Athletes off to do battle at nationals
FOUR Gladstone athletes are in the midst of the greatest competition of their lives.
Kerrod Hamilton, Jarrod Lee and Ruby Lawler are chasing glory in the pool in the Special Olympics Australia National Games being held in Melbourne.
And Queensland's football team is enjoying the goalkeeping skill of Adam Knust.
For a while Adam's place in the team was in doubt after he broke his ankle only months ago.
But a lot of hard work since then has kept this moment alive for him.
"I was so sad when I broke my ankle, but I have worked hard to do exercise to get it stronger," he said.
"I hope we win a gold medal, but we will wait and see."
None have reached the heights of the Australian level before but this quartet is taking on the best in the country with confidence.
"I am so excited, I have been trying for a few years now," Ruby said. "I think I will go good.
"I just want to achieve PBs and do my best."
While Ruby admitted nerves would be present, fellow swimmer Jarrod Lee was confident his nerves would not get the better of him on the blocks.
Jarrod, 13, said his training had been as good as ever and he would not have to worry about his performance being top notch.
"I am going to go good, I am well prepared," he said.
"I thank my coaches, parents and my mates at squad and all my friends."
The last swimmer on the blocks from Gladstone is Kerrod Hamilton.
A positive thinker like his fellow athletes, Kerrod is keen to make the most of the experience, which includes activities out of the water as well.
"I just want to try my best," Kerrod said. "I will try and win, but I am just hoping to meet people and make new friends."
The games will finish on Friday and the athletes will arrive back in Gladstone at the weekend.
They will be winners regardless of the outcome.
- Kerrod Hamilton 100m free, 200m free, 100m Back, Relay
- Jarrod Lee 50m free, 50m Fly, 50m Back, Relay
- Ruby Lawler 200m IM, 200m Free, 400m Free, 1500m Open Water Free, Relays
- Adam Knust Football, goalkeeper