Lainee Harrison makes history at Coles Little Athletics Athletics National U15 Camp
Lake Macquarie’s Lainee Harrison got to mix with Paralympians and impress the country’s top track and field coaches during a Little Athletics camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra in recent weeks.
Harrison was one of the first athletes with a disability to attend the annual camp, which was opened up this year on the back of an initiative with Coles to cater to those with disabilities
The supermarket chain donated 10 cents from every kilogram of bananas it sold at its supermarkets on National Banana Day in May.
Harrison, who was diagnosed with Hemi-Plegia Cerebral Palsy when she was nine months old, was chosen to attend the camp after her performances in the long jump at Little Athletics NSW state events over the past three seasons.
The Macquarie Hunter Athletics Club member said the camp had emboldened her ambitions and she was proud to have paved the way for other athletes with disabilities to attend in the future.
“The camp was an amazing experience,” she said.
INSPIRATION: Michael Roeger, Lainee Harrison and Sarah Walsh.
“The coaches were terrific in working around our abilities and it’s an honour to be among the first group of athletes with disabilities to attend the camp,” she said.
Three-time Paralympian and triple world-record holder Michael Roeger said he was wrapped to see the next generation of Paralympians coming through Little Athletics.
“It’s so great to see young athletes with disabilities now have an opportunity to attend [the camp],” he said.
“Camps like these can be the catalyst for talented athletes like Lainee to pursue their athletics dreams and the experience and learning will last a lifetime,” he said.
The annual Little Athletics National Under 15 Camp provides an opportunity for the best junior athletes to be tutored by elite coaches and participate in personal development workshops that focus on leadership, psychology and recovery.