Scooter champ has eyes on nationals

Yinnar's Zac Schill is off to the Australian Scooter Association National Titles in Sydney. photograph hayley mills

Yinnar's Zac Schill is off to the Australian Scooter Association National Titles in Sydney. photograph hayley mills

For many teens a visit to the skate park after school or on the weekends is a favourite pastime.

But for Yinnar resident Zac Schill it's much more than that.

The 13-year-old wunderkind has been defying the laws of gravity on his scooter since the age of five and will travel to Sydney this month to compete at the Australian Scooter Association National Titles.

Zac has been honing his craft ahead of the national titles at Warehouse 11.

Scooter sport is more intricate than fancy flips and tricks and contestants are judged on style, difficulty and their use of the park.

With just two 45-second runs to impress judges, Zac said each stint in the rink is carefully designed and considered.

"You'd rather do 30 semi-decent tricks and land them all than 10 really amazing tricks and stack one," he said.

"It's only 45 seconds but it doesn't feel quick when you're out there."

Mum Belinda said although Zac's sport of choice was slightly left of centre he still trained as hard as any elite athlete.

"He works so hard on his fitness and stuff like that ... he's constantly doing chin ups, push ups and pull ups because it really is a hard sport," she said.

"Zac's a pretty clean rider and he knows his strengths and likes to focus on the end score, so he's got it down pat."

While many young riders focus on flips and tricks, Zac takes a different tact and instead likes to ensure a smooth run.

"A lot of the kids get a really good run up and do an amazing trick but then they stop, catch their breath and start again," Belinda said.

"But I think Zac gets points because he's very smooth.

"I say to him 'why don't you throw in some more big tricks?' but as he explains, when you do that you can't ride as smoothly."

Fellow Latrobe Valley resident and friend Tom Green will also compete at the national titles in the professional division.

Belinda said living in regional Victoria sometimes had its challenges for Zac.

"We hope that Zac will do well this year and can maybe get some sponsorship," she said.

"It can be hard around here, you know, coming from the country and a lot of the Melbourne kids attract sponsors more easily."

Zac trains every night at skate parks across the Latrobe Valley and knows the ins and out of each one well.

However the new and unknown park at Warehouse 11 in Sydney presents a new challenge for the year 8 Kurnai College student.

"I prefer outdoor [parks] and the nationals will be indoors so I don't know how I'll go, it's a bit different to what I like," he said.

"You've got to use the whole park and do lots of tricks so hopefully I go okay."

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