Damien Hooper began boxing at the age of 11. In 2010, he became the first Indigenous Australian to win a junior world title when he won the 75kg category at the Youth Olympics in Singapore. The same year he won a silver medal at the Youth World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan and was selected in the Australian team for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. In 2011, Damien stepped up a weight division and into open competition. He returned to Baku for the AIBA World Boxing Championships where he made the quarter finals and earned direct qualification for the London Olympics.
Sixteen-year-old amateur boxing champion Clay Waterman, from Queensland, began boxing at the age of 10. In July 2011, Clay travelled to Kazakhstan to compete at the World Junior Amateur Championships, where he became Australia’s first ever Amateur Boxing World Champion at 15 years of age. Leading into the championships – Clay had not lost a bout since 2006. Clay fought against 11 junior boxers at the tournament – winning a gold medal in the pinweight (46kg) division.
From Perth, Western Australia, 12 year-old Paige James is a high achieving artistic gymnast who trains at the Western Australian Institute of Sport. Paige is aiming to represent Australia at the 2014 Junior Olympics in China, followed by the 2016 Olympics. Paige is the current National Champion and has been a member of the West Australian team in both 2011 and 2012 and is the current WA State Champion in the International Development Program 8 Category. Paige is trained by Nikolai Lapchina and Martine George – coaches of the 2010 World Floor Champion Lauren Mitchell and the coaches for the 2012 Australian Olympic Gymnastic squad.
JERMAINE MILLER LEWIS
Fifteen year-old Jermaine Miller Lewis played his junior football at the Armadale Football Club and has shown his versatility by excelling at both ends of the ground. He entered the South Fremantle Development program through the U14’s program, where in one game he kicked 11 goals and assisted in four others. In September 2011, Jermaine vice-captained the U15 WA Schoolboy team at a national tournament held in Canberra, and was presented with an All-Australian jumper for being among the best 22 players at the State Schoolboys Carnival. In 2012, Jermaine was selected to the Western Australian State Talent Academy (U16s) and in July played for WA at the State Championships. He has also captained the WA U15 Indigenous side and the Flying Boomerangs U15 team when they travelled and played in Fiji.
Born in Sydney in 1990, James originally began his football career in the Tweed Heads region of NSW. In 2007, James was signed by the AIS, where he became a key player during the Victorian Premier League season of that year. He has played for Australia at the U17, U20 and U23 level – earning 21 national team appearances in total. In 2008, James signed a three-year deal with A League club Gold Coast United. In his 2011 season debut, James scored a stunning late equalizer in a 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix, the goal being voted goal of the week and in October 2011 he was named Young Player of the Month. In February 2012, James signed a two-year contract with A-League club Newcastle Jets.