BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Thomas Goody rated his win at the national junior beach volleyball championships so highly that he did not want to take his gold medal off.
The Rockhampton 13-year-old was captain of the Queensland under-15 team which rolled title favourites Victoria in an epic grand final.
"It was amazing. It felt awesome winning that last point in the final,” Thomas said.
"I wouldn't take my gold medal off - I slept with it on the first night.
"I usually keep all my medallions together but this one is going to be specially framed.”
Thomas teamed up with Conor Schulz and Kaden Stannard for the nationals played in Perth.
His mum Tania, dad Thomas and brother Stuart made the trip to watch his Queensland debut - and they could not have been happier.
"He just played so well and he led the team brilliantly,” Tania said.
"The grand final was fantastic. The Victorian team had gone through undefeated, they hadn't lost a set, but the boys went in feeling reasonably confident.
"All three of them played so well. They won the first set 21-17, Victoria won the second 21-19 and then the final set went point for point before we won it 19-17.”
Tania was instrumental in Thomas getting his start in beach volleyball two years ago.
She was a regular player at the Indoor Sports Arena in Rockhampton, and one night her team was short a player.
Thomas took the court - and he hasn't looked back.
Coach John Kuhn quickly identified his talent and he was soon playing in representative competitions such as the Great Barrier Reef Challenge.
Thomas plays in the men's competition in Rockhampton, something he believes held him in good stead at the nationals.
He said he was grateful for his coaches John Kuhn and Jesse Mergard and for the support of Trent Clarke and the team at the ISA.
The designated main hitter, Thomas says nothing beats the look on the face of an opponent when you get a good shot on them.
Thomas loves sport and used to play rugby league, touch and oztag but has given them up to concentrate on beach volleyball.
"I just picked the one I loved the most and it was beach volleyball,” he said.
"It's such a great game and I really love being in the contest.
"It's all about having a good attitude and having fun, but you need good skills and a good coach.
"I really want to make the Olympics but my next goal would be winning rounds at the next Queensland Volleyball event.”