Sometimes, Luc Launder has to stop and pinch himself.
At 15 years old, he was the only Canberran selected for the Australian Pararoos training camp, held at the Australian Institute of Sport over the weekend.
“On Friday I went straight from school, to the Pararoos camp,” Luc said.
“I thought to myself, I was doing history half an hour ago and now I’m training with the national team.”
Twenty players from across the country converged for three days of training, providing them with a chance to impress head coach Kai Lammert ahead of an international competition that is scheduled to be held in Spain next year.
“It was great, it was what you would expect when you think about a national camp, the level was above anything I’ve ever played in before,” he said.
Launder had the opportunity to train alongside experienced veterans of the game including David Barber (101 caps).
“He mentioned to me at the camp, the same month that I was born, he was at the AIS training for the Pararoos. I’ve always looked up to him as well as Taj Lynch, Ben Atkins, helped me the whole time.”
In 2019, Launder stepped his training up a gear, with his eyes set firmly on the prize of national selection.
He plays for Majura in the NPLY2 U18 team as well as the Canberra United All Abilities Academy, training under Head Coach Kelly Stirton.
“Kelly is an amazing coach. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am at the moment without her. Just her support and the fact that she will always believe in you, even if you don’t yourself.
“My communication is better, we have players like Jason Driscoll and Greg Hibberd who are older and who have played at the highest level and they are so helpful, they really mentor you.
“I’ve learnt to to adapt to the system while at the same time, not taking away what makes you unique and give you your X factor.
The Australian Paraoos squad will be shaved down from 20 to 14, ahead of international duties in 2022.