When Madelaine Goodridge swims all the pain she experiences with having cerebral palsy disappears.
“I feel loose like all my muscles are relaxed after the training is done,” she said.
The 12-year-old Kew resident has just been announced as the recipient of a Variety Heart Scholarship.
The scholarship is awarded to children with an existing talent living with a disability, chronic illness or financial hardship and will enable Madelaine to pursue her dream of representing Australia in swimming at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
In the lead up to the Paralympics Madelaine said she has to increase the amount she trains. She is still recovering from a recent shoulder injury.
Despite her intense training schedule Madelaine said she never gets sick of training as she said it helps to ‘clear her mind’ and ‘relax her muscles’.
Madelaine’s mum Kate transports her to pools in Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Kendall.
“It’s a bit difficult with the restrictions during winter,” she said.
At the moment Madelaine is training for nationals in April. She will compete in breaststroke, freestyle and backstroke.
Madelaine said she is happy to be a Variety Heart Scholarship recipient.
“It’s great to be supported in my dream to one day become a Paralympian,” she said.
Madelaine will use her Variety Heart Scholarship towards private training.
Variety – the Children’s Charity NSW/ACT chief executive officer David Sexton said the scholarships help kids build on their existing talent and enthusiasm for their passion.
“A Variety Heart Scholarship can help remove some of the financial barriers which can prevent Aussie kids from pursuing their dreams and exploring their full potential,” he said.
“No request is too small or too specialised when it comes to applying for a Variety Heart Scholarship.
In the past, we’ve helped kids with art, trampoline and dance classes as well as helping others attend sports tournaments and buy equipment.”
More than 166 children have been assisted by the Variety Heart Scholarships program since it began in 2014. Scholarships are awarded up to the value of $5,000 and can be used towards developing the recipient’s talent.
Applications are currently open for kids aged 6-18 years until 26 November 2017.
Parents, education or medical professionals who know a child who needs support can apply online at varietyscholarships.com.au