Alvin Cooper is no regular 13 year-old.
For a start, the Mathoura teenager has been named Murray River Council’s Australia Day Young Sportsperson of the Year.
Alvin’s long list of sporting achievements in the past 12 months have come from the swimming pool, the athletics track, and the footy oval – and all for local clubs.
He also represented his region in Sydney twice in 2018, for the national swimming carnival and the national athletics meet.
He is also following in the footsteps of his younger sister Jemika, who won the award two years ago.
‘‘We’re quite competitive about that (following my sister),’’ Alvin said.
‘‘I used to play for Deniliquin in soccer before moving across to footy with Mathoura (in 2018). I had some mates there at the club.’’
In his first year moving from the soccer pitch to the footy oval with the Mathoura under 14s, Alvin was awarded runner-up best and fairest.
‘‘I was pretty happy just to be nominated for this, and my family were jumping up and down and were celebrating,’’ Alvin said.
‘‘We’re just super proud of him and what he’s achieved — it’s awesome,’’ his mother Jenny said.
‘‘You see these big city kids representing the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, and these kids from the bush like Alvin rock up, plonk down their bag and just get into it — it’s great.’’
Alvin efforts and success at Mathoura Public School’s carnivals and trials led him to participate in many district, regional and state competitions.
He started the school year competing in the school’s swimming carnival, where he qualified to compete in Hay at the Deniliquin PSSA Swimming Carnival.
Alvin progressed from Hay to the Riverina PSSA Swimming Carnival in Albury, where he again excelled, qualifying to compete in the State PSSA Swimming Carnival.
At the school’s Athletics Carnival, Alvin was the 2018 Senior Boy Athletics Age Champion.
He represented the school at the Deniliquin District PSSA Carnival in all track and field events where he went on to win the 12/13 Year Old Boy Age Champion.
Alvin qualified for six events at Albury PSSA Athletics Carnival and with a strong performance moved one stage further to compete at the state competition in Sydney in four events.
Alvin also represented his school in a variety of different trials, including basketball, soccer, tennis, cricket and AFL.
At the Deniliquin and District trials, he qualified for the regional level of competition in basketball, soccer and AFL.
In AFL, he continued to succeed and was selected to be part of the Riverina AFL team which competed at the state competition held in Batemans Bay.
Alvin also played his first year of AFL for the Mathoura Football Club in which he was awarded runner-up in the Under 14s Best and Fairest.
Alvin’s outstanding sporting success resulted in him accumulating the most points in sporting events at the school and was presented with the 2018 Mathoura Public School Sportsperson of the Year trophy.
His citation for his nomination also stated the following:
‘‘Alvin is not only a talented sportsperson but he also continually displays outstanding sportsmanship skills.
‘‘At school, he is always seen encouraging his peers, congratulating other competitors and spending time teaching the younger students new skills in a variety of sports.
‘‘Alvin is clearly an outstanding member of the local community and has demonstrated dedication and commitment to his sport in particular and embodies all the values that the Young Sportsperson of the Year award stands for.’’
The talented athlete also competes as part of the Deniliquin Athletics Club, setting two new club records in the 2018/19 season, 200m in 25.89 secs and jumping 1.60m in high jump.
He was also named the Under 14s Boys Champion at the club’s presentation night and named in the AFL Goulburn Murray Youth Development Academy Under 14s squad recently.