Great Expectations For Star Paralympian

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18th June 2008, 11:54am - Views: 808





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Great expectations for star Paralympian


RMIT University student Jessica Gallagher has high expectations for the Beijing

Paralympic Games, though she started training in athletics only 12 months ago.

 

The Masters in Osteopathy student, 22, of Preston, has risen dramatically

through the rankings for her visual impairment classification and holds the

Australian and Oceanian records for long jump and shot put, plus a national

record for discus – three of the events she will be competing in at the Games.


“I couldn’t be more excited to be going to Beijing,” Ms Gallagher said.


“I am very motivated and focused and can’t wait to get out there, compete and

hopefully bring home some medals!”


Ms Gallagher, who will also run in the 100m at the Paralympics, attributes her

rise in world rankings to her natural athleticism and commitment to training.


“As a junior, I represented Victoria in netball and basketball so that’s made the

transition into athletics fairly easy but I’m also a quick learner and have been

working very hard in training, trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as

possible,” she said.


Ms Gallagher, originally from Geelong, was born with a rare genetic eye disease

called cone dystrophy and is legally blind.


Staff from RMIT’s Disability Liaison Unit have worked closely with Ms Gallagher

during her studies, ensuring she has access to adaptive technology and keeping

teaching staff updated on her special requirements during lectures and exams.


Ms Gallagher, who is heading to an acclimatisation camp in Townsville with the

Athletics Australia Paralympic Squad in August, is still hoping to find sponsors to

support her efforts.


“The team’s costs are covered for Beijing but there are a lot of additional costs

involved in competing, such as equipment, medical care, supplements

accommodation and flights to competitions,” she said.


For interviews: Jessica Gallagher, 0403 621 611.


For general media enquiries: RMIT University Media and Communications,

Gosia Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.

18 June, 2008






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