Two of Dubbo's brightest young athletic stars have paved the way for a huge step up in competition after clearing a pathway to the National Track and Field competition to be held in September.
Both the girls, Amy Burton and Xanthie Chatfield, are products of Dubbo athletics trainer Jason Chatfield's X-Cellerate Athletics Coaching, and he couldn't be prouder of what the two have achieved.
"Xanthie's my daughter and this will be her third time to Nationals so I'm very happy for her, whereas with Amy, she's probably my first athlete that I've got to a national level which is something I'm very proud of," Chatfield said.
"Of course it feels good, I think it has a little bit of a different feel about it this year for Xanthie, the expectations are already there for her to make it, which is a lot for a twelve year old to have."
"She's done the hard work and as her father, not her coach, I'm proud as punch that she's going to her third nationals, I just hope she continues to follow the sports that she loves."
The two girls will both be competing in the shotput event, with Amy contesting the girl's 11 year old category, while Xanthie will be contesting the 12 year old shotput and discus events.
"Preparations going good, a lot of the kids that I get to come to me have underlying issues with self-confidence, so that's the thing that my coaching sort of focuses on, and sure the results on-track are incredible, but it's the results off-track that drive them further."
"Amy was one of those kids, she came to me about eleven months ago and since training with me her self-esteem and self-respect have improved so much, she's improved her results at school and she's lost about 10 kilos."
Chatfield says that Amy's rapid turnaround is truly 'remarkable' and that what's most incredible is that she's been able to do it it all in under a year.
"I can still remember the first day she came, it was pouring rain, she had a cold, she was only throwing about four metres which had scored her second at her school carnival," Chatfield said.
"She just went from strength to strength, by March she was the state champion through Little Athletics."
Chatfield says that while there's a lot of pressure on the girls to perform in Darwin when the competition runs from September 17 - 23, they're both well equipped to handle it, with the athletics team having built a 'family-like' environment to help their athletes deal with the stress of travelling and competing.
"It's not the physical side that can hold them back, both girls are strong as anything, it's their mental toughness and how they can handle the emotions that come with that pressure," Chatfield said.
"The girls have put the hard work in and not only am I proud of them, but their whole athletics family that they train with are proud of them as well, they've got a lot of support behind them, which is wonderful."