Jack Deveson couldn't be at Victoria Park on Australia Day to collect his Young Sportsperson of the Year award but the teenager had a valid excuse.
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The rising star of the motocross scene was on his bike, ripping up tracks in Victoria as part of his training to remain one of the most exciting young riders in the country.
Deveson, 14, enjoyed a stellar 2022 on the junior motocross circuit, with the undoubted highlight the chance to represent his country at the World Junior Motocross Championships in Finland.
His lap times there had him among the top 10 under 14s 85cc riders in the world but, unfortunately, crashes resulted in him finishing in 23rd overall.
"To be able to go overseas and race for Australia was what I always wanted to do when I was a little kid and now that's happened," Deveson told the Daily Liberal from Victoria on Friday.
"Going over there and even when we weren't riding, just travelling around with mum and dad was pretty cool."
Deveson described the Young Sportsperson of the Year award as an "honour".
His list of achievements from 2022 made him a worthy winner, with success achieved both at home and abroad.
Last September, Deveson was selected in the NSW team to compete at the Australian Junior Motocross Championships in Rockhampton.
He went on to finish second there while he finished third in the 12-16 years 85cc expert class at the 2022 Australian Arenacross Championships and scored a second place finish in the 12-15 years 85cc class at the 2022 East Coast Motocross series.
He also earned selection in the Husqvarna Australia Junior Motocross Racing Team for 2022 and he signed on again for 2023.
"There's a couple of kids in it and we just get a bit more support," he said of the team.
On top of being a standout athlete, Deveson was also praised for his attitude around Dubbo Dirt Bike Club on Australia Day as well as performance at school.
He may only be 14, but Deveson is already seen as a role model and that's something he's proud of.
"A lot of the kids at the Dubbo club, when there's a meeting, I try and go and help them," he said.
"If they want to talk, I'll sit down and have a talk with them and help them out as much as I can."
Despite everything he's achieved on and off the bike, the Australia Day award wasn't something he expected.
"I felt pretty honoured that I was nominated and then win this award," he said of the prize.
"It was a little bit of a surprise. I didn't know I was nominated until a couple days before and then we were here training yesterday (Australia Day) and mum told me."
Deveson will be racing south of the border this weekend while another busy year awaits.
There's few weekends the young gun is here at Dubbo as the sport requires a huge amount of travel.
He's likely to contest a number of events in Queensland this year while the NSW state titles are on the horizon, along with the 2023Australian Junior Motocross Championships.
"It's been announced that will be at Alice Springs so that will be a fair hike," Deveson said.
The Young Sportsperson of the Year winner also took the time to thank his family and friends for their support and assistance over a number of years while he also paid credit to the Dubbo Dirt Bike Club as well as Husqvarna and his other sponsors.
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