A young local footballer headed to China last month to take part in the Jinshan International Youth Football Championships thanks to some local financial support.
Armed with a $500 Augusta Margaret River Shire grant for travel expenses via their Financial Assistance Policy, Felix Rice jetted to China along with the WA Under 15s football team.
Felix's mum, Shannon Sobott, said the young athlete enjoyed a positive trip with the team despite being the lone South West representative.
"He did not know any of the other players in his team at first as he was the only one from the South West," Ms Sobott explained. "He took it all in his stride and performed extremely well rising to the challenge of playing such strong competition.
"It had been a massively tiring build up to the event as Felix was travelling to Perth for training and games - sometimes twice a week - and also keeping his own training and games for the Bunbury Phoenix."
Felix said the games proved very challenging, with 30 degree heat and 90 per cent humidity ensuring the sweat was pouring off the visiting players within minutes. With the enthusiasm and energy of youth on his side, Felix touched down at home and was already on the pitch by sundown.
"He got off the plane from China at 5:15am in Perth, drove down to Margaret River and still made it to soccer training in Bunbury that afternoon," said Ms Sobott. "Needless to say he slept well."
Shire President Pam Townshend said she wished Felix all the best for his sporting future.
"Council takes great pride in helping home grown talent broaden their depth of experience and achieve new heights of success," Cr Townshend said.
"Felix is a wonderfully talent athlete whose commitment, focus and dedication to his sports deserves acknowledgement. We congratulate him on his selection to the team and what sounds like a highly enjoyable tournament and tour in China."
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