Destined to Soar Interview: Telaya Blacksmith, Athletics World Champion

Destined to Soar Interview: Telaya Blacksmith, Athletics World Champion

Celeste Kocabay1 comment

Destined to Soar

This interview series is aimed at celebrating, recognising and promoting the incredible talent and ferocious courage of our young women of tomorrow. 

Let's recognise the magnificent effort of girls' in sport across all codes!

Today our interview is with youth sensation Telaya Blacksmith. Soar Active had the privilege to catch up with Telaya and chat about her love for Little Athletics.

A proud Warlpiri woman from Lajamanu, Telaya will compete in the next Virtus Global games. Telaya, at 15 years of age has already won the 100m gold, Bronze in the 200m and fourth in the 400m at the 2022 Virtus Oceania games in Brisbane and is currently the world number one U18 T20 female over 400m.

1. So how did you discover Athletics? 

Telaya: When I was in YR6 my parents put us all into Little Athletics for a summer sport and I just ran faster and faster every time. 

2. What was your next step? 

Telaya: Once I won all the sprints at the athletics carnivals, I got the opportunity to go to Nationals and this is when I started taking things more seriously and found a coach. 

3. How do you balance your competitive training and managing school?

Telaya: It can feel like a lot some times, but I know how lucky I am to have the opportunities I do. When ever I’m not feeling it, I go anyway and I always feel better afterwards.

4. What do you do in your downtime?

Telaya: I love going to the movies with my friends and hanging out. I also love spending time at home, drawing, listening to music and being with my family and our dogs!

5. What makes you feel happy, brave, and strong? 

Telaya: I love training at the gym, my trainer is great, we laugh and chat while working out so it doesn’t feel like working out at all and I am so much stronger since working with her. 

I also like pushing outside my comfort zone, that makes me feel really brave and strong too.

6. Tell us about a special moment in the last year? 

Telaya: Competing in Brisbane at an international competition  last November was a big highlight for me, this is where I received my Paralympic Qualification and met so many other awesome athletes.

7. What is your ultimate goal?

Telaya: I want to go as far as I can with my sport and earn my place at the Paralympics and also play AFLW. 

I want to show other kids back home that you can achieve anything you put your mind too.

8. What's your favourite attribute about yourself? 

Telaya: I have a great sense of humour and I love to make people laugh. 

9. What would you say to other young females about following their dreams?

Telaya: Anything you dream can be achieved in real life. Set small goals and focus on them and soon enough you will be on your way.

10. What has Athletics taught you about life?

Telaya: Besides being great for physical health, it’s been really good for my mental health too. The people I meet are always lovely and I have a huge team of people behind me. 

Follow her journey on Instagram or support her Go-Fund me to get Telaya to France.


Know another inspiring young teen or want to be featured? 

Email us at with your story.

Comments (1)

Judy Ralph

Congratulations Telaya. You are an absolute natural at what you do and you have been very lucky to have the opportunities to do the things that you love and excel at. I am hoping to see you in the AWFL when you are eligible to play as you will be an asset to whatever team is lucky enough to pick you up.
I loved reading your interview and am also very proud of you 👏👏. Good luck when you go to France, I just hope we will get the opportunity to see you compete.
Love from (Aunty) Judy.

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