Swimmers Ellie Cole and Matt Haanappel are proof of the positive impact the Paralympics can have on young lives.MARC MCGOWAN February 20, 2013 4:05am
London Paralympics gold medallists Matt Haanappel (middle, blue shirt) and Ellie Cole (back, green shirt) visited Aquamoves on Monday night.
Swimmers Ellie Cole and Matt Haanappel are proof of the positive impact the Paralympics can have on young lives.
Cole, who had her right leg amputated at the age of three due to having a rare form of cancer called sarcoma, was just 16 when she went to the Beijing Games as a self-confessed ‘‘wide-eyed’’ teenager.
It was much the same for 18-year-old Croydon Hills resident Haanappel, who has cerebral palsy, when he experienced the Paralympics for the first time at London last year.
Frankston’s Cole — wiser for her debut — returned last year as a senior team member and added four gold and two bronze medals to the silver and two bronze she claimed at Beijing.
They took part in Goulburn Valley’s inter-district training at Shepparton’s Aquamoves on Monday night before speaking to the swimmers about their experiences.
‘‘There’s a quote I’ve always lived by: ‘It’s better to get a sore neck from aiming too high than a hunchback from aiming too low’,’’ Cole said.
‘‘Something that’s been really important to me in my career is goal-setting. You should have big goals, but keep them realistic.
‘‘That’s definitely the advice I would give. Just don’t go with the flow, actually have goals and dreams and things to strive for.’’
Cole, the Sarah-Grace Sarcoma Foundation patron, spent the three years leading into the London Games training at Australian Institute of Sport’s Canberra base.
‘‘I went to London with a lot more experience under my belt, a bit more determination and a bit more race tactics,’’ she said.
‘‘The games wasn’t such a shock to me the second time around.’’
Haanappel was unable to quite describe the ‘‘amazing experience’’ he had at London, where he was a heat swimmer for Australia’s gold medal-winning 4
‘‘To be in front of 10
‘‘It was my first experience at Paralympic level or a major level of competition and what other 18-year-olds are doing stuff like that?
‘‘It was a life lesson for me, not just for my swimming. I’ve come back and been able to teach the other Year 12 students in my cohort that there are other things out there in life.’’
Haanappel, who swims for Diamond Valley-Eltham Aquatic, trained up to 20 hours a week to qualify for London.
He set high goals, just like Kings Swimming Club member Cole, and put his Year 12 studies on hold until this year to achieve his Paralympic dream.
‘‘To get out there and get the boys into the final was a massive learning experience for me,’’ Haanappel said.
‘‘To be there and selected not only in the Australian Paralympic team, but an Australian relay at my age and classification — S6 — it has never been done before.
‘‘It was an honour to be part of those relays.’’
The Cosgrove community banded together on the weekend to help a local family by harvesting a wheat crop.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Families and diehard supporters are behind the AFL’s decision to freeze ticket prices in season 2015.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Fire brigade celebrates 80th anniversary and three CFA life memberships among other service awards.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.