Local track athlete selected in 2022 Pacific Mini Games

Jackson Rowe (Whalan) is among fourteen of the country’s budding junior track and field athletes who will represent Australia for the first time at the 11th edition of the Pacific Mini Games, taking place in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands from 17-25 June.

Following a whirlwind introduction to track running last year, 19-year old Jackson has put his education at WSU on hold for 12 months as he determines his future in Athletics.

A Rugby League player with St Marys JRLC since the age of 4, Jackson attended Hills Sports HS for Rugby League and was also involved in Cross Country Running.

Competing in the 100m at school, Jackson broke the School track record and became an overnight success, fielding several approaches from coaches and clubs for his running future.

A win this year in the 60m Sprint at the NSW Championships, was followed by a silver medal in the Relay event (4 x 100m) at the National Championships in March.

Jackson was then selected for the Pacific Mini Games but faced the daunting task of raising the necessary funds, as all athletes chosen are required to travel at their own cost.

McDonalds St Marys North franchisee Domenic Meduri and his wife Emma have stepped into the breech, sponsoring Jackson for his trip to Saipan.

Jackson Rowe with sponsors Domenic and Emma Meduri of McDonalds St Marys North and their Restaurant Manager Liam McGough.  Photo by Noel Rowsell

“We’re proud employers,” said Domenic. “My wife and I are the franchisees for both St Marys North and Penrith North for the past 5 years, whilst the entire family is involved in franchises within the McDonalds corporation.

“Jackson has shown great character in his work ethic, starting at McDonalds at 14 years and 9 months and has been with us every since.

“He’s locally born and has lived in the same house all his life.”

Jackson has just joined Campbelltown Athletic Club, where he trains under coach Gregory Smith. He will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m Relay at the Pacific Mini Games.

The Pacific Mini Games is a multi-sport event, contested by countries and territories located across the Oceania region, and is a scaled-down version of the Pacific Games, which takes place every four years. 

“The Games are a key opportunity for developing athletes as they build towards senior team representation,” said Athletics Australia General Manager, Andrew Faichney.

“Part of our strategy to better support our pathway and developing athletes is to provide them with opportunities to compete internationally against athletes of similar levels.

“Competitions like these are about gaining crucial competition experience and building their confidence, and giving them a chance to get a feel for what it’s like to be in an Australian team environment as they take the next steps in their athletics careers.

“I’d like to congratulate all fourteen athletes on their selection and we look forward to seeing what they can achieve when they land in Saipan next month.”

Athletes travelling to the Pacific Mini Games are self funded, but can be supported with tax deductible donations via The Athletics Foundation.  For more information on The Athletics Foundation visit www.theathleticsfoundation.org.au