Three of North Otago’s brightest athletics prospects have a big opportunity on a higher stage next month.

Matthew Gough, Stanley McClure and Amelia Newlands have been selected in the Otago 12 and 13 years team to compete in the interprovincial meet in Masterton on April 15-16.

It is the first time any of the North Otago athletes has made an Otago age group team.

The boys have been members of the North Otago Athletics Club for four years. Newlands is not only in her first season with the club but is in her rookie season in competitive athletics.

All three are part of the keen squad being guided by master coach Rod Jones, and have been training three days a week since Christmas.

The interprovincial event does not offer any personal accolades or medals. A system allows athletes, who compete in up to four events each day, to earn points for their province.

North Otago athletics has been on an upward curve in recent years.

Jones has brought a lot of experience and knowledge to the scene, some promising athletes have emerged, and the husband-and-wife combination of Jeff and Adrienne Spillane has kept things humming in the background.

The three athletes are flat-out fundraising for the trip by selling cheese rolls, pine cones and tussocks, and hope to have a stall at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market over the next two weekends.Buy SneakersAsics Onitsuka Tiger