Valley's Tahlia Marsh is captain for Australia BMX team
LAST October pocket rocket Tahlia Marsh wowed the hearts of the Clarence Valley when she represented Australia in the Mighty 11s Trans Tasman Test.
Her efforts saw her win the Grafton Shoppingworld People's Choice at the Clarence Valley Sports Awards.
This weekend the Clarence Valley BMX Club rider is back in action for the return leg. This time the New Zealanders cross the ditch for the series at Lake Macquarie.
Furthermore, Tahlia, who turned 12 on Tuesday, has been selected as the Australian team captain. Currently vice captain of Westlawn Public School, her leadership value was recognised by her peers who selected her as their leader.
"My teammates chose who they think will be responsible and try to motivate people to keep their heads high," Tahlia said.
She will have to present a speech at the Mighty 11s dinner while she has a senior role on the bike as one of the two female veterans from last year's tour. Fresh from claiming two No.5 Plates at the Australian BMX Championships, Tahlia is confident Australia can wrest back the trophy after narrowly going down by nine points last year.
"I reckon we'll have a pretty good chance of bringing the trophies back home," she said. "We have a strong team."
Tahlia joins Holly Cooper (2010), George Cole (2011) and Kylie Molan (2013) as Clarence Valley BMX members to represent Mighty 11s. However, she is the first to be captain.
Clarence Valley BMX Club coach Tom Cole has watched Tahlia progress through the ranks and was not surprised the squad selected her to be captain at a recent training camp.
"She's an old head on young shoulders," Cole said.
"If you watch the Olympics, she's a young version of world champ Caroline Buchanan. I've known Caroline since she was a little girl, and Tahlia just reminds me of Caroline.
"She's just very determined to win. Plus she has a bubbly personality and is very likeable."
While Tahlia competes in Mighty 11s, a large contingent of Clarence Valley members, including older brothers Nick and Josh, will compete in the NSW Pre-State Titles.