Irish dancer and mountain biker awarded YAS

A mountain bike racer and Irish dancer have earned the Young Achiever Scheme award for September.

YAS aims to financially assist young people to participate at a state or national level for activities, events or competitions.

September recipient Monique Rapsey, 16, has been tapping and kicking her way around a stage since the age of nine.

“She tried all different styles of dance but Irish dancing appealed to her the most and has stuck,” mum Rachel said.

Her talent for dance recently took her to Greece and the Czech Republic where she was invited to represent Australia at the 2018 International Folk Festival.

Mrs Rapsey said the overseas experience opened her daughter’s eyes to issues of poverty after visiting some small villages.

“She saw poverty first-hand and came back with a real appreciation for living in Wodonga and all the things she has,” she said.

Attending the festival also allowed her to meet other dancers from around the world.

Monique dedicates six hours a week to training with the O’Shea-Ryan Academy of Irish Dance, travelling all over the region for classes.

Next on the agenda for the Catholic College Wodonga student will be the Beechworth Celtic Festival in November, as well as planning for future international trips.

Mountain bike racer Jacob Frauenfelder has also been awarded the September YAS award.

The 17-year-old has been mountain biking for two years and recently represented Wodonga as part of the 2018 Australian Junior Men World Downhill Championships team.

Jacob was one of seven under 19 men chosen to represent Australia at the event in Switzerland.