10 May 2023

All-round athlete ready for representative duties

| Sarah Martin
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RISING all-round star Maia Pensio doesn’t know whether to strap on his running shoes, grab a footy or put on his goggles, after being selected to represent the Peninsula for both swimming and rugby league, as well as cross country for the district.

The 10-year-old athlete just loves anything to do with sports, proud mum Liesl Pensio said.

“He loves competing and works hard in all of his sports,” she said.

“There is a constant battle of managing the training demands, particularly when Peninsula rugby league training is in Cairns on a weekly basis.”

Maia, who is a member of the Cooktown Amateur Swimming Club, qualified for six events and was one of only four youngsters in his age group on the Peninsula team who travelled to Brisbane’s Chandler Aquatic Centre earlier this year to compete.

“He was nervous due to the calibre of the competition, but set personal goals of achieving some personal bests and not coming last,” Ms Pensio said.

“He was happy that he did achieve some personal bests and was proud he placed in the top 20 for the 50m breaststroke, which is his favourite stroke.”

Maia’s efforts have rocketed him into the number two ranking in Far North Queensland.

Maia and fellow Cooktown Crocs rugby league player Chase Hunt were selected at the district trials to play for the Tablelands team, and spent a busy six weeks travelling to Atherton for training, before attending the Peninsula Rugby League Championships in April.

Maia again stood out for selectors, and is now training in Cairns weekly for the Queensland championships in Townsville in July.

Last week the youngster headed to Tinaburra to compete in the district cross country competition, coming second in his race and was picked for the Tablelands cross country team heading to the Peninsula.

Ms Pensio said her and husband Toby were very proud of their son’s achievements.

“We hope that sport may open up opportunities for him in life, but if it doesn’t we know he is having fun and learning valuable life lessons along the way such as commitment, self-discipline and teamwork.”

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