No time to sleep when sporting dreams swirl
It’s 6 am and 14-year-old Leila Alexander is quietly preparing herself for another training swim at Greenbank.
When most teenagers would rather be in bed, Leila is chasing her triathlon dreams. Under the watchful guidance of triathlon coach Leanna Farrell-Thomas, Leila will clock up to 4 kilometres – around 160 laps of Greenbank pool – during an average morning of training.
Add in around 50 to 70 kilometres on her road bike each week, and 30 to 45 kilometres pounding the pavement, and it’s easy to see why the junior triathlete is a star on the rise. Leila recently returned home from the Australian Schools Triathlon Championships in Tasmania with 2 silver medals in hand, thanks to impressive performances in the individual and mixed relay events.
‘Competing in Devonport was a great experience,’ Leila says.
‘It was my first time competing at Nationals, and everyone was so friendly.
‘The racing was an awesome challenge, but the best part was definitely getting to meet everyone and travel as a team to Tasmania.’
Leila is the generation perfectly placed to dream big with just 9 years until the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in South East Queensland.
Whether she gets there as a competitor, a spectator or a volunteer, she typifies the passionate sporting culture in the City of Logan.
The city has produced dozens of champions while, at the same time, has thousands of weekend warriors of all ages taking part in sport just for fun.
That’s why Council’s 2023/24 Budget allocates $17 million for the next 3 years to be spent on sporting infrastructure.
Much of that investment will be steered towards our grassroots sporting communities with new and refurbished clubhouses and facilities, new lighting and solar systems to reduce electricity costs, improved irrigation and drainage and driveway and car park upgrades.
Major works are underway or planned at venues including Everleigh Park (Greenbank), Chris Green Park (Beenleigh) and Jimboomba Park (Jimboomba).
Cornubia Park Sports Centre, a multi-sport venue, will have its roof refurbished, while stage 2 of the Beenleigh Aquatic Centre upgrade will go into the design phase for a new outdoor 50-metre pool, scheduled to open in 2024/25.
Council’s ongoing investment in sporting and community facilities, along with division-based Local Infrastructure Program funding, builds on the goals already kicked across the city, including: › The opening of the Jodie Henry Olympic-sized swimming pool at Logan North Aquatic Centre in Underwood. › The return of Queensland Rugby League club Souths Logan Magpies to their heartland at the Logan Metro Sports Complex in Heritage Park. › The opening of a new clubhouse for Waterford Demons Rugby League Football Club at Noffke Farm Park in Waterford.
And of course, there’s the Olympic and Paralympic indoor stadium proposed for Logan Central. For aspiring athletes like Leila, having local facilities creates a sense of belonging and community.
‘Part of my training as a triathlete is with Greenbank Aquatics, and I love being part of their squad,’ Leila says.
For Leila and others from her generation who might have an occasional daydream about the Olympic and Paralympics, right now it’s all about just having fun and doing her best.
‘At the moment, I think I will just see where I can take it,’ Leila says.
‘Brisbane 2032 would be pretty amazing, and with hard work you never know what you can achieve.’
By Jessica Whitby