Sports star profile: Landon Courtney
Athletics and touch football
Indooroopilly’s Senior Sportsperson of the Year for 2019, Landon Courtney, competes at national level in touch football and athletics.
But after breaking his arm when he was younger, Landon thought he might have to say goodbye to sport.
“I developed compartment syndrome and had two infections,” Landon says.
“I spent a month in hospital and had about 19 surgeries to save my arm. I was told I would possibly never have functional use of my arm or be able to play sport. Three years later, I was good to go. Mum said I could do non-contact sport.”
Landon started with trampolining then transitioned into soccer. Touch football and athletics (long jump and triple jump) dominate his sporting commitments now.
“I love the sport I play because it can be social or it can have an individual focus,” he says.
“It can push you and challenge you, but it can also be so rewarding when you achieve what you are aiming for. Sport keeps me active, motivated, committed, and positive. If I have had a bad day, I go to training or footy and everything seems better.”
Landon has been a 2018/19 state and national club representative for athletics, and competed against American, New Zealand and Australian athletes. He placed third in triple jump at the 2019 DownUnder Championships.
He competed at the 2019 National Touch Rugby Australia State of Origin under 16 men’s competition, and was selected for the Queensland mixed under 16 team for the Trans-Tasman Touch Tournament.
Landon trains for athletics almost every day and maintains his fitness to play football.
“I am at the track on Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays, and I do a gym session on Tuesday before touch footy. I do another two sessions in my own time on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday is my rest day when I sometimes do pool recovery sessions before the week starts again.
“Athletics training varies each day; however, it mostly consists of speed endurance, technique-focused drills, acceleration, strength training, and a little bit of actual jumping.
“I love jumping because I find it challenging and rewarding, and the feeling of getting new personal bests and achieving higher levels can’t be beaten.”
Landon’s touch football training schedule is less intense.
“Football training is only required when I get into the representative teams, and even then it varies depending on the coaches. Some expect you to be fit and already at a representative level, and others want to do fitness as well as strategy training and game play.
“Players for the representative teams are often located all over the country, so it can be difficult getting everyone together to train. Recently, I had to go to Ballina for the day for Australian team training.
“Teams often set up social media pages where they can upload playbooks and fitness videos or schedules for you to do in your own time.
“I love football because I get to work in a team with people who enjoy the sport as much as I do. I enjoy the complexity of the game and the amount of thinking that goes into each play. The feeling of completing a play and scoring a try as a team is something I love and keeps me hooked.”
Landon’s athletic goals are to win a medal at the next state competition and qualify for nationals.
“I am hoping to jump new personal bests: over 7 metres for long jump and 14 metres for triple jump. In the next few years, I also want to represent Australia at World Juniors or Oceania and win Club Nationals.”
For now, his goal is to have fun developing skills and strategies with the new ISHS touch football team.
Outside of training, competing and school work, Landon has been mentoring youth athletes in the community; he is currently working with seven athletes aged nine to 13.
“It is nice to be able to encourage them and share my passion for sport and watch them improve and get excited when they achieve their goals,” Landon says.