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Luke Cotellessa of The Vines, the boy behind Luke’s Boots For The Outback, in his official Queen’s Baton Relay uniform.

Baton run right down Luke’s Alley

LUKE Cotellessa received a citizenship award two weeks ago from the City of Swan in a ceremony that, his mother Tamara said, involved a lot of sitting down.

She said running a leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay was a lot more down her son’s alley.

The Swan Valley Anglican Community School student, just one of the local residents taking part in the Queen’s Baton Relay,  found out he would be running the relay on October 10 which is, coincidentally, the 12-year-old fundraising powerhouse’s birthday.

Luke runs Luke’s Boots for the Outback, a program where he collects unused footy boots, sizes them, relaces them and sends them to Pilbara communities, along with footballs and 6000 other items in the four years since he started.

He said being named as a runner in the Queen’s Baton relay was the best birthday present he could have hoped for.

“I don’t do what I do for any sort of recognition, I do it because I want to help people and I really enjoy that, but it’s great I guess to get some recognition and I’m super, super excited about taking part,” he said.

“I’m not running just for me though, I’m running for anyone that has ever donated to Luke’s Boots, anyone that has ever helped us out and all the kids up North that I’ve been able to help, it’s not about me.”

Apart from being a fundraising powerhouse, Luke is also a sporting star of The Vines, named fairest and best for the Ellenbrook Dockers Junior Football Club two years running while receiving medals in shotput, discus and long-distance running.

He thinks he’ll have no problem carrying the baton, and one day hopes to take part in the event the baton represents.

“I’d love to go to the Commonwealth Games, I think maybe in discus or shotput, or even running,” he said.

“It would be tough to choose between that or a premiership in AFL, but I’d like to do both.”

His mum Tamara thinks anything is possible.

“I’m just so proud of him, he doesn’t like to talk about himself but he’s such a sporting kid, that’s his thing, that’s his hobby and to get to represent his community in the relay, I am so incredibly proud of him.”

Luke’s route will take him from 27 Great Northern Highway to The Avenue.

About Liam Ducey

Liam Ducey is an experienced journalist, having worked in print media in Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Port Hedland, Bunbury and across the metropolitan area, as well as online for several Fairfax Media mastheads. His reporting has seen him awarded the 2013 Clubs WA award for Best Club Media Story and the Western Australian Football Commission Umpiring Media Award in 2014. He was a finalist in three categories in the 2018 WA Media Awards and is not at all salty that he didn't win at least one. He's recently had a baby girl, Emilia, with his wife Roselyn and has lost all concept of time and sleep.

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