At 15, Mithuran Shivakumaarun is an inspiration to all.
The Wattle Grove teenager, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, has been a member of Liverpool City Little Athletics Centre for 10 years.
In that time, he has grown in confidence, competed at state level and won several medals.
Last year, at the Little Athletics state championships, Mithuran took home gold in discus and the 100m sprint. He also won a silver medal in the long jump event.
Mum Udi said he had come a long way with the support of the club, fellow athletes and the community.
When Mithu first started Little Athletics, she or her husband would run alongside him on the track to encourage him.
“Now he’s very confident and he can do it himself,” Mrs Shivakumaarun said.
“His co-ordination, his motor skills all developed nicely because of athletics. He can copy, be independent and do things.” She said the club’s support helped Mithuran to blossom on the track, with kids and parents cheering him on during competitions.
The teenager is also an inspiration to the students at his school, having encouraged more children with special needs to take part in Little Athletics.
Mithuran has been nominated for a Local Sports Star award in the Inspiration category, which recognises an athlete who has demonstrated dedication and courage to excel in their sport.