At 14 years of age, sprinter Rachael Dodds is going places fast- literally. Just 12 months after taking up the sport, this August she broke the 800m world record on the track for her t35 classification. A few days earlier she had unofficially broken the 400m world record, but was unable to claim it due to a failure with the electronic timing system.

The Hawthorne resident is both surprised and ecstatic with her results, saying “in the past six months I have achieved some personal goals I thought would take me another couple of years.”

A typical week of training involves 5-7 sessions. Two are on the track, and the remainder are cross training, alternating between power walking, slow jogs, swimming recovery sessions, pilates, school physical education lessons and spin sessions on a stationary bike.

In recognition of her results and commitment Dodds was named in the Shooting Star squad by the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association, which provides up and coming junior athletes with the chance to meet other athletes, experience living in a team environment and receive expert coaching, nutrition and sport psychology advice.

Now she has been awarded a Sporting Dreams introductory grant, which she says she will put towards travel and accommodation, so she can attend more competitions-like the Pacific School Games in Canberra in November 2008.

Rachael is committed to maintaining her body so she is in peak condition to perform at her best.

“Running always makes my body tight and my body is never in the best shape so mum and Dad pay for remedial massage and physio every week.

This all contributes to my long-term goal, the London 2012 Paralympic Games.