VIDEO: Tell us who should be Gympie's Athlete of the Year
THE achievements of our sporting stars, young and old, junior or senior, professional or amateur, are truly worth celebrating.
Our local teams and the talented players who represent them have the power to bring communities together and establish a strong bond that otherwise would never exist.
It gives everyone a chance to put their differences aside and come together, wearing the same colours with passion and pride. You see it at grassroots level just as much as you do in the professional arena.
It is that very essence of the game, whichever game it may be, that makes sport so special.
And that's why we introduced The Gympie Times Player of the Week segment this year, to give the community an exciting chance to recognise the local heroes who have either landed on the back page before or flown under the radar.
We've already seen and heard incredibly uplifting stories of courageous young stars, developing talents and seasoned veterans, all of whom are pioneers of our region's sporting scene - and there's more to come.
But this week there's no new addition to the list, instead an opportunity to look back on those we've awarded so far, and even some deserving candidates who haven't been nominated yet.
This 15-year-old is known in hockey circles but it is one of three sports (also athletics and squash) she excels in.
She has trained with the Queensland under-16s squad and has represented Wide Bay school sport in triathlon, squash and hockey.
Her most recent achievement was playing in the 13-19 (age group) State Championships in Cairns last month.
This Gympie United Gladiators women's striker has had a big influence on the inaugural side's incredible success so far in their inaugural season.
Some say she's the Gold City's answer to Matildas wonder woman Sam Kerr...
This young rugby league ace just took the largest schoolboy carnival in Australia by storm, claiming Best and Fairest honours out of all players from 60 competing schools.
His on-field dominance was such that he would claim an astonishing four Man of the Match awards out of six games for the carnival, solidifying his A-grade performances and setting him up for more success in future.
A pint-sized dynamo with a football in hand, this young wizkid has faced health challenges hard enough to take the smile off any 12-year-old's face.
But he's tackled it all with the same toughness he shows on the footy field every week, turning a near-fatal health scare at the end of 2017 into a remarkable comeback story which has seen him return to representative duties this year.
From struggling to cope with everyday life with autism as a youngster, this 15-year-old Gympie United player has "blossomed” through his love of football, especially since becoming a striker last season.
Now a confident young man already standing about 193cm tall, he has scored almost half of his team's 29 goals through five games this season, helping them sit atop the Sunshine Coast Football under-15 Division 2 ladder.
Five goals is usually enough to be considered a bag in Aussie Rules football, but this Gympie Cats spearhead snagged a whole suitcase in his side's demolition of the Jindalee Jaguars.
The sharp-shooting first year Cat has slotted comfortably into his new side, helping Gympie adjust to new challenges as members of the QFA Division 3 competition.
Our competition winner will be crowned The Gympie Times Athlete of the Year, earning themselves a valuable prize (stay tuned for announcements) and an invitation to a The GT Club event which has already featured the likes of swimming queen Lisa Curry and (soon) cricket legend Jeff Thomson.
Gympie is famous for a plethora of sporting talent, and The Gympie Times recognises the community's sporting passion. That's why it's important you make your voice heard and get behind your favourite sporting star, no matter how young or old.
Nominate your Player of the Week to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.