LOCAL HERO: Nathan Josefski with some of his students.
LOCAL HERO: Nathan Josefski with some of his students. Brooke Duncan

Tara teacher gets top honour

IT'S no surprise many Tara Shire College students look up to their PE teacher, Nathan Josefski.

The teacher and athlete has given generously of his time to help develop young talent and inspire in all his students a love of sport and fitness.

Now the Tara community has said thank you, with parents nominating Mr Josefksi in the Western Downs Australia Day Awards.

He received the Tara District Senior Sports Person and Sports Officer Award, and on Australia Day was named the Western Downs Sports Person of the Year.

Tara Swimming Club registrar and parent Carissa Hallinan said besides his work at the school, Mr Josefski also coached children in the swimming club.

"He initiated the Tara athlete development program at school, so that's for 10-year-olds and up, and working on their core strength, building their bodies to do all the events they do,” she said.

"We've noticed a significant difference in just how many kids are now representing their school in southwest, and even just participating in sport.

"He does the running club at the school and he's taken us to the Commonwealth Games last year, he's just been fantastic.”

For Mr Josefski, the nominations and subsequent awards are an honour.

"I'm really privileged and humbled to be able to be recognised, and for parents in the community to nominate me was just amazing,” he said.

"You always do stuff for the kids and don't always want to get the acknowledgement, but it's good to feel thanked and valued in the community.”

Thanks in large part to his athlete development program, the school has gone from having no students attending southwest and state trials to 14 making the southwest team in the space of two years.

"It's been a big improvement,” he said.

For Mr Josefski, his initiatives come from a desire to get involved in the community and give back.

"These kids don't get as many opportunities as they would in metropolitan areas like where I grew up, so it's good to give them the same opportunities as I did as a kid, and to see them flourish and grow from these experiences is just amazing.”