Former Tannum man ready for Rio Paralympics
A FORMER Tannum Sands resident will share his knowledge with this year's Australian swimming team at the Paralympics in Rio.
The former Paralympian, now a sports scientist, is part of the group managing this year's team.
He will help the athletes find their way around the competition and prepare for their races.
Burkett grew up in Tannum Sands and Gladstone, learning his swimming skill at local clubs and as a Nipper.
His love for the sport only grew when he lost his leg in a motorbike accident.
Rio will be his eighth Paralympic games.
From the 1988 - 2000 he competed in four games, and since then he has returned every time to help manage the team.
He likened competing in the Paralympics to travelling for a Nippers carnival.
"I really enjoyed the facilities back then when I was swimming in Gladstone.
"It's something like 70% of Australian sports medallist's come from regional and rural parts of the country," he said.
"When I ended up going to the games to me in my head it was the same as going to Emu Park or the Gold Coast for a competition.
"It was that same process, you have your team and your coach and you're going to take on some other swimmers and you'll win some and lose some."
To add to his list of achievements, Mr Burkett is also one of the faces of a national fundraising campaign for the Australian Sports Foundation.
Alongside sporting greats Laurie Daley, Andrew Gaze and Ian Healy, he's calling for Australians to donate to the cause to help support young sportsmen and women.
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