Beaudesert and District Little Athletics stalwart Lauchlan Ferguson has graduated from participating as an athlete, but his ‘have a go’ attitude has left its mark on the local group.
Lauchlan, 16, has grown significantly in his participation and confidence since he joined as a six-year-old.
Lifelong connections forged
Beaudesert local Lauchlan Ferguson has been part of Beaudesert and District Little Athletics for more than half of his life so far and the experience has helped shape who he is today.
In a recent ceremony graduating athlete Lauchlan, 16, and his mother Jayne received badges for being part of Little As for 10 years.
Lauchlan also received a badge for 100 per cent attendance in the 2022/23 season, trophies for being Under 17 Age Champion and Graduating Athlete and a medal and certificate for his personal bests.
He has left his mark on coaches, volunteers and fellow athletes through his ‘have a go’ attitude, and the group has asked him to return as a helper in the 2023/24 season.
Lauchlan, who has high functioning autism, has grown from strength to strength through Little Athletics.
His sense of sportsmanship has extended to his school life, and he was recently voted Sports Captain at Beenleigh Special School, with responsibilities like helping with the football tipping competition and the sports days.
He said he looked forward to returning to help at Little Athletics.
“I like the people there,” he said.
Coach Helen White said Lauchlan’s progress over the last decade had been significant.
“Not only were we able to teach him new things, but he was also able to teach us and his peers about using his abilities to be the best he could be, and he participated in pretty much everything” she said.
“He will now start a conversation, come up and give people hugs, tell us his news of the week, he remembers people’s names. To go from a kid who was practically non-verbal to instigating a conversation himself is a big milestone. He’s developed so much confidence.”
Lauchlan’s dad Michael said graduating from the group was happy and sad for the family.
“These people have been incredible with him, parents and kids alike,” he said.
“Jayne made a speech, thanking everyone for their help and understanding. I’m so proud of both of them. We have all made lifelong friends and hope to continue our association with this amazing group for many years to come.”