Thank you to all the wonderful people who turned out to support the 'St Giles Walk With Me' on Saturday 13 September on the lawns of Parliament House. It was a great pleasure to be involved for the second year in a row as a guest of St Giles. While it might have seemed just a short walk for many of us, the event highlighted the challenges that many families face on a day to day basis to provide the best possible opportunities for children with a disability.
There were so many highlights but I'd like to especially thank the 'Brightstars' for their fabulous dance routine.
I had a great time today, presenting at the Tasmanian Country Women's Association state conference. Just prior to my presentation I was able to sit in and listen to the issues being discussed as part of the AGM - including the hemp industry and ways to reduce quad bike accidents. A very interesting day!
It was bitterly cold outside (possible even snowing!)but the company and welcome was very warm at the combined Probus Club in Evandale, just a short drive from Launceston.
I had a great time, recounting the history of the Paralympic Games, and some of my experiences from the Atlanta and Sydney Paralympic Games. We also covered the upcoming Commonwealth Games and what to expect from the para athletes competing in the Australian team.
Australia finished the games with a rush of bronze medals in the last couple of days of the Sochi Winter Paralympics.
Toby Kane took out the Bronze medal in the 'Super Combined' event.
Bronze Medal to Jess Gallagher in the giant slalom event.
Mitchell Gourley, a left arm below elbow amputee, put in some great performances and was unlucky to miss out on a medal finishing 5th in the Men's Super Combined - just 0.24 seconds behind team mate Toby Kane.
For three of the Australian athletes Cameron Rahels-Rahbula, Melissa Perrin and Joany Badenhurst, the games were a bit heartbreaking, with injuries, illness, difficult weather conditions creating a few setbacks and close calls. They did their country proud in the way that they handled themselves.
Opening ceremony flag bearer Cameron Rahles-Rabula was ruled out of the games with injuries he sustained in a training run just days before the start of the. The 2014 Games were Cameron's last games after announcing his retirement.
First time Paralympian Joany Badenhaust in the snowboard event, dislocated her knee in a warm up run and was unable to compete.Three first time paralympians, Ben Tudhope, Trent Milton and Victoria Pendergast gained valuable experience and will certainly be ones to watch for future events. With the retirement of two of the team's most experienced athletes, Toby Kane and Cameron Rahles-Rahbula we'll be looking to the younger generation to lead the way at the 2018 Games in South Korea.
In recognition of his contribution to the Paralympic movement, Toby Kane was presented the prestigious International Paralympic Committee Whag Yon Dai achievement award at the closing ceremony in front of more than 40,000 people and a global television audience. This award is presented to a male and female athlete at the summer and winter Paralympics. This is the first time an Australian Athlete has received the award - congratulation Toby!
Despite several setbacks, the Australian team has continued in their quest for personal bests and medals at the Sochi Paralympic Games.
Wrap up of the latest events
5 Australian have been competing in the Alpine Skiing events in the last couple of days:
- Melissa Perrin (with guide Andrew Bor)
- Jess Gallagher (with guide Christian Geiger)
- Victoria Pedergast
What's coming up tonight:
Two of the Aussie men will be competing tonight in the 'Super G' (the second and final component of the 'Super Combined' event). The event has had to be staged over two days due to the unfavourable weather for the 'Super G' event. The slalom component has been completed with Toby Kane currently in 5th position with Mitchell Gourley in 6th - going to be a bit of friendly competition between the Aussie team mates!
Tonight is also the semi finals for the Ice Sledge Hockey. I am really looking forward to checking out the games tonight on ABC Grandstand live streaming.
Game 1: Russia v Norway
Game 2: USA v Canada
The winners from each match progressing to the Gold Medal match on the weekend.
Later in the week
The Australian Para Snowboarders Ben Tudhope, Joany Badenhorst and Trent Milton will be taking to the snow. We'll also see Mel and Jess competing in their final event- the giant slalom on Sunday.
I'm very excited to be providing regular updates on the Australian Team's performance at the Sochi Paralympic Games. The ABC has been a great supporter of the Paralympic movement and increasing awareness of the achievement of our winter and summer paralympians. So, tune in each night about 5.45pm on ABC Northern Tasmania Drive with Damien Brown to keep up to date with all the news from the Sochi games!
If you'd like to find a bit more about the Sochi Games and the Australian team - head over the Paralympic Hub section on the website to find a range of helpful and interesting resources available on the web.
On Saturday 7 September 2013 I was pleased to join the St Giles "walk with me" in Hobart as a special guest. After a bit of a rainy and windy start to the day, the sun came out and the weather was perfect for a bit of a stroll, walk or push around Salamanca. The Navy band leading the way was just terrific and added to the fun atmoshphere. It was great to see so many bright cheerful smiles and one of the highlights would have to have been the dance performance proudly presented by the 'Brightstars'!
Well done to the event organisers who had just the week before, run a similar successful event in Launceston. A big thank you to friends and family who sponsored my or joined in the walk . The Hobart event raised more than $6,000!
St Giles is an organisation that I am particularly please to support. Their
ethos of 'whatever it takes to make a positive difference' is inspirational and
appreciated by the many families and individuals who are supported by St
Giles each year.
If you'd like to know more about St Giles visit their website: stgiles.org.au or check out their page on facebook
Every year the Tasmanian Olympic Council conducts the Pierre de Coubertin Awards program to recognise outstanding young Tasmanians who excel in their chosen sporting endeavour and embrace the spirit of Olympism (and paralympism).
The Pierre de Coubertin Awards are named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games. The Awards take place on an annual basis and recognise senior secondary students who demonstrate values which are consistent with the Olympic Movement through participation in sporting activities. All secondary government and non government schools are invited to nominate one recipient for the Pierre de Coubertin Award each year (only) from year 10, 11 or 12.
Presenting at the Pierre de Cobertin Awards is always a highlight in the year - have has the pleasure for several years now. It's always inspiring to meet the nominees each year and to participate in the sessions. It's agreat opportunity to share with the nominees some of the paralympic spirit and stories.
Great job as always Tasmanian Olympic Council.
I was thrilled to be asked to present at the 2012 PES (President Elect Seminar) for the 9830 Rotary District (Tasmania). I have been involved with Rotary for a number of years now, starting with a GSE scholarship to Texas in 2006. However, my experience with Rotary extends back to 2000 where clubs around Tasmania and Australia assisted in the fundraising effort for Australia's Paralympic team. It was a great pleasure to present on the topic of goal setting with the next crop of Rotary Presidents.
Well done to the Rotary Club of Longford who organised the weekend in conjuction with the 2012 / 2013
If you'd like to find out more about the session check out the PES 2012 site under workshops
Melissa Carlton OAM
I'm privileged to be invited to participate and support a range of community groups, clubs and events. These are just some of the stories from these occasions!