Powerlifter Raymond Heaton has been recognised for his successful year, being named Moree's Sportsperson of the Year at the 2020 Australia Day ceremony.
"I'm happy with myself. All the hard work, putting the time in, getting the reward for it," Heaton said.
Heaton took up powerlifting just under two years ago, after three years involved in Crossfit, and participated in his first competition in August last year.
Despite his inexperience, he went on to win both his 93 kilogram junior division and the overall prize, good enough to qualify for nationals.
He finished 15kg ahead of second place with a 270kg squat, 165kg bench press and 275kg deadlift.
The result was good enough for him to qualify for the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships in Russia later this year, but he is unsure whether he will enter.
"I'm having second thoughts about it, just because of how hard it's going to be to get into Russia," Heaton said.
"Mostly just the cost, and the hard part is getting a visa for Russia because even if I pay for flights, have my accommodation all booked and paid for, I still might not get a visa."
At this stage, he is leaning towards competing at nationals again this year on the Gold Coast, where he will hope to qualify for the world championships which will be held in South Africa in 2021.