By TONY WHITE
INDIGENOUS athlete Jerry Byers runs like the wind and has ball skills he hopes will one day lead to him playing in the NRL competition.
The kid whose favourite past time is eating ice cream and relaxing watching cartoons on television, is regarded as a bright young league prospect.
Born in Kyogle and later residing in Yamba where his parents still live, the 16-year-old currently attends Palm-Beach-Currumbin High School on the Gold Coast undergoing a sports excellence program for rugby league.
As a league player the lithe back has already scored a number of representative honours.
"I played wing for the Group 18 rep side in the NSW Country Rugby League," Byers said.
"I now play for Tugun Under-16s at fullback and we are currently running second to Mullumbimby, who we play next week.
"Next year I'm hopeful of playing for the Seagulls Under-18s and be in the running for a position in the Gold Coast NRL team."
Byers returned to Yamba last weekend to catch up with his family and friends after competing in the district schools athletic carnival.
And again his athletic prowess came to the fore.
Byers scampered over the 100m and 200m in 12.03 and 23.17 to win both races and was rated the fastest Under-16 runner at the carnival. He was also the anchor for Palm-Beach Currumbin's winning relay team.
Palm-Beach Currumbin were crowned leading school at the carnival for the 25th successive year.
"My school produces the best sports people in all fields," Byers said proudly.
While his stepping stone to the NRL is likely to be the new Gold Coast franchise, Byers still dreams of donning the famous colours of the Brisbane Broncos.
"My favourite team is the Broncos and my favourite sports person's Darren Lockyer, he's dedicated to his game and Patrick Johnson, a great Aboriginal athlete and person.
"I'd love to play fullback for the Broncos, so I can help support mum and dad.
"And as an indigenous person I'd like to be a role model for younger kids to help them lead a healthy, clean life without smokes and alcohol."