Bunbury student Bel Dabic has competed nationally in a new category of the Multi Class events at the recent Australian Age Swimming Championships in Adelaide.
The new category s19 is for multi-class swimming athletes with High Functioning Autism.
"In multi class competition, the competitors are racing with a variety of all different disabilities, so it is not necessarily the first to the wall who wins," Bel's mother Lee Dabic explained. "It is all based on points. Each classification is racing against the world record for their own classification."
Bel, a Year 9 Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School student, was recorded as fastest among the four other female athletes in the 50m and 100m freestyle, and 100m backstroke events in her s19 category. She also placed second in her s19 field for the rest of her events. This was the first time the s19 category was included in a national competition, and being in its trial phase, the focus was on participation and personal bests. Bel performed well, recording five personal best times, including a massive 32 second improvement in her Individual Medley race.
"I really loved the experience of racing in the multi class competition," Bel said. I am looking forward to competing in the Nationals again next year..."
Lee said she was especially inspired by Bel's co-athletes.
"Everyone was so amazing...they were faced with so many different neurological and physical challenges, yet had great willpower and strength to overcome their barriers and perform at a national level."
I was especially inspired by her co-athletes that were faced with so many different neurological and physical challenges, yet had great willpower and strength to overcome their barriers.Lee Dabic