silver medal in the 3000m event in December 2022, achieving a remarkable 30-second personal best.
Additionally, he triumphed at the Cross Country Nationals in Canberra in August, where he earned himself a bronze medal.
On December 7th, Toby will be accompanied by his family in his journey to Perth to participate in the all schools national track-and-field event. He will compete in the 1500m, 3000m, and the steeplechase.
Toby's family, including his brother Oliver, and parents Belinda and Jason, share a deep enthusiasm for running, turning it into a shared family pursuit.
Despite his success, Toby faces the ongoing challenge of balancing academic responsibilities, maintaining relationships with peers and family, and avoiding injury and sickness. His mother Belinda Rule humorously mentioned, "If he sees someone sneezing, he’ll cross the street!"
Toby approaches each competition with a level of dedication that is uncommonly seen in most 16-year-olds, understanding the importance of his performance in achieving his goals.
Belinda remarked on his significant progress over the past year, stating, “He knows what he needs to achieve to try and get into the top three, he's really hit his stride in the last 18 months.”
Toby has determination to secure a spot in the Junior World Champs in the next 18 to 24 months. His family is also exploring the requirements for overseas cross country competitions, with an eye on Nam Suva in June 2024.
Toby Rule proudly takes the win for the Junior Athlete of the Year Award
Toby Rule alongside his supporters at the Athletics North Queensland Awards 2023
Photo credit: Mackay Athletics Club