Kurri Kurri nine-year-old Charlie Hawke is taking his first steps along the path set by his hero James Magnussen.Tonight in London the individual Olympic campaign of James Magnussen gets under way in the blue riband men’s 100 metre freestyle event.
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At the same time back in Australia, at the Homebush pool where the Missile has competed many times before, a fellow kid from country NSW will endeavour to make his mark in the water.

That young boy’s name is Charlie Hawke and he will represent NSW in five events, including the 50m freestyle race for his age group, at the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships being held in Sydney this week.

“It [the nationals] will be on the same time as the Olympics,” Hawke said.

“My favourite is James Magnussen and I will be watching him.”

The Kurri Kurri nine-year-old will swim along side Ashtonfield’s Jamie Parker at the national competition, but in either side of the primary and high school divisions.

But for Hawke, the 2012 competition will be his debut at the country-wide event and shows an impressive improvement for the year 4 student during the past 12 months.

“Last year I made state but finished 15th,” Hawke said.

“After that I knew I wanted to make nationals the next year.

“I have trained hard, improved a lot and I am going to nationals.

“I am more confident now.”

And there is little wonder after dominating proceedings in the lead up, going through undefeated in most events and recording personal best times.

Hawke, who had his first taste of competitive racing two years ago, trains under coach Thomas Kuszelyk at Y Valley Swimming Club.

Hawke will participate in the 10 years boys section of the 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 4x50m freestyle relay and 4x50m medley relay as well as the all age relay.

He attends Holy Spirit Primary School at Kurri Kurri.

Across the city Parker goes to Hunter Valley Grammar School.

Competition at Sydney Olympic Park began on Saturday and wraps up on Friday.

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