Proud mum and dad: Lillette and Maurice Lapierre with a photo of
their son Fabrice, now the Australian long jump champion and Commonwealth Games representative.
Picture: Gene Ramirez.
ONCE upon a time there was a kindergarten teacher at a Quakers Hill parish school called Ms Hutchings.
She was no doubt a wonderful teacher who put countless kiddies on the path to learning and enlightenment.
Certainly the Lapierres are thankful for Ms Hutchings' interest in their son Fabrice,who had arrived from Mauritius with the
family as a three-year-old.
She set him on the path to lots of successes.
For the teacher noticed Fabrice could out-run all the older kiddies in the higher years and suggested he should join a Little
Athletics club, so the Lapierres took him to Blacktwon Little A's.
"He was small, a skinny little boy," mother Lillette said.
He didn't much like the long jump either. m "He hated it," she said, or did until he was coerced into entering an event and
"When he came first he liked it. Fabrice has mostly come first ever since and has, yes come ahead in leaps and bounds.
He's always dreamt of this. When he was younger he told my mother his dream was to go to the US.
From Blacktown Little A's it has been a progression through Westfields Sports High to a silver medal at the world junior
champion- ships in Jamaica, a sporting scholarship at A&M college, Texas, success in the NCAA championships in the US and now the Australian title.
The 22-year-old Lapeirre jumped 8.12m, near his best
of 8.18m to win. The next step is the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
next month. Lapierre's dream are coming true.
"He's always dreamt of this. When he was younger he told my mother his dream was to go to the US," Lillette Lapierre said.
The family have been with him every step of the way: Jamaica, the US, the Australian title.
"We are always there at the big competitions," she said. adding it had cost a lot financially but they were being repaid.
"He's giving it back to us through the pleasure of seeing him succeed."
The untimate dream is now the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He will be joined in Melbourne by Blacktown Athletics Club member Cheryl Webb, who will compete in the 20km walk.
With thanks to
Wed 15th February 2006