Madelaine Goodridge: a surprise athletics star

St Joseph's Laurieton student Madelaine Goodridge thought her future was set in swimming.

But following her gold medal winning success with athletics at the Polding Athletics Championships, she has realised there’s no reason she can’t pursue both. 

Madelaine has hemiplegic left sided cerebral palsy resulting in a weakness on the left side of her body, which affects her hand, arm, shoulder, torso, leg and foot. 

Madelaine competed with the Lismore Diocese team in the AWD (Athletes with Disability) field events in girls 11 to 13 years shotput, discus and long jump. She secured first place in all three events.

“It was pretty tough competition,” Madelaine said.

Madelaine said she was the strongest in discus, but came close to beating her PBs in all three sports. 

Madelaine will now represent the Polding Team at the PSSA Athletic Championship's held at the Sydney Athletics Centre at Homebush in October. 

This isn’t Madelaine’s first time at Homebush, as she has competed there in swimming multiple times. 

Madelaine’s unexpected move towards athletics, came from a suggestion only three months ago.

She was invited to attend an Australian Paralympic Committee event in Sydney for rising sport stars. 

At the event, she was required to do stretches and her measurements were taken – based off this it was recommended she try athletics on top of her swimming.

“I decided after that to give it a go. I didn’t think much of it,” she said.

But following her success at the championships Madelaine is really ‘excited’ to see where athletics may take her. 

“I didn’t realise I could get this far,” she said. 

Determined as ever, come October, Madelaine is hoping to set State records in the three sports. 

Madelaine is currently not part of any athletics clubs, and in order to practise, she uses her shotput and discus with the dog in the backyard. Between practise, her eyes have been glued on the Paralympics and her favourite athletes.

In swimming she admires Port Macquarie’s Paige Leonhardt and Tiffany Thomas Kane. In athletics Madelaine is inspired by wheelchair track star Madison de Rozario.

“My goal is Tokyo 2020,” she added. 

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