I’m 28 years old, I live with a spinal cord injury and I compete in the sport of para-athletics (wheelchair racing) in 100m, 200m, and 400m T-53 classification. My primary focus is the 100m and 400m as the 200m is a non Paralympic Event and I am getting back into racing the 800m.
I was injured while training for a motocross race on August 20th, 2006. Shortly after acquiring my spinal cord injury I set a goal to regain my life and to achieve every goal I set for myself. For the first five years post injury I continued to race ATVs, played wheelchair basketball, competed in wheelchair racing, trail rode snowmobiles and dabbled in sledge hockey.
After becoming Canada's first paraplegic to race motocross, competing in Canadian Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championships, becoming Nova Scotia's first para athlete to compete in both Summer (wheelchair racing) and Winter (wheelchair basketball) Canada Games and qualifying for my first Canadian Track and Field Championships I realized I needed to commit to one sport. I saw with wheelchair racing I was having the most success and I had the most potential to reach the top of the world. Since the Autumn of 2011 I have been on a mission- it is simple, race at the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Jenario, Brazil.
Since I have made this my mission I improved from a 21 second 100m down to 15.73 seconds, 42 second 200m down to 27.6 seconds and 1:24 400m down to 563.14 seconds in the six years and a 2:46 800m down to 1:54.91. I am on the verge of cracking top ten in the world for 100m and 200m and top 15 for 400m
I train six days a week up to 2-4 hours a day covering a minimum of 8km and up to 35km a day. I currently have three track sessions/week, two strength training sessions/week and three road pushing sessions/week during the spring and summer. During the fall and winter months I train six days a week up to four hours a day that include 5-6 days a week at Kings Mutual Century Centre on a roller, 2-3 track sessions at the Canada Games Center in Halifax and 3-4 days working on strength and in race chair resistance training. I train in just about any weather condition spring to fall. Only thunder, lightning, snow and hurricanes stop me from training. I know my work ethic, top notch coaching, proper nutrition and my mental toughness on race day pays off each time I hit a personal best.
Sponsorship is important to me because the costs of the competitions I strive to attend are out of the Maritime Provinces in Canada and are international. I want to race the best my classification has to offer so I can become faster and eventually reach the top of the world class level and represent Canada at the Paralympics by 2016. This year alone I plan on attending three training camps in the winter months in Florida and Georgia, I plan on competing all over the Maritime Provinces, Quebec, Alberta, Dubai, Indiana, Georgia, Ontario, Arizona and Switzerland. To be able to pursue these meets and achieve high performance results requires a lot of time devoted to: training, athletic therapy, traveling to training facilities, competitions, therapy centers, proper nutrition and supplementation for performance and routine maintenance to make sure my equipment always stays top notch.
Goals for 2016:
- Qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Jenario, Brazil
- Finish in the top 10 (minimum) or better in IPC world rankings in 100m and 200m in my classification
- Attend as many events outside of Canada as possible (Dubai, Indiana, Arizona, Georgia and Switzerland).
- Improve my acceleration.
- Improve my top speed.
Long Term Goals:
- Make Team Canada Para-Athletics 4x400m relay A-team
- Compete at the 2017 World Championships.
- Podium at 2019 World Championships.
- Win at least one medal at the 2020 Paralympics
Competition and Training Locations for 2016:
- Maritime Provinces(Locations Include: Annapolis Valley, Halifax and Moncton) (Cost Approx: $800)
- Living in Warm Springs from January to April of 2016 (Approx $4000)
- Athletics Canada Training Camp and 4x400m relay tryouts in Daytona, Florida. ($1500)
- Fast Cow Meet Indianapolis (Cost Approx: $1238)
- Swiss Series (Cost Approx: $2700)
- Desert Challenge Games (Cost approx: $1650)
- Atlanta Road Racing Series Cedartown 5K and Peachtree Road Race ($1000)
- Canadian Track and Field Championships Edmonton, Alberta (Cost Approx: $2000)