Eleven-year-old Bangalow resident, Sonny Lingard, has won the Australian Ninja national championships and is now preparing for the world titles in Orlando, USA, later this year.
‘About two years ago, like many kids, he saw the sport on TV and reckoned he did plenty of that sort of obstacle work in the playground,’ his father, Adam Lingard, said.
‘Sonny said he wanted to go a bit further, so we built a few tougher obstacles under the house’.
Before long he was taking part in competitions around the country, and last January won the U/11 final of the Australian Ninja Games held in Brisbane.
Sonny successfully negotiated the course in a time of 1 minute and 10 seconds, a full 20 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
He is now set to compete alongside the Ninja stars he watches on TV, when the all-age Australian team heads over to America in late July.
But more than this Sonny has set his sights on the Brisbane Olympics and hopes to compete for a gold medal.
A ninja-like obstacle course event is expected to be introduced at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The Brisbane event is set down for 2032.
‘We have hooked up with a coach and Sonny has a nine-year goal,’ Adam said.
The Byron High student is described as ‘happy-go-lucky’ and also plays soccer and skateboards.
The next international event on the agenda is to take place in Belgium, but financing international trips will not be easy.
‘We’ll probably have to reach out to the community and local businesses to get some help if we are going to make it to any more international events,’ Adam said.
Until then Sonny is focussed on achieving the best result he can in Orlando.