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.’’
Little butterflies, and marvellous munchkins will flutter to the stage at Shepparton’s Eastbank Centre tonight and tomorrow for the Goulburn Valley Academy of Ballet concert.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Cricket Club has hosted the first ever ACA Masters contest at the Stan Hargreaves Oval in Yarrawonga.
There was a good turnout for Wednesday’s Remembrance Day service in Tatura, which saw a number of wreaths laid at the War Memorial, and the presentation to Brad Corken, of the Tatura RSL Spirit Award 2015, by president Robert Mathieson.
THE Echuca and District Netball Association, reigning 17 and Under regional state league champions, will be required to adapt to a new age category for next year’s competition.
A GROUP of Rochester Secondary College students visited Bendigo last week to donate blood for the first time.
Bowls Club hosts 49th Victorian Country Masters Pairs
The Oriential Weatherloach has infested the Goulburn River.
The largest ever Strawberry Fields crowd turned out to enjoy the event on the Murray River at Tocumwal at the weekend.
AFTER the hottest October in Victoria since records began in the 1850s, it will come as little surprise that rainfall across the district was unusually low.
No, it won’t be Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer creating the Christmas lighting in Cobram this year, it will be Cobram couple, Ron and Kath Renfrew,
‘Peppinella’ development bigger than first planned
Watch and Act issued for Corowa and Wahgunyah near Rutherglen, urging people to leave now as conditions may worsen.
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