A SIX-year-old Parklea girl has won a trip to the London 2012 Olympic Games for helping her friends beat their fear of a starter gun by pretending it is fireworks.
Angelina Smith and four others (from other states) were selected from thousands of children who entered McDonald's Champions of Play, a competition rewarding young athletes who demonstrate the values of play such as playing fair, working together, displaying confidence and not giving up.
The five winners will attend sporting events, meet athletes, tour London's cultural sites and also get a behind-the-scenes look at the athletics stadium, the velodrome and the BMX track.
Her winning entry told how, with help from her father, she overcame her fear of the Little Athletics' starter gun by pretending it was fireworks.
She then shared the story to help her friends overcome their fear.
Now they all picture beautiful fireworks going off at the start of their race.
"She's proof that no matter how young or old you are, you can conquer your fears with a little imagination, and a lot of willpower," her father, Jeff, said.
"Her trip will be something she cherishes for the rest of her life, and I am grateful to McDonald's for their support."
Olympic hero James Tomkins — a supporter of the McDonald's Champions of Play competition — commends the quality of entries and the values children demonstrated through their playtime experiences.
The five children can also play cadet journalists during their time in London at a special media centre which will allow them to share the sights and sounds of the Olympic Games with their local community.