Rifle’s Hernandez to run at Down Under Sports’ games | PostIndependent.com

Rifle’s Hernandez to run at Down Under Sports’ games

Rifle freshman Jonny Hernandez

Coming off of a terrific freshman cross country season for the Rifle Bears, Jonny Hernandez will get a chance to take his running talents overseas to Australia this summer, representing Colorado on the Team USA 2018 Cross Country team at Down Under Sports.

Hernandez was selected by Down Under Sports to compete in Australia for individual honors and a team championship at the 10-day Australia tournament, which is modeled after the Olympics.

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent my family, school, community, state and country in this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Hernandez said in a statement to the Post Independent.

Down Under Sports was founded in February 1989 based upon the dream of George O’Scanlon, a New Zealander. According to Down Under Sports’ website, O’Scanlon fell in love with athletics, especially American football as a young man growing up in his native country of New Zealand. His desire over the years has been to promote football, not only to the people of New Zealand, but also to Australia, where he lived for many years.

Through that love, O’Scanlon formed the Down Under Bowl, which eventually led to the establishment of the Down Under Hoops Classic and the Down Under International Games. The Down Under Sports programs use the common language of sports to bridge the continents and provide a forum for athletes from around the globe to compete head-to-head in the sport they love. During the past 29 years, Down Under Sports has had the opportunity to share the land down under with tens of thousands of individuals from across the United States.

This year, Hernandez will get a chance to represent not only the state of Colorado, but his hometown of Rifle at the Down Under Sports games, starting in July.

Hernandez will depart for Queensland, Australia, on Tuesday, June 26, to compete as a member of Team USA. However, Hernandez — like the rest of the Team USA athletes headed to Australia — needs some help from his community.

Fundraising for the trip is an important step to achieving the goal of competing on the international stage at the Down Under Games.

To donate to Hernandez’s trip to Australia, donations can be sent to https://downundersports.com/payment/6BB2-FA12-82BB, or paid over the phone by calling 435-753-4732.

Checks can be made payable under Hernandez’s name to Down Under Sports, PO Box 6010, North Logan, Utah, 84341

The 2018 Down Under Sports program will include competition in football, cross country, golf, track and field, basketball and volleyball.

Down Under Sports’ goal is to continue to provide athletes who excel in their sport the opportunity to experience the culture, beauty and grandeur of the land down under all within the framework of spirited and intense competition.

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