A LAST-minute phone call from an Olympian has led to Bendigo throws specialist Christopher Browne earning a place in Athletics Australia's national under-17 development squad.
Nominations had already closed when former Australian shot put and discus champion Scott Martin, who recently began coaching Browne, rang in early April to check that his young charge had applied for the elite program.
The 15-year-old and his family knew nothing about it, but hastily jumped online to lodge his details.
Last week, Browne's name was among the 58 track and field stars named in the development squad.
"I was really happy, because it seems like everything is going right for me," the Bendigo Harriers club member said.
He said he had been working hard on his throwing techniques and now it was really paying off.
As a member of the squad, Browne must now complete a level one ASADA anti-doping course online to learn about the responsibilities facing athletes at the top level.
He will also travel to Canberra for a four-day high-performance coaching camp at the Australian Institute of Sport next month.
The honour comes on the back of an outstanding season in which Browne won silver in his age group for the hammer at the Australian junior track and field titles.
He also represented Victoria in shot put and discus at the Sydney event in March, making both finals.
In December, he was on the hammer podium at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships.
This week, Browne received a $500 Local Sporting Champions grant via MP Lisa Chesters' office.
Mum Kelly said it was a welcome boost.
"It was given to help with the costs we incurred when we were up in Sydney," Mrs Browne said. "But it also pays for 10 trips down to Melbourne on Tuesdays for training with Scott."
Browne was guided in his junior years by local throws expert Frank Barr and only recently moved to Martin's coaching stable.