Sports Parents with a Legally Blind Athletics Champion

Australian Athletics Championships 2015
Australian Athletics Championships 2015

FIRST NATIONAL EVENT

I am a big believer in getting kids involved with sport.  Most of the time you will be enrolling your child into all the different sports they are choosing to try before they pick something that they are good at and enjoy.  We have tried dance, cheerleading, swimming,  Oz tag and karate. Try them all if you have to..they will benefit from their experiences even if they change their mind.

The inspiration behind this post is that I have a daughter with a rare eye condition as mentioned in my first post, she is legally blind.  Her sport of choice a couple of years ago was Athletics.  She got quite good, quite quickly. Before we knew it we were a travelling sports family.

When she first started, club days were every Sunday with a rotation of all the disciplines.  At first her favourites became the 100m, 200m, discus, long jump & shot put.  She has never enjoyed the long distance running like the 800m, 1500m or the race walks and I don’t blame her, they are definitely not something I would enjoy either but each to their own.😂

The race walks are a tricky one to master and she tries her best to worm her way out of them but she knows that it’s all about gaining new personal best scores and great for her fitness. Most of the time , not always, she will join in and do her best when they come back around in the rotation.  As she has excelled in her favourite disciplines she has picked up extra training during the week.

CANBERRA – First National Championships 2015

Her first year in athletics we found ourselves in Canberra, Australia. Our capital.  She was competing in 100m, 200m, long jump, shot put, discus and the 4x100m relay as a T13 visually impaired athlete.

Students from all around Australia between the ages of 10 – 12 years were competing.  These kids were THE BEST in their state.  Pretty impressive if you ask me.  They had their own team coaches and tours booked for some fun with their team after the event was over.  You can also purchase State badges for swapping, in our case it is Queensland, and you could see the kids frantically running around trying to swap with other States to add them to their collections on their hats.

As you can tell, I was loving the experience so I can only imagine how much fun all the athletes were having, especially being able to interact with other kids from all around our country.. What an experience!

WINNER.. WINNER!

I was an EXTREMELY proud Mum when she won her FIRST National medal. 😄 A bronze medal in discus!  She then went on to win two more bronze, two silver and one gold.  Her goal was to get one GOLD medal and her final event was her favourite, the 100m.  And SHE DID IT, a Gold medal for her 100m.  I am also too proud to add that she set 5 new records for all of her events.  These achievements meant she received the Sportsperson of the Year award when we returned home.

Bronze for Discus
Awards 2015
Sportsperson of the year 2015

WE ARE HOOKED

This experience has us all hooked.  We stayed in our first Airbnb and we haven’t looked back with a few exceptions when we were unable to get something that has suited us at the time.  Travelling with kids can be challenging but it certainly does get easier.

The experience for the athletes and their families is fantastic, if your son or daughter are wanting to travel for sport, DO IT.  You won’t regret it.  It helps them grow and I feel that the new experience and interaction with other kids from other towns and cities helps with their personal growth and builds resilience.  Also, you get to visit places that you have been meaning to visit and just didn’t have the time. This is the perfect excuse.

If your child has any sort of disability, encourage them to try everything, you will find something they’ll love.

I might add that it wasn’t all fun & games to begin with, the airline we travelled with accidently forgot to put our sons pram on the plane.  So while we awaited the courier to deliver it to us the next day we had to take turns carry him around for the day.  Our arm muscles certainly got a work out.😂

I have so much to tell when it comes to all of her sporting achievements but I’ll have to save them for another day.

Are you a sports Mum or Dad?

Let me know your experiences, we love hearing stories of others sporting achievements.

♡Mrs Bleakley

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5 thoughts on “Sports Parents with a Legally Blind Athletics Champion

Add yours

  1. This is such a beautiful and inspirational post! Your daughter is so brave and strong and she deserves the best. Congratulations on her medals and great achievements. I have been temporarily blind for three months a few years ago and it was so hard to even dress myself, let alone go for a stroll. She’s such a hero! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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