Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Paralympian's new challenge

Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland

April 16, 2014 3:59am

Tocumwal paralympian Don Elgin is aiming for a spot at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland

Tocumwal Paralympian Don Elgin has his sights firmly set on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Don, who was born without the bottom half of his left leg, is focused on qualifying for the ‘below the knee amputee’ discus event.

The renowned motivational speaker visited his former school, Finley High, last Wednesday as a guest speaker at a careers expo.

Don, who is now based in Melbourne, explained how he had ended a successful sporting career in 2008 after a few injuries and a decision to venture into ‘‘other things’’.

But the 38 year-old said a ‘‘challenge to get fit again’’ was what inspired him to make a comeback to the sporting arena.

It was in 2012, serving as the team manager for Australia’s London Games paralympians, that Don was made aware of the discus event being added to the Commonwealth Games schedule.

‘‘I couldn’t be bothered going to the gym for the sake of going to the gym because it doesn’t motivate me enough to want to do that,’’ he said.

‘‘So with this little goal (Games qualification) it changed my whole way of thinking. I’m more active than I was for the last four or five years.

‘‘I’m really enjoying that health and fitness is part of my lifestyle ... when it’s not there, I miss it.

‘‘I’m happier and healthier and I’m able to keep up with my kids as well.’’

The father-of-four will have to throw 38m at an official track and field competition before June 1 to qualify, which he is confident he can achieve.

His first challenge, however, was to regain his fitness.

Don said he had to purchase a new prosthetic leg in recent years to fit his bigger figure.

‘‘I wanted a new challenge, and my wife was very supportive when I told her what the challenge was.

‘‘Things do get harder as you get older but I just thought I’m not willing to let old age or other excuses be the reason why I don’t have a crack.

‘‘I know I’m not saving lives, I know the world doesn’t stop and revolve around whether I go to the Games or not, but I’ve got a really healthy perspective on this and I just thought with a bit of training I genuinely don’t think that it is beyond me.’’

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